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Travel the world through clothing with Yong Davalos’ ‘Destino’ collection

The Filipino designer creates a stylish itinerary no fashionista would want to miss

If you ask anyone what they would like to do now, many would definitely want to escape: to go on a road trip, see new places, bask under the sun, dive into blue waters, and be on top of a mountain and see a sea of clouds. That would be a dream right now, just to have a chance to reset and refresh. Sadly, even though traveling to some domestic destinations is already allowed in our current pandemic setup, many aren’t keen on stepping out of their home as cases of people acquiring the virus continue to rise, the main reason for many’s travel frustration.

Experiencing the same sentiment is Yong Davalos. As a Filipino designer, going out and experiencing new cultures is a big part of her creative process. It allows her to imagine more and, eventually, craft pieces that mirror the excitement she felt whenever she was in a new place. Showcasing joy through clothes has been a hallmark for the designer. We’ve seen it on how she channeled the “Mean Girls” movie and Paris Hilton in her fall-winter 2019 collection “Wednesday,” and the citrusy fruit fest that was her “Summer Capital” line. And after crafting PPEs for medical frontliners, the designer yet again offers fun to the Filipino closet with her latest resort collection “Destino.”

With pieces named after international destinations, this collection will definitely tickle the wanderer in you, or, at the very least, make you want to bring that sense of wanderlust to your leisurewear closet. Bold and never afraid of colors and prints, Yong chats with Manila Bulletin Lifestyle as she dishes out more of the thought behind the collection, how the pandemic influenced her design process, and the initiative embedded in the line’s every piece.

What is the story behind ‘Destino’? What is the inspiration for it?

“Destino” is a collection born out of my frustrations of not being able to travel due to the global pandemic. We haven’t opened for the public since the pandemic broke out but our operations are still ongoing for our different brands. Given the longest lockdown in the world, the wanderlust in me decided that it’s time to get something out of this exasperation. And came “Destino,” a collection inspired by traveling vicariously through clothing.

Acapulco mini dress

With its fun colors and prints and playful silhouettes, the collection really makes everyone dream of future travels. Is that part of your goal?

Indeed! My team and I have come up with designs that someone can easily wear to different destinations. Our pieces are also very travel-friendly, something you can mix and match, have multi-wear designs, and something easy to squeeze in your luggage!

What are the materials you used for the collection?

We decided that since our company champions sustainability, we gave new life to deadstock fabrics for most of the collection. A lot of the materials used were one-of-a-kind prints, excess fabrics from different fashion brands, and are sourced from different warehouses with discontinued and unclaimed textiles from different garments companies and fashion brands. Our initiative is to create pieces from existing unwanted supplies with designs that you can keep in your closet for as long as you can. We used fabrics such as micro pleated chiffons, cotton-blend linens, poplin, among others.

Bombay top and Marrakesh skirt; Berlin top and Cairo pants

Did the pandemic, in any way, affect your creative/design process?

Yong Studio was not operational for over a year as we were focusing on other RTW brands that were thriving in these trying times. We were very fortunate that one of our brands kept us afloat and made me realize that the only way to sustain a brand in this pandemic is to become more inclusive and have pieces that are priced reasonably. It has affected my design process drastically because I would always put the consumers first, what they want, before what I want to showcase. We value the voices of our consumers even more and it has influenced our creative process in the company.

Moscow dress

How long have you been designing and what motivated you to pursue fashion designing?

I started my design journey as a student back in 2010. Right after finishing my course, I designed for retail brands before I finally launched my own in 2016. Fashion has been my life for the last 10 years and it’s something that doesn’t really require a lot of motivation for me. I love what I do and I love being able to provide jobs through the thing that makes me fulfilled as a professional.

Verona top and Venezia midi skirt

Let’s imagine that it is now safe to travel, where would you go first, local or international?

Ahh! So many! I already have a list. On top of my head, I would love to go back to Italy and a place in the south of Thailand called Koh Tao. These places I frequently visited to feed my soul. I have also been planning a visit to Maasai Mara in Kenya even before the pandemic broke out and, hopefully, I’ll be able to do so next year.

Check out more of the collection @yong.studio on Instagram.

Photo credits

Photographer: Josh Tolentino

Makeup: Jeff De Guzman

Hair: Jay Wee

Set Design: Yong Studio Team

Styling and Creative Direction: Yong Davalos

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Credit belongs to : www.mb.com.ph

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