Her name says it all. Pristine De Guzman, National Winner for the Triumph Inspiration Award 2011, was a clear winner of the competition held last April 13 at Members Only. Pristine’s fresh and original take on this year’s theme, 125 Years of Celebrating Women, was a standout from the lot with a modern 3-piece red velvet stunner. Pristine not only envisioned a woman of beauty and power, who is at the center stage as a winner and a leader with this piece, but also made it come to life by emerging to the top spot.
The other finalists were equally strong contenders for the title as well. First runner up, Stephany Verano, displayed very good craftsmanship and leaned towards a more ethnic appeal with a knitted body suit, that symbolized a woman’s capability to adapt to the changing times, yet never forgetting her true identity.
Nino Angeles, who came in second place, stunned the audience with a sweet avant-garde number. Nino revealed an electrifying but elegant twist to an otherwise classic nude colored bodysuit, which earned him a spot in the finals.
Crowd favorite, Kirby Cruz, bagged the People’s Choice Award, which was only introduced this year, after garnering over 5,000 votes on the Triumph International Philippines facebook fan page account. The fierceness of the whole piece really set the bar higher for presentation and show effect in the history of this competition.
Working hand in hand, for the first time, with the School of Fashion and the Arts (SoFa), Triumph International Philippines is very pleased with this year’s turnout of participants and execution of the concepts, which proved the immense talent even at the grass roots level. Many were amazed and surprised at the staging of the whole show, including Cesca Litton, who hosted the event, as she did not expect such a big production. Triumph International Philippines and SoFa have both to thank Creations Salon, by top hair and make-up artist, Lourd Ramos, for lending its creative expertise and working with the designers and models in enhancing each and every peg from the look book.
Present of course during the event were trade partners and the esteemed panel of judges comprised by some of fashion and design luminaries, that included Rissa Mananquil, Amina Aranaz-Alunan and Dong Umaga-Diaz, joined by 2008 Triumph Inspiration Award National Winner and now fashion designer, Ralph Ng, and Head of Sales & Marketing of Triumph International Philippines, Lorelei de Leon, together with family and friends to support the student designers.
It was a well-deserved win for Pristine De Guzman. Come July, she will be flying to Berlin, Germany where the international finals will be held, during the opening night of the Berlin Fashion Week no less. Now on its 4th consecutive year, the competition is at its biggest with 37 participating countries, and coincidentally marking the 125th anniversary of Triumph International.
Winner or not, to place or not, to be in the midst of winners from around the globe and to be presented with an equal opportunity to showcase your talent not just to an international audience but to a global brand like Triumph International, who has a presence in over 120 countries, is every designer’s dream come true. That experience alone defines your winning moment, which nobody can take away from you.