GAYAK - The Fida Gradshow 2024: Defining Cebu’s burgeoning fashion identity

GAYAK - The Fida Gradshow 2024: Defining Cebu’s burgeoning fashion identity

The “GAYAK - The Fida Gradshow 2024,” recently held at SM Seaside City Cebu, stands as a vivid illustration of Cebu’s emergence in the fashion scene. This showcase, featuring a blend of alumni talent and expert mentorship, boldly underlines the city’s evolving narrative within the global fashion discourse.

With an array of thematic designs from promising graduates, the event highlights the vibrant potential of Cebu’s fashion industry. In this article, we delve into how “GAYAK - The Fida Gradshow 2024” stands not just as an event, but as a celebrated milestone in Cebu’s journey to establish a distinct identity in the global fashion landscape.

Weaving Cebu’s fashion identity

The Fashion Institute of Design and Arts (Fida), a premier educational institution in the Philippines, has played a crucial role in developing the next generation of fashion designers and industry leaders. Beginning its journey in Davao over a decade ago, Fida expanded to Cebu, bringing a wave of advanced fashion education to the region.

Fida’s curriculum, aligned with global fashion education standards, effectively merges theoretical knowledge with practical expertise. The institution offers diverse courses, including Fashion Design & Merchandising, Fashion Styling and Communication. Under the guidance of school director Marissa Gapud-Ceniza and founder Christine Dumatol-Munda, Fida has emerged as a key player in nurturing creative talent and fostering innovation, significantly shaping the fashion landscape of the region.

This is bolstered by a faculty of Cebu’s finest professionals: Philipp Tampus, Edwin Alba, Valerie Alvez, Josei Cuizon, Angela Dado, Mara Dado, Rhino Deiparine, Mel Maria, Maria Navarete, Matt Pingkian, Ron Xavier Santos, Yorena Tabar, Valeriano Tomol III and Jon Unson, whose expertise fortifies Fida’s commitment to excellence in fashion education.

Decoding the design language of GAYAK 2024

The graduates of GAYAK 2024, each with their distinct flair, breathed life into their chosen themes, demonstrating not just their design skills but also their ability to weave stories and emotions into their creations. Let’s delve into the unique approaches of these bright talents and how they interpreted their thematic visions into wearable art.

Erwin Paler – Theodora (Best Designer)

Paler’s collection, “Theodora,” was a homage to the Byzantine empress and her influence on religion and women’s rights. Erwin’s approach was to infuse historical significance into contemporary fashion. He aimed to create pieces that were not just visually striking but also rich in narrative. The collection resonated with themes of power and elegance, using sophisticated fabrics and intricate designs to bring the story of Empress Theodora to the modern audience.

Rea Jarina: Violets for Roses

Jarina’s “Violets for Roses” is a sartorial homage to Princess Margaret, capturing her vibrant personality and unique style. This collection embodies the princess’s rebellious phase, a time when she inspired a break from the constraints of conformity. Each piece in Jarina’s line represents this cultural shift towards celebrating self-expression and individuality, mirroring Princess Margaret’s impact on the fashion world.

Aaliyah Nicole: Efflorescence – Daenerys Targaryen

Nicole’s “Efflorescence” is a tribute to the complex character arc of Daenerys Targaryen. This collection encapsulates Daenerys’s transformation from a vulnerable girl into a formidable leader. It delves into her internal struggle to balance justice with the harsh realities of power, reflecting significant moments in her journey. The designs convey strength, resilience, and the evolution of character, much like Daenerys’s own story.

Jad Solito: Entropy – The Waves of Randomness

“Entropy: The Waves of Randomness” by Solito is an exploration of life’s inherent unpredictability and complexity. This collection interprets the metaphorical concept of entropy through fashion, showcasing designs that embody uncertainty and randomness with exaggerated, bold expressions. Solito’s work emphasizes the transient, ever-changing nature of style, encouraging a mindset that embraces creativity amid chaos.

Franz McKillip: Vale of Torment

McKillip’s “Vale of Torment” draws inspiration from the darker chapters of Cleopatra’s life. The collection portrays her experiences of pain, suffering, and the turmoil of betrayal and challenges during her reign. Each piece reflects Cleopatra’s complex emotions and her intense struggle for power, woven into designs that capture both her elegance and her anguish.

Sam Lim: Dolls & Bows

Sam Lim’s “Dolls & Bows” collection is a unique fusion of Barbie’s contemporary glamor with the lavish femininity of Marie Antoinette’s court. The collection features pink hues, luxurious fabrics and a blend of modern lines with silhouettes, creating a whimsical yet sophisticated aesthetic. “Dolls & Bows” celebrates empowerment, femininity, and the joy of dressing up, offering a modern interpretation of historical luxury.

Leel de los Santos: The Oriental Maiden

“The Oriental Maiden” by De los Santos draws inspiration from the lives of women in the Forbidden City. The collection delves into the lavish yet isolated existence of the emperor’s paramours, capturing their opulent lifestyle and the underlying sense of loneliness. The designs reflect the dichotomy of their lives — grandeur mixed with solitude, acceptance coupled with a desire for change.

Ayka Lim: Regalière

Lim’s “Regalière” is inspired by the enchanting tales of storybook royalty. Each piece in the collection weaves together the magic of royal narratives with elegant, flowing fabrics, creating ensembles fit for fantasy royalty. The color palette, mirroring midnight skies with hues of gold, maroon and deep purple, along with voluminous silhouettes, evokes a sense of regality and opulence.

Each graduate at GAYAK 2024 brought their unique perspective to their thematics, creating a unique array of designs that were not only visually stunning but also deeply evocative. Their collections were more than just fashion; they were stories woven into fabric, a showcase of talent, creativity and the power of narrative in design.

Bright future

Events like GAYAK 2024 are not just showcases of student talent but are also reflections of Cebu’s evolving fashion narrative. Through such platforms, FIDA highlights the city’s capacity for innovation and its potential to influence fashion trends globally. The diverse themes and styles presented in these shows mirror Cebu’s multifaceted identity — one that is rooted in tradition yet bold in embracing modernity.

By blending global fashion trends with local cultural influences, Cebu finds a modern voice through Fida’s platform. Fida is not just educating the next generation of designers; it is actively shaping Cebu’s future as a distinguished and innovative fashion destination.


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