Friday nights in Riyadh are usually spent relaxing at home or making time for friends and family after a long workweek (weekends in KSA are during Fridays and Saturdays) and it’s very rare that we’d actually glam ourselves up and attend an event. Last Friday, we did. But it wasn’t just any run of the mill event; it was a special runway show hosted by the Riyadh Creative Artists (RCA) as they celebrated their 2nd Year Anniversary…and we had front row seats! The organization’s President, Mr. Norman Cunanan, was also included as one of the 100 Most Influential Filipinos in the Gulf by Illustrado Magazine (The Pink Tarha was #57, woohoo!) and we were honored to have been invited to be a part of their celebration. Also, J’s sister-in-law was one of the featured models so we applied some make-up on, got our hair did’ and slipped on some heels (for me, at least) for a fashionable night ahead.
As we entered the venue, clearly everyone was dressed to the nines. Our stylish and superfly kababayans did not disappoint with glittering evening wear from the ladies and snazzy ensembles from the men. It seems that the circle of friends of RCA are not bound to anything less than the ordinary as their organization is a melting pot of Filipino photographers, stylists, make-up artists, models and up-and-coming fashion designers. In fact, the evening was mainly about showcasing the works of the talented overseas Filipinos here in Saudi Arabia who have designed and crafted their own fashion line, some of them even drove all the way from Al-Khobar just to have their work featured.
We eventually met familiar faces. One of them was Marlon, a kababayan of J and one of the creative forces behind RCA. There were also leaders present from the different photography and entertainment groups like Mr. Gerico Canlapan of Cameraderie, Mr. JP Aleta from The Filipino Channel and Mr. Rannie Basanta of SE Productions. As the red carpet was on full swing, the models, make-up artists and designers were busy hustling backstage for the final preparations before showtime.
They started a little late but managed to kick off with a full house eager to see what the designers had in stored. They started the first set with the works of five Filipino designers mainly featuring casual chic jeans and denim wear that were either studded with crystals, gems and other embellishments that made it pop or cut in various angles to sport the trendy, ripped-jeans look. The upbeat background music and long wait of the audience was rewarded as the models stomped the catwalk with attitude and enthusiasm. Finally, we have a show.
After the first set, we were then treated to a seemingly grim and almost-goth-like vibe by the second collection thanks to the background music but interestingly enough, the designer presented a mix of colors with his pieces.
The rest of the night flowed smoothly from there (granted a few technical glitches with the fog machine and sound system) but the intermission numbers of singing and dancing kept the the audience entertained. I remember thinking to myself that time that, “Well, this certainly isn’t my regular Friday evening.” The succeeding collections featured mostly formal evening wear and I liked one of the sets where it had a full collection of white gowns. Mostly because this little sugar nugget stole the show!
The Filipino, Saudi-based designers who participated in the RCA Fashion Show were the following:
Erwin Aradilla (Collection) (Al-Khobar)
Willie Teoxon (Collection)
R&K Couture (Collection) (R&K stands for Rodolfo Pablo & Kring Deladia)
Ryan Capara (Collection)(Al-Khobar)
Jonas Leo Presas
Ronald Conde (Al-Khobar)
We are more than happy to support you all and congratulations for all the hard work, blood, sweat and tears that have certainly paid off! That includes all the models, make-up artists, production team that made the RCA’s 2nd Anniversary a success. Thank you for inviting us and more power to your organization as you continue to pursue the arts. It was a fabulous, Friday night!