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'America's Next Top Model' to feature gowns of Pinoy designer Francis Libiran

April 24, 2012 6:30pm
On April 25, Americans are going to see their favorite models compete in "America's Next Top Model" wearing gowns designed by Filipino fashion designer Francis Libiran.
Libiran was chosen as a featured designer on one of the show’s episodes, which will be aired on a delayed telecast in the Philippines on April 30.
Photos of the gowns worn by actress Anne Curtis, the model chosen by Libiran, will be shown on the episode, based on the series’ general format. The gowns will be worn by the contestants as part of the episode’s challenge.

From wresting clothes to foxy gowns

In an interview with GMA News Online on Tuesday, Libiran said when the show's Fil-Am producer Michael Carandang phoned him last year about designing clothes, he was overwhelmed and almost had no idea how to begin his work.

Carandang wanted the episode to showcase not only Libiran’s designs but his personality as well.
During the conceptualization stage, Carandang told Libiran to make wrestling clothes inspired by the British and American flags, as the 18th season of the show has been dubbed the “British Invasion.”
Later, receiving another call from Carandang, Libiran was tasked to create “foxy” Hello Kitty-inspired clothes to be worn by Banks.
When the final orders were given, Libiran made 12 heavy gowns with the help of his architect friend for the finalists of the show.
“We had them shipped in big boxes, para lang hindi masira,” Libiran said.
The "Francis element"
On a video posted on the website Noypistuff, Carandang said: “What we’re doing is Francis’ element, the reason why celebrities like to wear him.

“What we’re gonna see is the Francis Libiran that we are aware of,” he added.
It is not the first time for Tyra Banks to tap Libiran and his designs. When he visited one of her show’s shooting locations last year, he personally handed a black-and-gray gown to Banks.
The supermodel was named as one of the “best dressed” attendees in the fourth annual Blossom Ball in New York wearing Libiran’s design.
Four gowns
The video posted on Noypistuff showed Curtis wearing four different gowns made by Libiran.
One was a white nude gown with the top part embellished with beads, stones, and Swarovski crystals.
“It makes you use your imagination. You’re wondering what’s behind all the crystals,” Curtis commented on the gown.
The second was a blue soft silhouette gown, with the silk chiffon material thrown up in the air as it “falls very softly.”
The third was another white nude gown, but with linear details. It has a high neckline and a detailed bottom filled with ruffles. The last one was a gray soft gown.
“Each [gown] has a different character,” Libiran said.
Best in the world
Libiran believes that Filipino designers are among the best in the world, but they lack exposure.
He said the country’s fashion designers are very resourceful in creating something out of simple things around them.
“I’m very honored. I’m so proud to showcase what our talents are,” said Libiran on the video.
He graduated from the University of Santo Tomas with a degree in Architecture. After working in an architectural firm for years, he decided to follow his childhood dream — fashion.

“I just followed my heart,” he said. - VVP/YA, GMA News      
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