Bench Brings Young PH Designers to Japan Fashion Week for the Fourth Time

TOKYO – Bench flew three aspiring Filipino designers to Japan to showcase their creations to an international audience at the recently concluded Rakuten Fashion Week Tokyo (RFWT). This marked the brand’s fourth participation at the celebrated biannual fashion event.

Prior to this, Bench has brought nine local designers to Amazon Fashion Week Tokyo (AFWT). They were Carl Jan Cruz, Karen Topacio, Seph Bagasao, Randolph Santos, Jayson Aguilar Glarino, Jennifer Anne Contreras, Sherwin Sacramento, Christian Edward Dalogaog and Renz Reyes.

This year, Bench brought Antonina Abad Amoncio (ANTONINA), Bon Reyes (HANSEN) and Jace Quiambao (JACE QUIAMBAO), winners of the Bench Design Awards 2019. They presented their 2020 spring/summer collections during the “Asian Fashion Meets Tokyo – Philippines” show alongside the country’s leading lifestyle and clothing brand held at Shibuya Hikarie Hall A on Oct. 15.

“I’m happy that from out of the so many Asian countries, tayo na lang ang naiwan – Pilipinas at Indonesia. Siyempre, I look forward sa suporta ng Japan Fashion Week na mapasali pa rin tayo sa mga susunod na taon,” Bench Founder Ben Chan told Filipino-Japanese Journal right after the show.

Bench highlighted the “Filipino Fashion Heritage” by showing inspirations and elements from the national dress: the barong and the Philippine terno, the camisa, saya, and others while taking on a more contemporary approach to appeal to a wider market. - Florenda Corpuz

Bench’s Filipino Fashion Heritage collection (Photo: Din Eugenio)
Antonina’s collection “GUNITA” features an visual interpretation of an 8-year old child as an exploration of Filipino children’s storybooks. She wishes to depict these elements in forms of hand embroideries and prints illustrated by a child. (Photo: Din Eugenio)
Bon Reyes’ “PAGKAHARI” interprets the pre-colonial clothing of the Filipinos that are translated into soft and hard elements of menswear. (Photo: Din Eugenio)
Jace Quiambao’s “A LEPIDOPTERISTS SUMMER” is brought by his fascination of Vladimir Nabokov’s butterfly illustrations and collections. The lepidopterist’s field uniforms inspired the pieces such as twill jackets, shorts, and khaki vests. Garments come in Earth tone suede, juxtaposed with bright colors, oversized silhouettes, and stripes that resemble the veins on the butterfly wings. (Photo: Din Eugenio)

Article cover photo: From left - Ben Chan, Bon Reyes, Jace Quiambao and Antonina Abad Amoncio (Photo: Din Eugenio)