John Ablaza: From nature and culture to couture

John Ablaza Couture

The internationally known Filipino designer takes stage via ‘Nature & Nurture’ fashion show in October

WHEN one’s sense of style and fashion is innate, it wouldn’t be hard to transition to different mediums. For international fashion designer John Ablaza, having a degree in horticulture from De La Salle Araneta University did not stop with just growing plants, but rather became the door into something bigger. 

In 1982, Ablaza transitioned to interior decoration when he landed a job in Taipei, Taiwan, as a florist and decorator of Asiaworld Plaza Hotel, owned by Filipino tycoon Tan Yu.  

However, the call to fashion was hard to resist and so in 1987, the ever-artistic Ablaza flew back to the Philippines and launched his career in fashion design.  From there on until the 90s, he presented shows both local and international. His creations have been featured in print such as Mod Magazine, Women’s, Woman’s Home Journal, Women Today, Miscellaneous Magazine and other countless glossy magazines.

In 1994, he once again worked out the country as an in-house designer of Ahla Al Wasayef, a couture shop patronized by the royal families of Bahrain.

Coming back to his country in 1998, Ablaza was given the task to do the replica of Jose Rizal’s personal belongings, as part of a traveling museum project by the National Centennial Commission.  The exhibit traveled throughout the Philippines and to several cities in the United States and Europe. He was duly credited by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines for all his work and effort in the exhibit.

In 2004, he decided to branch out by taking a different avenue in the fashion industry.  Ablaza then started designing bags and accessories, which he exported to France, Spain, Greece, Maldives, Aruba, Bahamas, Bermuda and the U.S.

After a five-year residency in Canada and the U.S., he returned to the Philippines in 2010. During his time in North America, Ablaza participated in trade shows in Los Angeles and Las Vegas to market his products.  He additionally undertook interior designing high end homes in New York, Rhode Island, Los Angeles, Toronto and Ottawa.

Deeply inspired by models who made an indelible mark in Philippine fashion, he also authored Ramp Diva: Filipina.  The 300-page coffee table book chronicled the lives of top Filipina models over a period of five decades.

Since 2011, Ablaza has been showcasing his work in a series of fashion gala called “John Ablaza Couture and Culture.”  It has been presented in the U.S., including Phoenix, Arizona, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Toronto and Harare, Zimbabwe.

He also launched “Le Petite Couture,” a collection of miniature couture gowns, all handmade and mounted on a 23-inch mannequin.  It was displayed in a curated exhibit at the Amar Estate in New York last May 2017 during his 30th year in the fashion industry.  That same year, the Philippine Consulate General in New York also invited him to showcase “Le Petite Couture” as part of the 119th Philippine Independence celebration.

“Nature & Nurture”

To showcase his most recent work, One Global Management Company Inc. — in cooperation with the Asian Journal Publications Inc., Balikbayan Magazine, Magic V Inc., Pageantry Global Inc., Miss Balikbayan International, miss Balikbayan USA, One Global Talent, Music Arts Events, Travel, Trade & Consumer, Lombard By The Bay and Premier Asia Pacific Real Estate and Development — is proud to present “John Ablaza, Nature & Nuture” on Friday, October 25, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Scientology of the Valley Auditorium, 11455 Burbank Blvd., North Hollywood, CA 91601.

In “Nature & Nurture,” Ablaza incorporates natural and organic materials, sourced from all over the Philippines and Africa.  He now promotes sustainable fashion to show his concern and love for Mother Nature.  Ablaza hopes to focus on his advocacy to mentor up and coming designers and artisans in the Philippines and different parts of the world.

For additional information on “John Ablaza, Nature & Nurture,” please call Priscilla Marte at (626) 484-0807 and/or Trini Foliente at (818) 455-2132, or e-mail [email protected]. 

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