Milan-based Pinoy fashion designer wows audience in GermanyBy LUCKY MAE F. QUILAO
A 32-year-old Filipino fashion designer based in Milan has recently amazed Europeans with his creations of long gowns, dresses made of capiz, sigay and paper foils, and barongs with beads and pearls during the "Lange Nacht der Konsulate" (Long Night of the Consulates) at the Philippine Honorary Consulate in Stuttgart.
“A friend of mine who is also part of the organizing team recommended me for the show. They checked my designs and luckily it pushed through,” shared Lionell Christian Lanuzo, speaking about the fashion show organized by the Philippine Honorary Consulate in Stuttgart, the Federal State of Baden-Württemberg, and the Ministry for Justice and Europe Baden-Württemberg last September 25.
Consul General Evelyn Austria-Garcia of the Philippine Consulate General in Frankfurt and Margarita Valdes of the Department of Tourism-Frankfurt, meanwhile, supported the designs.
“I usually use materials and create designs that emphasize myself as being a Pinoy artist,” he added in an interview via Messenger on September 28.
The “bayanihan spirit of all Pinoys” has also helped Lanuzo through.
“I just wanted to represent my country and make her proud. It was all because of the bayanihan atmosphere of all Pinoys. We all took our jobs and we did it the extra mile.”
“As for me, the designer, I wanted to make this one count! I want to let other nations and other countries see our culture, our creativity, and our heritage through my collection. And I think we hit the ball really hard, that we made a double homerun for the event."
Lanuzo did not dream of becoming a fashion designer when he arrived in Italy at 13.
“I usually get asked if I took up fashion design in Milan but they get confused that I took up Chimica Industriale (Chemical Engineering). Always wanted to be a designer but I did not expect it to be with fashion.”
He did not also expect to gain another ground after heading a fashion show in Milan before the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
“But God is a miracle worker. I was actually expecting that the situation will just normalize by next year, as there no events and fashion shows for this year.”
“I just prepared all of my creations and did some more for the other models and God has taken care of the rest.”
To date, almost 4,000 Filipinos reside in Stuttgart, the capital city of the Federal State Baden-Württemberg in the south of Germany.
“As a German national, I am totally amazed at the 'bayanihan' spirit of the Filipinos. All those involved are volunteers -- from the helpers, to the hairstylist, the make-up artist, and everyone else -- and have whole-heartedly given their best and willingly did so with just one common reason: all for the love of the Philippines," disclosed Dr. Axel Neumahr, the PHL Honorary Consul for Baden-Wuerttemberg, in a press statement. —LBG, GMA News