Hello there, Olive Oyl

“THIS presentation is my comeback,” said the designer. And I agree.

I first took notice of Slims Fashion & Arts School alumnus Edgar Buyan after he was selected as one of the finalists of the MEGA Young Designers Awards in 2002. He was the first designer to represent Davao (Melvin Lachica was the first Davao finalist but he represented Cagayan de Oro). His collection was made up of pieces from meticulously patched pieces of distressed square fabrics. It is at close range that one will appreciate the beauty of the craftsmanship.

His talent is that of a creator who picks up retazos and cut out patterns from ukay-ukay finds. He puts it all together to create an artwork— a chic wearable piece.

Fashion shows in Davao were staged far and far between. A few (and the daring) from the city would participate in the Fashion Week slated in Manila. I would say daring because in the prying eyes of the Manila audience, the creations are quickly judged. It can be labeled as good or “basura”. No gray scale.

Edgar Buyan's men in flowers

Edgar, I believe, gets the good reviews. Of his regular Manila Fashion Week entries. It was the 2013 Spring/Summer men’s collection in mixed prints that caught the eyes of magazine editors. The collections were even featured on magazine covers and editorial spreads.

From ramp to glossy. Buyan's 2013 Fashion Week collection landed in the pages of Illustrado magazine's March 2014 issue (From Buyan's FB album)

However, the local market is something to deal with. Clients come first, and they prefer mainstream fashion. They are, after all, the bread and butter of the atelier.

“I have to design for the madams,” he quipped.

The experimental and hip side of Edgar may have taken a back seat, but his signature touch is still evident in the detailing of his clothes.

From interesting pop-up detail and to the more daring ones, a conversation piece, like Kay Gempesaw’s peacock painted Filipino formal in gold.

Kay Gemepsaw wearing Edgar Buyan's terno at the 2013 Hijos de Davao gala

Like any big step anyone has to take, it took him more than 14 years to finally go solo. By now, his client base is already solid.

“They already know my aesthetics. My clients now can deal with my designs,” he said, which means he can go back to his first love.

There was no better avenue than the inaugural show of Fashion Weekend to show the return of the Edgar Buyan aesthetic. Models paraded on the ramp and showcased a well-curated, well-styled from head to toe and well-edited summer collection that was fun, exciting, colorful and very original.

“My muse is Olive Oyl and the collection is ‘geeky chic’.”

"Geeky Chic". Edgar Buyan interprets the Filipiniana with Olive Oyl as her muse

For this, Buyan took to the Filipiniana for inspiration but he modernized it.

“This is to signify that I am a Filipino designer.”

The details were cut out from retazos, which were attached flat or floating on “couture tulle” terno-structured separates.

The result was unique and striking.

“Summer was the show’s theme, so I injected colors. It’s “summer in automn colors,” pertaining to the hues of his separates fashioned from lightweight neoprene pieces.

 Geeky Chic turned bright with a splash of " Summer in Autumn colors"

The look of the story seamlessly transitioned from the modernized and stylish Miss Tapia (that was what I called it) and to the fashionable geeks in multi-colored gear.

For me, it was the fitting finale to the show. It made an impression and a mark. I left the event with a smile.

“This (collection) is the revival of my style. I’m back to my signature look.”

Yes, The Edgar Buyan is defnitely back.

He's back. Buyan takes a bow at the recent Davao Fashioon Weekend (Photo by Pidot Villocino)

P.S. I am looking forward to the Hijos de Davao and see this modern Filipiniana interpretation of Buyan in the ballroom. She would make it on my list for sure.