Brasilipinas: Rio de Manila 2011

About three weeks ago during my fashion product development class, we were assigned a huge project- designing a garment and finding a model to model it for the Brasilipinas 2011 fashion show. It’s held annually by the Embassy of Brazil in the Philippines. This served as our midterm as well. I was a little worried since I had to find a sewer (which I have no experience with at all since there aren’t really sewers like they do here in the States) and we had to find someone to model, which I’ve never done either and this all had to be done in two weeks. 

We had two themes to choose from: “Wild Flower” with colors fushia, magenta, olive green, gold, violet, red orange, and orange, or, “Tribal” with animal print and colors like black, gray, and other dark colors. I chose Wild Flower obviously since it was more my style because I’m a sucker for colors. 

Here’s a quick sketch (KEYWORD QUICK! like I just did it right now for this post because I lost my original) of my design I wanted. A one shouldered chiffon top with hand painted brush strokes with all the colors. Two layers with tulle in between for a full, voluminous look and a violet skirt. I was going for a Sex in the City/Rebecca Bloomwood feel. I also decided to take the challenge of hand painting my design because everyone was using printed fabrics, and in the end, me and one other girl were the only ones that hand painted.

I started to ask around for sewers/models immediately. I asked my sewing teacher, Miss Loida, and she said yes! Then I asked my auntie and uncle’s co-worker’s daughter if she wanted to model for me, and she agreed! Definitely a relieving moment for me after finding these two. 

Picture time! Sorry if some are bad quality :/ Someone buy me a cool camera like everyone else’s!!!

(1) I started to find supplies at National Bookstore for my fabric. I bought textile paint and acrylic paint. (2) The table in my Lolo/Lola’s kitchen that I used as my work station.

(3) I decided to do leaves instead of the brush strokes for the more Brazil look— but apparently they looked like arrows. (4) Finished product- hand painted chiffon. It took me about two days to complete.

So as the days went on, I met with my model to give her the details about the garment and the show and to take her measurements. I also gave Miss Loida my fabric so she could start sewing the blouse. I was sewing the skirt myself. The skirt was a little hassle just because I didn’t visualize it very well in my head since I was more focused on my blouse. I started to make a skirt that had a bow in the front with gathering but then I realized it would be too much with the ruffles and tulle from the blouse. So I made a regular skirt with nothing too “maarte” (cute/girly) to give focus more on the blouse. After everything was finished and the final model fitting was done, I turned in my garment the Monday before the show.

On Wednesday night during my fashion product development class, the teachers were going over the line up with all the garments in hand, choosing the order and the groupings of all of them. They called my name and wanted to talk about my garment. Apparently, because it was hand painted, the colors weren’t as visual as the printed fabrics especially with the white chiffon. They told me that it had to be fixed and my other sewing teacher was going to do it and start on it that night and I could pick it up from his shop either Thursday or Friday morning (note: the show was on Friday and I had to be there at noon!) They asked me if that was okay, and I couldn’t exactly say no…so I agreed. Definitely disappointing. Especially since I didn’t really know what was going to be altered and I was stressing since I didn’t know where the shop was, how to get there, and that it was only a few hours before the rehearsal for me to pick it up. 


Friday was the day. The big day of my first show and all the new experiences I knew I’d be encountering. The family driver wasn’t available so my model and I had to take a taxi all the way to the shop- so scary! I mean, we both don’t speak/understand Tagalog and I had no idea where the shop was. So we took a taxi, directed him with the blurry directions we had. We finally reached the area and had to stop around and ask people where a certain street was- and let me just say…you know the driver’s irritated when he’s talking to himself really fast and doing the tongue clicking noise which I absolutely hate. Elisa and I couldn’t help but laugh though, we’re so not used to it! We finally reached the pink store. Find store- check. 

We got to the store and was told that the garment would take 30 minutes more to finish. I was supposed to go back to SoFA after the shop because I had to turn in my fashion illustration midterm but I was running out of time, but thankfully he talked to my fillus teacher so I didn’t have to worry about that. Once the blouse was done, he discussed what he did and why. In a fashion show, your garment has to be visually attractive from every angle of the room, near or far. Lesson learned. We then left the shop and headed to Rockwell tent. Get garment- check. 

(5) The front view. The black was added to partner with the model going before mine which was black, violet, and pink. It definitely wasn’t what I was going for- but for the sake of a fashion show, you gotta do what you gotta do. (6) Back view. Oh, hey there Ke$ha. 

We got there pretty late because of all the hold backs and whatnot. I had even more little problems to deal with such as having the wrong shoes since the garment was altered. Thankfully a classmate had an extra pair of black shoes that fit my model perfectly. Thank God.

(7) The venue of the event= Rockwell Tent at PowerPlant Mall. (8) The havaianas stall which was a sponser for Brasilipinas. My model and I get free slippers- yehey!

(9) All the garments for the show. (10) There’s mine!

(11) Elisa getting her make up done. (12) Getting her hair done. It was super fun watching her getting all ready by professionals. She’s never experienced something like that and it was my first fashion show so we were both newbies together! People thought she was my cousin though…or asked me if she was Brazilian. “Um…no.”

(13) Make up, make up, make up. (14) Eyeshadow palette. It looks like my Coastal Scents 88 palette!

(15) A peg for makeup direction. (16) More makeup. Mac ❤

(17) What a transformation! (18) Completed outfit.

(19) Other models of the show.

(20) Designer Ingrid, models Jan and Asia, and classmate Rafa.

(21) More models! 🙂

(22) Hair and makeup room. Getting last minute things done before the show!

Go Elisa!

Yay we did it!

I took some video footage too! Check it out! 

Brasilipinas 2011: School of Fashion and the Arts Fashion Show

SO overall, it was a great first experience. Even though nothing went perfectly, which I didn’t expect to anyways, I’d say my first fashion show was a success. First of all, actually, why am I saying nothing went perfectly? Nothing goes perfectly during a fashion show! All those “freak-out” moments are what makes this industry and the fashion shows so thrilling. It’s those tiny adrenaline rushes that really complete everything. 

This was also a new experience for me performance wise in the sense that as I watched my model walk the runway, I was excited that was my garment up there. In dance, I’m the one performing and having that adrenaline rush of dancing and having the pressures of going full out and not making mistakes. But during the show, I had to depend on someone else to perform for me- my model. It’s a duet in a way just a solo visually. It was a new rush for me which I liked, too. I still got that feel of the stage and flashing lights and an audience, but it was all on the clothes and the creations of the students. It was really beautiful.

What have I learned from my first show? Well…

  1. Make sure you have a clear vision of what you want your garment to look, from the fabric, to the designs and colors on the fabric.
  2. The process of a sewer and model: making sure the sewer is clear on how you want your garment to look and being clear towards your model as well. They’re basically depending on you. 
  3. How to take a taxi to Pasig…hahaha.
  4. Your garment has to look great from everywhere during the show.
  5. Be prepared for anything. 

Thank you Lord for this opportunity. Your strength alone strengthened me through everything, big and small, during those weeks. You’re amazing!

Author: fashion meets God

Christ ambassador and faith & fashion blogger at

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