Filipino Designers: Architectural Avant Garde


Filipino Designers: Architectural Avant Garde

Photography: Eros Goze; Post Processing: Tom Bolivar; Hair and Make-Up: Jojo Padua and Frankie Melendez; Models: Kylene Ganigan and Darya Kovalenko shot at the Manarat Al Saadiyat, Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi

Distinctive architectural details find new perspectives in these three-dimensional avant garde ensembles inspired by some of the world’s most intriguing contemporary structures.


Operatic ContoursOperatic Contours


The iconic Sydney Opera House is reincarnated in this dress featuring contours constructed with architectural accuracy.  The dress is made with molded rubber sheets and metallic components set on an ivory jacquard brocade fabric.



Sydney, Australia

Designed by Jorn Utzon and completed under the direction of Peter Hall, the Sydney Opera House is one of the world’s most iconic buildings.  Modern expressionist in design, the building’s most significant feature is it roofs – large pre-cast concrete “shells” composed of a section of a sphere with a 75.2 meter radius.  The “shells” set on a monumental podium, are covered in a subtle chevron pattern with 1,056,006 glossy white and matte-cream colored Swedish-made tiles, but appear uniform white from a distance.

Sculptural FreeformSculptural Freeform


From the hem to the bodice, this piece inspired by the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain is a continuous swirling and rising journey from darkness to light. Interpreted in monochromatic tones of black, grey and white, the dress features an asymmetric neckline topped on one shoulder with pure and organic structural form that crown the museum.


Bilbao, Spain

Known as the most important structure of its time, this masterpiece of renowned architect Frank Gehry was probably the most mentioned new building of the late 90’s in architecture circles around the world.  The structure done in free form sculptural style features random curves designed to catch the light.  It’s brilliantly reflective titanium panels resemble fish scales, echoing the organic forms that are common in Gehry’s designs.



Curvilinear Fabrications


Combining different fabrications with both soft and tough textures is this dress based on the Yas Hotel.  Calling to mind the building’s distinctive domes.


Abu Dhabi, UAE

A landmark in the UAE, the Yas Hotel and the accompanying Formula 1 circuit is one of the main attractions of the ambitious developments at Yas Island.  The building, designed by Hani Rashid and Lise Anne Couture, principals of New York based Asymptote Architecture, meant to embody speed and movement juxtaposed with the artistry of and geometries of Islamic arts and details, has as its focal point a 217 meter expanse of curvilinear forms made up of steel and 5,800 pivoting diamond shaped glass panels known as the “Grid Shell.”  The “Grid Shell” which has the effect of an atmospheric-like veil features an amazing lighting system which incorporates video feeds, visible from miles away.

Curvilinear Fabrications


Crystal AggregateCrystal Aggregate


A clean sculptural art piece inspired by the crystal formation design of the Futuroscope of Poitiers, France. The dress features molded metallic organza in gunmetal gray.



Poitiers, France

Futuroscope is a French theme park featuring multimedia, cinematographic and audiovisual packages.  The theme park made up of many pavilions built of glass and metal – modern materials which give the buildings form and texture, as works of art that make the observer stand and stare, is designed by architect Dennis Laming.  Its flagship building Kinemax, is fashioned after rock crystals thrusting out from the ground.  The structure’s 45,750 ft surface area is covered is with 3,000 reflective glass plates.



 Urban Organic


Urban OrganicCut rubber and glass in irregular undulating layers mimic organic forms in this piece inspired by a unique skyscraper slated to punctuate Chongqing, China’s skyline – Urban Forest.  The dress is matched with a voluminous full bias cut cape in metallic fabric embellished with cut mirrors.



Chongqing, China

URBAN FORESTSet to change the skyline of Chongqing, China, Urban Forest is an ambitious project from MAD Architects inspired by Chinese landscapes and traditional hillside villages. The commercial high rise with a distinctively organic form is meant to depict a stacked vertical forest in the heart of the city embodying the designers’ affinity to green and sustainable architecture.  Urban forest features curved, abstract shaped floors which have been layered slightly off-center from one another. Connected by a core cylindrical structure, each level’s interior is protected by full length glass windows with a see-through, wrap around balcony, providing transparency throughout the building, making the floors appear to float on top of one another.



Mesh Construct


The sinewy lines and intricate mesh like façade of Kuala Lumpur’s Sunrise Tower are echoed in this dress which uses both soft and industrial materials. The piece features a plunging neckline bodice made of Montana gray silk taffeta embellished with silver mesh strips and exaggerated hips using boning and industrial hose for the web-like structure.



Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

SUNRISE TOWERDesigned by Zaha Hadid, the Sunrise Tower set for development in Kuala Lumpur is a design concept that blurs the difference between building and landscape, characterized by fluidity between the interior and exterior. The tower body is developed through a performative outer skin that merges programmatic, structural and building envelope requirements. The design integrates natural light, shading, program, access and views, making the component the key operator of the transition between interior and exterior spaces. The building has 66 floors and an absolute height of 280m. The ground lobby is the primary hub of the tower, defining four different dedicated lobbies for residential, hotel, offices and general public.



Body Canopy


Body Canopy BY USHI SATODepicting sensuous curves using metal screens coated with lightweight paper creating asymmetrical waves on the body, this piece is all about movement inspired by The Hotel Marques de Riscal.

Hotel Marques de Riscal

Elciego, Spain

Another Frank Gehry architectural masterpiece the Hotel Marques de Riscal showcases a series of rectilinear elements, clad in sandstone, combined with sweeping panels of gold and pink titanium, and mirror finish stainless steel.  The structure is a former winery transformed into a City of Wine complex, complete with a five-star hotel, spa, museum of viticulture and wine shop.  The building was inspired by the character of the region and its famous vintage.  Hence, the usage of a titanium façade shaped into a ribbon reflecting the colors of the wine Rioja, the silver foil shielding the cork, and the distinctive gold mesh which adorns all Marqués de Riscal bottles.

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Author: Illustrado

From the Middle East to the rest of the world, IllustradoLife shares the stories of Filipinos expats from around the world, providing a global venue championing the world class Filipino. IllustradoLife features articles on fashion and beauty, travel, lifestyle, business, events and other topics of interest to the international Filipino community from its mother publication, Illustrado Magazine.

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