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A New Contender in Gender Neutral Clothing: Renan Pacson
February 16, 2015
Gender neutral clothing is nothing new for the fashion industry, in fact since the 1980’s, unisex fashion aimed to eliminate the sartorial differences between genders. It is only recently however that the most press has been given to the more gender neutral collections or even the more feminine in menswear. In March 2015 will see the arrival of the Selfridges gender-neutral shopping experience; an ongoing movement which has designers jumping on board including the likes of Vivienne Westwood, J.W Anderson and Richard Nicoll.
A new designer from the Philippines has also joined the movement. Renan Pacson, showing as part of the International Fashion Showcase at London Fashion Week. Knitwear brings texture to a predominately black colour palette, superimposed onto a unisex outerwear silhouette that sandwiches him nicely somewhere in between Rick Owens and Alexander Wang.
We exclusively interview the Filipino designer to find out more about his working process, the fashion houses that have inspired him and his biggest showcase to date: London Fashion Week.
How did you start as a designer and what most inspires you to create?
Coming from a province where fashion design courses were non-existent, I initially took hotel and restaurant management. After finishing that, I learned about clothing technology in UP Diliman and took further studies there, then to SLIM’s. What inspires me to create is actually the whole process of creating, turning your ideas and concepts into tangible wearable pieces.
What can you say is your forte as a designer?
What do you think is your edge over your contemporary designers?
There is no need to compare, as we are all talented individually but working in Dubai for four years in a haute couture shop taught me that nothing is impossible when creating. I had to deliver no matter how high the demands were.
What makes your designs unique?
The devil is in the details. I highly value craftsmanship. Be it just a simple t-shirt, I always try to put a little extra something into it.
Who or what were your greatest influences and why?
Innovative Japanese designers like Yohji Yamamoto and Issey Miyake, Rick Owens for creating a world of his own and Karl Lagerfeld for his inexhaustible work ethics.
As a Filipino designer, what are you bringing that’s new to the London fashion mix?
I always try to incorporate local fibres into my pieces. I usually collaborate with the Philippine Textile Research Institute to create special materials and I continuously look at how I can use these local fibres to turn them into something that could be a part of our daily wardrobe.
How do you think your collection in IFS will promote Philippine talent?
IFS is a global platform and a great venue to tell a story and to showcase our own materials, talents and culture. This is us talking to the world! Brewer Street Car Park where the event is taking place is a powerful venue to promote and tell our own stories.
What excites you most about exhibiting at London Fashion Week?
As a young talent, we always look for venues to showcase our work – and there is no better place to have the world looking at your work and hearing what you have to tell than London. IFS is such an exciting platform for emerging talents as it is breaking down barriers by putting different countries under one roof, with the world as our audience.
The International Fashion Showcase is taking place from the 20th to the 24th of February 2015 from 10:00am to 6:00pm at the Brewer Street Car Park, Brewer Street, London W1F 0LA. It is open to trade, as well as to the public.