Jude Macasinag’s bold, embellished works a hit at Tatler Ball, Artefino

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A dress of peacock feathers by Jude Macasinag

You can tell Jude Macasinag is a fashion designer. Check out the 18-year-old’s Instagram account, note the details in the photos he takes with his camera, and the posts that show his richly embellished, boldly colorful creations.

If a painter uses paints and brushes, Macasinag has sketches and his chosen medium—fabric.

“I hardly watch TV nowadays but I’ve been catching up on ‘Game of Thrones’ whenever time permits,” says Macasinag when asked what he likes to indulge in. “I think there’s something about the series that’s almost perfect. The actors, the plot… and, of course, the costumes.”

Evening dress with sarimanok detail and “t’nalak” wrap

Lack of style

“I really knew I wanted to be a fashion designer at a young age,” says Macasinag, who pointed out the lack of style among the women he grew up with. Clothes were easy for him to draw—they fired up his imagination so he just kept going.

He started designing at 14. A year later, he signed up in a nationwide ready-to-wear design competition. And that was when he felt things started to become “legit,” he says.

After consulting a local designer to check on his work, he secured a finalist spot in the competition. Eventually, he decided to polish his skills by enrolling in the design course of Slim’s Fashion & Arts School.

Today, Macasinag’s impressive portfolio includes “K’Na”—the piece that highlights the T’Boli tradition of dream weaving was exhibited at the Cultural Center of the Philippines, along with the works of other Grade 10 students of the Philippine High School for the Arts.

Terno fully embellished with 5-centavo coins

He also styles for clients (among them guests at the recent Philippine Tatler Ball). He sold his limited-edition Pearl Bayong at the Artefino Holiday Pop Up Shop in Power Plant Mall, and is a student correspondent of To be You.

To those who aspire to be designers one day, Macasinag says that the world of fashion is not easy, and you would have to know what your role is in fashion to remain relevant in the industry. For starters, have an open mind when it comes to people and ideas.

“You should never forget what and why you are doing what you’re doing and who you are doing it for,” he says. “Most especially, you should never lose yourself—who you really are—because that’s what makes you ‘you’ in an industry of multiple identities.” —CONTRIBUTED

Paint-splattered piña jusi suit jacket

Photography James Lopez
Styling Luis Carlo San Juan
Makeup and Hairstyle Theresa Padin
Model Alaiza Malinao

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