Ilongga designer brings ‘Gugma’ to Paris runway

A relatively newbie Ilongga designer brought honor and pride to Iloilo as she showcased her amazing creations in the fashion capital of the world, Paris.

Audrey Rose Dusaran-Albason, 32, was the only Filipino designer who participated in Paris leg of runway shows by Oxford Fashion Studio (OFS), a creative outfit which also produces shows in key fashion cities like New York, London and Oxford.

Coinciding with Paris Fashion Week, the Oxford Fashion Show brought into the City of Lights 20 independent, extraordinary designers from around the world to showcase their collections in the exclusive event at HÔTEL D’EVREUX, Place Vendôme.

Albason’s atelier creates silhouettes which are very feminine, featuring handcrafted details and embellishments. Her designs apparently caught the attention of OFS and prompted them to send her invitation to be part of the Paris show.

Albason presented in the runway her ‘Gugma’ Collection, a selection of dresses “inspired by the natural landscape of the Visayan islands- filled to the brim with beaches, rivers, lakes, waterfalls, hot springs and other topographical treasures along with its abundance of unique flora and fauna.”

GUGMA Collection: Dark gray tulle dress with lace and fused tulle applique, headband with feathers.

She decided to name it as such in homage to her roots in Visayas, which she thinks is ‘underrepresented’.

“Culturally, when people refer to the Philippines, there’s nothing more recognizable than Manila and Tagalog. But I think the other lesser known Philippine dialects are just as beautiful and just as expressive,” she explained in her blog.

GUGMA Collection: Light peach full lace dress with fused tulle applique, and skull cap.

Gorgeous muses sashayed her masterpieces infused with individually handcrafted accents of beads and laces shaped to look like local Anahaw, Ilang-ilang and bamboo.

GUGMA Collection: Nude tulle crop top with handcrafted fused tulle applique; silk gazaar sleeveless coat with beaded tulle applique; silk gazaar light gray pants;  headband with feathers.

One of the dresses in the show was featured in the influential fashion and lifestyle magazine Vogue.

Albason started her professional career in a different field. A graduate of Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Central Philippine University (CPU), she worked for a few years as a registered nurse.

She then decided to shift gears and pursue her dreams in the fashion industry by studying at the Fashion Institute of the Philippines. Not long after, she founded her brand Atelier Audrey Dusaran-Albason which “speaks to the modern woman in a contrasting medley of the classic and the contemporary, and celebrates femininity in all shapes and forms.”

I got to personally know Audrey while she was reviewing for US licensure exam for nurses in the center that I worked in. She was nicknamed ‘Smol’ by her friends then, maybe in reference to her height.

She is one cool and jolly fellow then, and super talented. She used to write poetry, and blog too. Definitely someone with big dreams.

I’m pretty sure that the whole Ilonggo nation is very happy and proud that Smol Audrey pursued her big dreams in the fashion industry, and aced it in Paris! [Photo credits: www.audreyalbason.com and Oxford Fashion Studio]

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Just another blogger and social media advocate from the City of Love! You may also follow me on Twitter @nonoy and Instagram @nonoynet. Thanks for being here, and see you around!

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