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Starcom MediaVest Group dominates ETC’s Agency Runway, the first ever on-ground design competition among media agencies to hype up Project Runway Philippines, Season 4. BY MARA MIANO PHOTOS BY PATRICK SEGOVIA


ou know the drill: The most dedicated forces always win the war. It took a little bit of bleach and a lot of hunger to win for Earl Angeles, Jaja Funtanilla, Patty de Chavez, Ysh Igdanes, and Ysa Mercader to bag the first prize of this year’s Agency Runway. Pitted against equally competitive young guns from the country’s top media agencies, the group was tasked to work around a set of provided materials, a tight timeframe and the straddle between balancing this contest with their hectic day jobs (they work in Media Planning and Buying for Starcom Mediavest Group Phils, Inc.), to come up with a final product they can present to Agency Runway’s premier set of fashion critics that included supermodel Tweetie de Leon, fashion mogul Rajo Laurel, top model and PR star Apples Aberin, and design luminary Jojie Lloren. “Our approach to this was to play it smart,” says de Chavez. “It’s a design competition, but the more important aspect of it was that it was a competition.” Weeks before the deadline, the team did their research: who the judges were gonna be, how their aesthetics differ, and what designs they were looking for. They also watched various episodes of Project Runway Philippines. “We learned from doing research that the judges liked avantgarde as long as they were wearable, so that was the direction we went for,” adds Angeles. But the challenge with avant-garde concepts is, as easy it is to let the ideas flow when conceptualizing, it is more often than not grueling to execute. The team had to keep in mind their lack of technical skill in garment-making. “We had to draw the line between creativity and practicality. No matter how grand our visions were, the concept had to be doable. We knew we had to come up with a gimmick,” Igdanes says. Funtanilla, whose comic role in the model gender-switch was to play the male, explains that at the beginning, the only fabrics provided for the team were military green, bright pink, and bright yellow,” she shares. “We knew it was difficult to put these colors together, so we decided to get creative and use bleach.” Together, the team applied bleach on the green fabric with a paintbrush, in different concentrations. Then, they deconstructed the denim pants provided by the sponsors to add texture. To maximize the vertical space of the runway, they decided to design the ensembles with long, flowy trains. Finally, the team asserted that the presentation of their designs should be as striking as the execution. All members claim they owe much to Angeles, who mustered the courage to walk down the runway cross-dressed on national TV. Igdanes shares, “They kept telling us he was everyone’s favorite model of the night. He got called in after the show wrapped up, and was called out to do walk-off with [Apples Aberin.] It engaged the audience, and I think it contributed a lot to our victory.”


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PATTY DE CHAVEZ, 24 Tactic of choice: Be knowledgeable.

YSH IGDANES, 24 Tactic of choice: Use your resources wisely.

“In every competition, even in design, you have to play it smart. The team did their research. We asked who the judges were going to be, what they were looking for, and what aesthetic they inclined toward. We also watched previous episodes of Project Runway Philippines. Throughout the show, we edited and re-edited based on our research.”

“We had to maximize the materials to produce something different from the opponent teams’ designs. We bleached the fabric, we cut out two pairs of pants and made it into a jacket, and we opted not to use some of the garments. Almost all of the opponent teams used the materials as is. That’s what gave us our edge.”

YSA MERCADER, 21 Tactic of choice: Teamwork “Everyone contributed to the making of the dress. From the deconstruction of the potholders to the bleaching of the dress, all the members were there to help. It was a collaborative effort and everyone had a say.”

9/22/2014 12:01:26 PM

Scout: 2014 September  
Scout: 2014 September  

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