Oliver Tolentino – 1st Filipino designer to showcase his unique creations at the Vienna Fashion Week

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Around 500 spectators, a number of them Filipinos living in Vienna were amazed by the magnificent designs of Oliver Tolentino, the first Filipino designer to participate and present his creations at the Vienna Fashion Week, held at the MuseumsQuartier (MQ) Vienna.

“It’s a dream come true; I’ve always wanted to show my fashion in Europe, “Oliver Tolentino mentioned in one of the interviews conducted by the organizers of the Vienna Fashion Week.

Born in Bataan province, fashion designer Oliver Tolentino became the first Philippines-based designer to expand to the United States when he opened a Los Angeles boutique on Melrose Avenue in 2009.

Eco-friendly materials have become an essential part of Oliver’s fashion sense, and he promotes his native country’s fabrics internationally by including them in his collections. The Opening Gown presented by Oliver at the Vienna Fashion Week is made of Abaca, saluyot, water lily, and pineapple leaf fibers. 

“These fabrics represent the Philippines. Who is the one who would use these fabrics? Filipino designers should introduce these to the world market, “Oliver Tolentino said.

Oliver is happy to present his fashion designs in Vienna. He is even more pleased to meet his fellow compatriots here.

“It is so nice to be here in Austria. Finally, nakapag-fashion show na rin ako dito sa Europe. This is for our kababayans, and thank you for giving me this opportunity to do the Fashion show here at the Museums Quartier. It is my pleasure and privilege to be here, especially since I can meet some of our “kababayans “here. The acceptance of our collections is unique, “Oliver said in an interview with Ms. Marizel Rojas.

Oliver did not expect a fully booked fashion show.

„Natutuwa ako dahil hindi di ko akalain na mapupuno ang buong place. There are around 500 people who watched this fashion show. And I am thankful for this oppotunity at sana madagdagan pa ulit ang ating show para at least mapakita natin sa buong mundo ang galing ng Fiipino sa pagdidisenyo ng damit.

Oliver with Embassy officials and Filipino Community leaders

Bong Segura, a Filipino Community leader in Vienna, is very proud to share that Tolentino was the one who designed the preliminary gown of Pia Wurtzbach, who eventually won the Miss Universe in 2015.

“All the designs and materials are exquisite. I am so happy and proud to witness this event, “contended Minnie Cruz Langer, an active Filipino leader in the field of cultural events.

“It was beautiful, thank you so much; it was great – a perfect night, greetings from Vienna, “an Austrian guest commented.

Charge d’Affaires Irene Susan Natividad is proud to see a Filipino in the prestigious Vienna Fashion week.

“Congratulations to Oliver. It was a fantastic show. Your creations are all wonderful. We are proud that you are the first Filipino to be featured here at the Vienna Fashion Week. We are proud of you. Congratulations,“ Natividad said.

Oliver wants to impart an important message to upcoming  Pinoy Fashion designers.

„To the upcoming designers they  should develop their talent.  We are perfect representative of our country when it comes to designing clothes. Habang bata pa tayo ay kailangan nating matutunang mabuti lahat kung paano gumawa ng proper clothing kasi malaki ang competition sa buong mundo  when it comes to designing clothes.You should prepare yourself para sa susunod na show ay kayo naman,“ added Tolentino.

About working with the 36 models

“You know this Fashion Week is well organized. I had no problem choosing the models because they had almost 150 models to choose from. I wanted to get them all. They are perfect for the clothes; you can see the collections, how they put them together, the colors, and the models wearing them. I am very thankful to the organizer of this event, the Vienna Fashion Week 2022, “Tolentino contended.

Tolentino also wished to have Filipino models in his program. But because of the short period, he could not find Filipina models. Nevertheless, he hopes he will be again given a chance to present his designs here and would be glad to work with Filipina models from Austria.

A glimpse of his following events

“I hope I can do more of this because this will represent our country, and I want to put the Philippines on the fashion map. As a Filipino designer, I am so proud to be a Filipino, and this is also for our countrymen, “Oliver Tolentino said.

  • hector pascua/pictures: Randy Ilagan, Francis Semana, Zandrine Kocjan, Interviews conducted by Marizel Rojas
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