Sunday, November 18, 2012


Lifestyle columnist, art patron and accessory designer JUNJUN ABLAZA truly knows how to throw a party in blazing style. He celebrated his birthday last October 24 with a headlining social event-cum-exhibit at The Manila Polo Club attended by Manila's elite, fashion denizens and art lovers.

Junjun's red-themed birthday party was highlighted with a photo exbihit that showcased his creations with Japanese and tribal-inspired artwear & artcessories that ranged from kimonos, obi wraps, feather capes, fur shrugs, chunky necklaces, spectacular headdresses, and other fabulous excesses that make these pieces all together an art form.

"The Emperor's New Clothes" gathered a multitude of visionary photographers and stylists that collaborated in different teams to produce unparalled, almost bizaare images with Ablaza's pieces interpreted in conceptual Japanese style - that included Raizel Dy x Louie Parinas; Ryuji Shiomitsu x Rxandy Capinpin; Jhay Layson x Arvin Cruz; Roko Arceo x Filbert Kung; Mike de Guzman + George Palmiano x Bethoven Filomeno; Rolee Umali x Mark Jacob; Edrick Paz x Sylvester Sy; Louis Gonzalez + John Damagan x Mark Ryan Alvarez; Rob Lim x Ram Mendoza + Arojo Santos; L.A. Feriols x Wesley Villarica; Mica Santos x Alvin John Adriano; Angelo de Cartagena x Christine Day Lorico; Argie Salango x Glenn Peter Perez; Michael Russell Lo Reyes x Michael Franks; Gio Gahol x Jav Velasco.

Unfortunately, my partner Geo and I were not able to personally greet Junjun and attend the event (due to prior work commitments), and lament the fact that we weren't able to see (in flesh) the actual images we worked hard for in larger-than-life print. Good thing though, our photographer Bethoven was there, and hearing from him that there were people who liked our exhibit entries was truly heartwarming enough.

Now, let me share with you all the end products of our labor, and hope you guys like these. We are genuinely proud of these images that may seem a bit controversial - and controversial is quite good. Since our team has limited resources, and wanted to deviate from the pack & create a bit of shock factor, we transformed our game male models into transgendered Japanese dowagers & Mongolian divas. We are thankful to everybody in the team - definitely an awesome job for all!

SNOW MOUNTAIN QUEEN. Model Adriel as a mystical snow goddess. Doesn't he look like actess Daryl Hannah here?
THE ART OF SEDUCTION. Model Jayjay looking like a Yakuza mistress with her tattoed man.

BARBARELLAS. Models Adriel & Jayjay as Mongolian warrior queens.

GENGHIS DIVAS. Another option layout.

Photography: Bethoven Filomeno
Art Direction, Styling & Post-production: Mike de Guzman & George Palmiano (MGP)
Assisted by: Sheila Marie Danipog & Darrell Justin Bautista
Hair & Makeup: Paul Refol
Models: Adriel Berwaldt & Jay Jackson (Elite Manila)

On the other hand, here are some fascinating visuals from several other teams:

Some exhibit sidelights...

The entralling exbihit hall.

 Photographer Betong poses with pride alongside one of our works.

 The celebrant and man of the hour, Junjun Ablaza, with one of our entries.

Congrats Junjun Ablaza and thanks again for inviting us to collaborate for this out-of-the-ordinary project that envisions fashion and art on a daring, upbeat scale.

Check out Ablaza Artwear & Artcessories at Ablaze, G/L Market Market Mall.


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