Wednesday, October 8, 2008

coffee with supermodels

Having spent twenty three summers of my life in a suburb in Iloilo, I always thought living in this provincial threshold meant you are left out from the rest of the world. I remember the time when even newscasts were broadcast a week late on our tv sets and the only sign of civilization you find in the city is the rickety SM department store (Iloilo had the 1st SM outside of Manila in 1979) and a Dunkin Donut store.


Living in a lazy, middle-of-nowhere former Spanish colonial outpost, who would actually think that I'd be rubbing shoulders and spending coffee breaks with future supermodels and super designers who will eventually grace the face of global catwalks? And what more do their first photo shoots?!

Grendel Alvarado, originally from Bacolod City, won the Robinson's Iloilo Fashionista Search. A year later, she tried her luck modelling in Manila and was eventually chosen as a finalist and grand winner of the hit reality tv show The Philippines' Next Top Model - hosted by Ruffa Guttierez.

She is now a regular face on most fashion magazines in the Philippines and globally.


This shoot was for my friend Don's magazine called OWN where we tackled musings and inspirations from the final last days of the Berlin Wall. Pieces by visiting designer Gian Romano who a year before had won the MEGA Young Designer of the Year Award and had just returned from New York on apprenticeship from the fashion collective AsFour.


Military-tinged dresses by barangay-kagawad-turned-jetset-designer Bo Parcon, uber cool and devil-may-care finalist to the Philippine edition of Project Runway in ABC 5. Episodes can be watched via You Tube. Apparently, he is one of the most memorable charcters in the show... and in real life, he really is!


Pieces here are by Yohji Yamamoto and the unimitable Don Protasio - otherwise known in the blogosphere as fuchsiaboy. Don has been designing art (he doesn't design clothes, dear friends - he designs wearable art pieces!) since we were in college and has grown into a fashionable monster since then - regularly showing and capping great reviews in Philippine Fashion Week and has even showed a full collection in Cambodia by invitation from the Kingdom's Silk Forum. Although he is now based in Cambodia like me, he goes home every season to showcase his work. Grab any copy of Mega or Preview and you'll sure to bump into his name!


The team during the Berlin-inspired shoot: Nonoy Mosquera, Bo Parcon, Shoebe, Grendel Alvarado and Don Protasio


Another supemodel who is a familiar face in Philippine and international fashion is Ria Bolivar who Don discovered in a Salbakuta concert in Robinson's Iloilo. Standing out from the crowd like a sore thumb at 5'10 and with an unbelievable body frame, Don asked her to model for him. The rest as they say, is history.


Ria first broke into the Manila scene after winning one of the top prizes in the MTV Fashionista Search and representing the Philippines in Turkey. Now, she is a regular face in Philippine Fashion Week and Fashion TV.


Ria has also appeared in countless ads and fashion spreads in several publications from home and abroad. Her catwalk stints range from shows for Inno Sotto, Monique Lhuiller and even as far as Hongkong. The last time we had dinner with Ria, she was being courted by agents for the Milan Fashion Week.


I did these shoots with them right before they hit it big time - way before when I was still doing my photography on a borrowed analog film Yashica camera...

Now, it's just overwhelming to go back to these and say "Whew, I used to drink coffee with them!"

31 comments:

RONeiluke, RN said...

i don't know exactly why, but i find stills in black and white or sepia seem to capture the emotions more efficient than the colored ones... hmmm...

is it true that if the picture is to be shot in black and white, more make-up is needed?

cool shots! :)

---

off the record, the voting is now open for the e[kwento]mo: emo writing contest. i almost forgot that i passed an entry—lamentations of a withered tin can. if you liked it, don’t hesitate to drop by this site and vote. voting will proceed until october 17 (friday). there are 15 entries from 15 aspiring emo bloggers. so if you have time, it would be nice if you check us out :)

http://kundiman.net/ekwentomo-entries/

the spool artist said...

ron, it doesn't necessarily follow that you need more make u for b&w pics... it really has to go with the entire photograph as a whole...

yup, i voted three tears and a million sniffs for your entry already! cheers and good luck!

Anastácio Soberbo said...

Hello, I like this blog.
Sorry not write more, but my English is not good.
A hug from Portugal

the spool artist said...

Hey Anastacio, thank you for visiting! No worries my friend... we hope you enjoy browsing around!

kouji said...

wow. lucky guy. great shots. :)

•♥•♥[V]♥•♥• said...

lovely man you are great with the lens. Loved your work..

i am rolling you buddy :)

the spool artist said...

thanks rain ville! i'm linking you on my blog roll as well!

