Puey Quiñones’ wearable art

What I know of Puey (pronounced Puuy and not Puwey) Quiñones is that he is a Manila-based designer who also has an atelier in Los Angeles. First Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos loves his designs, and some of his other A-list muses are Korina Sanchez-Roxas, Jodi Sta. Maria, Maja Salvador and Nikki Valdez.

His creations are considered by cosmopolitans, fashionistas and sophisticates as wearable art, and now they’ve been made more accessible by his collaboration with retail and lifestyle giant Rustan’s — a dream come true, according to Quiñones.

What was presented during the recent fashion show celebrating the collaboration, and those that were on display and for purchase at the Rustan’s flagship store in Makati, testified to Quiñones’ compelling ready-to-wear aesthetics.

Of the pret-a-porter collection that were part of the mini-fashion presentation, my top picks were the ruby-red dresses that looked like reinvented cheongsams. A blouse and skirt, a pants ensemble and a full column cut dress adorned with strategically sewn flowers screamed “the heat is on in Saigon”, but with a graceful mien.

Exuding the power of electric youth was a baby doll dress cut in silver; sleeveless blouses complemented with balloon, London and mushroom cut skirts; and a remarkable canary peplum blouse paired with a white lace palazzo pants. These dresses were easy on the eyes and will definitely make heads turn. And the ladies who wear them must ooze with confidence, oomph and playfulness to carry off the dresses.

Also making an impact were the Filipino hand-painted barongs worn by models with cuts similar to everyday outfit staples of men in Vietnam or Thailand.  A midrib cut terno with butterfly sleeves paired with a mermaid style skirt was a delight. And a couple of Filipiniana pieces were made more contemporary and carefree.

The centerpieces were the black and ivory maxi formal dresses, with adjustable ribbons that held the dresses and the wraps. The dress owner may transform the ensemble into another divine, elegant outfit.

The materials used were mostly cotton, linen and jersey, apt and fitting for our tropical climes. The sewing and tailoring, as the seasoned gay experts around me commented, were “malinis, makinis at walang tsismis ang tahi at yari.

The guests of honor during the launch of the Puey Quiñones x Rustan’s line were DTI Assistant Secretary Cris Aldeguer Roque, Singaporean Ambassador Constance See, British Ambassador Laure Beaufils, US Ambassador Mary Kay Carlson, PAL president Stanley Ng, DSWD Assistant Secretary Paul Ledesma and Rustan’s president Donnie Tantoco.

Among the celebrities spotted were Korina Sanchez, Glaiza de Castro, Nikki Valdez, Cristalle Belo and Markki Stroem.

The Puey Quiñones collection is available at The Gallerie, at the second level of Rustan’s Makati.