Skip to main content

Loving What I Do

Like any profession, fashion design involves extremely stressful days and endless deadlines. Designing a full collection, you literally die a thousand deaths sketching and editing. Months before my first solo gala, I spent sleepless nights putting on paper ideas and visions that pop out of my bedroom ceiling while I listen to strains of Ryuichi Sakamoto.
Weeks after, the clothes are sewn and fitted to the models. Time was ticking, some ten days before the big day, I needed to edit two suites, everything else turned out as I saw them in my mind.
As I am left alone in my thoughts after a full day of fittings, I am warmed by an immense feeling of gratitude for being able to do what I do, creating beautiful clothes and making people happy.

The best time to sketch was from 12 midnight to 4 in the morning.

I was inspired by my favorite heroines.

First model fittings.

Jackie Aquino is a walking Google box, a trove of knowledge.

Two of my favorite models, Jessica Yang and Anne Barker.

Perfect proportions, Valerie de los Santos and James Zablan.

The Atelier, three nights before the big day.

The stage design was inspired by a quote from Victor Hugo - "Each man should frame life so that at some future hour, fact and his dreaming meet."

Two gentlemen I truly admire who made this dream show happen, Phillip Cu-Unjieng and Raul Manzano.

Real life models, Matteo Cu-Unjieng, EJ Trinidad, Nico Yabut and Rich Lopa.

Many thanks to Chris Lopez for believing in my talent and loving my humor.

Rhiana Matera during dress rehearsals.

The "Jeune Fille" suite, circle skirts, billowy sleeves and perky bows.

The "Sakura" suite, inspired by cherry blossoms and the twists of the Obi sash.

Watching the rehearsals with Raul Manzano and Vic Barba.

I didn't want to just show clothes, I also wanted to tell my story. We did just that through quotes.

"In my parallel Universe, it rains cherry blossoms." 


The pearl encrusted coat.

A dear friend and fellow Francophile Vic Barba offered to be a backstage hand.

Another good friend who offered an extra hand, Tonichi Nocom.

Backstage banter with Angel Agustin and Valerie de los Santos.

Many thanks TRESemme for making us well tressed!

Silk flowers from El Arte Filipino.

Metal cuffs from SM Accessories.

Last minute adjustments on Ria Bolivar's gown.

Bone patent leather pumps from Janylin.

TRESemme ambassador, the Jing Monis!

"JC, are we ready?"

Special thanks to Franco Laurel for the rehearsal and backstage photographs.


  1. Glad to be part of a very good show.Never been part of a show that evoked so much emotion. Take a bow. Bravo JC Buendia!


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Vintage Valera

A couple of years ago, Roselyn Tiangco brought me her mother's Ramon Valera bridal trousseau and asked if we can cut the train and use it for her wedding gown. It was a Philippine terno in ivory satin, with bugle beads cascading down the front like waterfalls and a 5 meter train trimmed with Guipure lace and tons of pearls. I was aghast with the thought - no, I wouldn't dare desecrate a Valera. Roselyn and I agreed not to touch the vintage gown, we collaborated instead on simple Dior inspired gown for her wedding.
Early this year, Roselyn's mom Mrs. Linda Tiangco brought the Valera gown again, this time it would be for her wedding anniversary. The 50 year old gown gown still fits her perfectly but the bodice was already discolored and some parts of the train were moth eaten. Mrs. Tiangco told me to take my time to study the gown and see what I can do with it. For a month or so, I was just looking at the gown on the dress form, hoping Mrs. Tiangco would change her mind and…

The House Of Dr. Luis Santos

Our tour of Malolos continues, from the Cojuangco ancestral house, our gracious host Melecio Cojuangco brought us to the house of Dr. Luis Santos. Mel arranged the visit with one of the heirs of Dr. Santos, George Imperial. From the outside, one would already be in awe of the sheer size of the house. The house was built in 1933, according to the marker by the gate. Upon entering, you will marvel at the grand staircase, the expansive receiving room and the foyer filled with hard bound medical books and mementos of Dr. Santos' career as a well loved doctor in this town. The second floor was something else, as our group slowly ascended the magnificent staircase, my heart literally skipped a beat at the sight of the ceiling mural and Art Deco details. We found out later that the mural was painted by the great Fernando Amorsolo himself. There was a private chapel in honour of Our Lady of Lourdes and a be…

The Cojuangco Ancestral House

Our next journey takes us to a historic town in Bulacan, thirty minutes north of Manila. My road trip buddies, my college friends who all share with me the same fascination for heritage houses were privileged by an invitation from Melecio Cojuangco to visit their ancestral house in Malolos. Mel, his cousin in law Marissa Lopa, Rima Datuin and Evelyn Bautista and I discovered each other's funny bonebecause of our love for the ice cream served in a huge bowl at Peninsula Manila's lobby. One evening, to justify our appetite, we pretended it was my birthday and we had the string quartet play happy birthday for me, from then on, we became good friends. Mel's grandfather, Jose Cojuangco was born at the Malolos house, very near the Barasoain Church. Jose's mother traded rice from Nueva Ecija, sacks transported by boat via the river at the back of the kamalig to Binondo, Manila. Like most turn of the century houses, the Cojuangco house uses piedra china stones for the ground …