MR style said...

amazin work !! u'r so talented if u are the one who shot it !! great great work !!

alex said...

coffee and models! nice combo! i love your job loven!

Kiks said...

ang sarap siguro ng feeling taking pics and having drinks with people unknown.

better feeling when they greet you even if they are known na.

and best for them when you greet them like they way you did when they were still unknown kasi nothing changed.

:-)

the spool artist said...

@mr style: yup, i did the shoot... thanks!

@alex: thanks! it didn't used to be a job when i took these. we were just friends trying to pass away the time!

@kiks: so far they still recognize me! hehehe. welcome back kiks!

Jake Tornado said...

WOHOOOSSSH!!! Your shots really swept me off my feet! Grabe, ang galing ng lighting.

Have you done some collaborating work with Jake Versoza? He's also one of my favorite photographers and his work with the youth of Southeast Asia was a success.

Magtayo ka na ng photography school! I'll be one of your first students. ;)

REDLAN said...

uy, ilonggo ka man gle?! hehehe. sang pag browse ko sang latest post mo, loks familiar ang duha ka tawo sa isa ka pic. bo parcon and don. permi ko sila di kita sa iloilo esp. during fashion shows here. talented ilonggo designers they are!

may ara ko kilala nga ilonggo man da sa cambodia. zj, may blog man siya. i added you gle para ma-check ko permi blog mo. thanks sa comments.

goodluck sa work and continue sahring your great works and photogs!

Jake said...

Asteeg! :)

the spool artist said...

@jake: thanks for the comment, nakakataba naman ng puso...

i do know jake versoza! we've hanged out a bit dito sa cambodia during the angkor photo festival...

bisita kayo dito libre ko kayo ng photography lessons! lol...


@redlan: oh yes, ilonggo gid ko halin sa ulo asta sa dapadapa! yes, don and bo are permament fixtures sa fashion shows sa iloilo... really, what is ZJ's blogsite para ma check ko man. Thanks!

@jake: salamat pow!

REDLAN said...

http://sreisaat.blogspot.com/ - zj's url.

the spool artist said...

thanks pareng redlan! i check ko subong gid!

fuchsiaboy said...

i really dont know what to say except thank you.

anyway, we couldn't find a more talented kaladkarin photographer except you and given that those people you've mentioned are kaladkarin, too, te perfect companion for wrecking havoc some side street in iloilo eh. birds of the same feather do make the best feather duster, ika nga.

all kaladkarins volt in! lol!

RONeiluke, RN said...

ahh...i see. i find pics in B and w or sepia more emotional...

thanks for supporting me, mate! i appreciate the gesture alot!

now you know 1/1000 of who i am. hehehe!

salingPUSA said...

If they would only stop and look back also---they would definitely say "Whew, I used to drink coffee with him!" Now look----he is BIG. But still humble......

the spool artist said...

@fuchsiaboy: yup, let's volt in!

@roneiluke: keep the great writing going and we'll be awaiting each piece! cheers!

@salingpusa: awww, i am but happy and honored that my friends are doing well... i am not BIG at all, nakaswerte lang ng konti...

:-)

LENORENEVERMORE said...

All these models are gorgeous! I adore Yohji Yamamoto. Thanks for your sweet comment, hope to hear from you again... I put you in my blogroll visit. Continue your creative talent....
Have a great weekend!

KRIS JASPER said...

Those are really, really nice.
Photos in B/W (I like it), and those models are so skinny (I want it. lol).

ken said...

thanks for visited . . .
yeah . . .
it's indonesian flag . . .
red and white . . .

anyway, your photos are cool . . .
did you take it by yourself ?

cheers from indonesia !

the spool artist said...

@lenroenevermore: yes, yohji yamamoto is truly an amazing designer! cheers!

@kris jasper: don't worry, you are already a supermodel... vivien westwood and alexander mcqueen hasn't discovered you just et... you should move to london already!

@ken: yes, i took these photos. cheers!

apartment story said...

Thanks for the feedback! You're photography and ideas are unique; very cool.

Megan said...

beautiful photos, I've linked you!

i.d. said...

I have a theory that creative people are drawn to each other like magnets. :)

the spool artist said...

@apartment story: it was great seeing your site as well! thanks...

@megan: i've linked you too! thanks and cheers!

@i.d. : so true so true! thanks for dropping by!

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