Hollywood loves David Tupaz
Janet Susan R. Nepales, Apr 05, 2006
LOS ANGELES --- Call it sheer luck, immense talent or both, but Filipino American fashion designer David Tupaz has arrived.
Dubbed as coutures 21st century genius, the New York fashionista who transplanted himself in Los Angeles in 1997 because he believes Hollywood should be the couture capital of the U.S., has made his presence felt in Hollywood with his sophisticated, elegant and classic lines from bridal attires to custom made dresses, gowns, handmade veils, beaded bags, shoes and unique jewelry.
It was no less than the late editor of Harpers Bazaar magazine, Liz Tiberis, who encouraged David to be on his own and start his own atelier. You cannot be an assistant forever, she told him.
Convinced by a client to cater to the entertainment industry, he moved to Hollywood in 1997. It was here that he caught the attention of Hollywood sophisticates and celebrities.
Later in 1999, David was commissioned by Japanese director Keiko Ibi to do her gown for Oscars night. Ibi brought home the small guy that night and received the award from Matt Damon and Ben Affleck in an orchid peaux de soie designed by David.
Its said to be one of the evenings most memorable gowns and was dubbed by People magazine as one of the best.
Suddenly other celebrities flocked to Davids door for some of his creations and now he has a full rolodex of Hollywood clients. To name a few, his regulars include Mariel Hemingway, Cheryl Ladd, Goldie Hawn, Jane Wyatt, Christine Baranski, Rain Pryor.
Recently, David collaborated with Filipino designer Rajo Laurel to come up with another winner gown for first Filipina Oscar nominee Pia Clemente when he and Rajo designed a champagne-colored, beaded gown inspired by the Pintado Tribe or Painted Tribe.
In fact, growing up in the Philippines where we were brought up in a traditional Catholic setting, I was taught the good, old values and customs of having strong faith, love for family, respect for elders and the like. Because of his love for the Philippines, he admitted, I always make it a point to stamp the Filipino mark in every creation I make.
When he designed the Pia Clemente gown, David prayed to Saint Anthony de Padua because he is my patron saint. He never lets me down no matter what I ask him. I have introduced Rajo to him so now Rajo also prays to him.
In his recently successful 2006 Fall & Winter collection fashion show held at the Regent Beverly Wilshire, David also showcased the handmade beaded veil exclusively done by the cloistered nuns of the Carmelite Order in the Philippines.
Pias gown for the Oscar night also revealed the intricate beading and embroidery work that the Philippines is well known for and is not common here in the US.
The Philippines always gets bad press whether it be in politics, economy, what-have-you. I believe that the only way to uplift the image of the country is through art and culture and fashion is under that. Through fashion and design, we can showcase the Filipino talent and show to the world what we are capable of doing, he pointed out.
David, who has also done costumes for such television shows as Malcolm in the Middle and Boston Legal, stressed that unlike other Hollywood stars who buy their gowns from the boutiques or borrow from designers, Pias gown is a collaborative effort of two Filipino designers who produced a unique Philippine-inspired gown.
In his recent 2006 Fall & Winter collection which was part of the celebration of the Los Angeles Fashion Week, David displayed clothes for the real women, not the anorexic looking mannequins that you usually see on ramp.
Wearing his Luxe Wear for Fall and Winter, in fact are the so-called Fabulous Housewives who made their fashion ramp debut at the Davids fashion show at the Regent Beverly Wilshire. (Yes, the same hotel where your Pretty Woman Julia Roberts made her presence felt.)
It originally wasnt planned to be that way but when one heard that the other was modeling for me, everybody wanted to join the bandwagon, David revealed.
Comprising the Fab Four are Tonya Thicke (wife of Alan Thicke), Elizabeth Shatner (wife of William Shatner), Cris Jenner (wife of Bruce Jenner) and Tracy Hamilton (wife of Scott Hamilton).
The Hollywood Housewives were, indeed, fabulous as they confidently carried themselves on the ramp for the first time. They all looked great in the ash grey collection of pants and tops, the long dresses accented by beaded shawls, the couture gowns as well as the bustiers and jackets designed by David.
The event, which was divided into five segments, highlighted the classical lines and timeless designs of David who made a name for himself when
According to David, his 2006 Fall & Winter Collection is inspired by the fashion influence on the post-war industrial boom, the days when air travel was a luxury, the birth of the commercial airline, suits and coats, pants and skirts to evening dresses when commercial airline travel was a reason to get dressed in the latest fashions.
The show was divided into five segments: 1) the pants and tops in ash grey matte jersey, 2) the skirts, bustiers and jackets using a stretch viscose material, 3) the ensembles for men and women using a platinum glazed washed denim material, 4) the ensembles for both men and women using denim with a silver sheen finish, and 5) a variety of long dresses in ash grey and black matte jerseys.
The Finale the David Tupaz Bride (modeled by versatile CJ Paredes) was reminiscent of traditional Philippine weddings. It was a peaux de soie bridal gown embellished by embroidered and beaded appliqus with silk florettes.
Making the evening extra special was the attendance of Hollywood celebrities from the Fab Fours husbands Alan Thicke (and son Carter), Scott Hamilton (and son Aidan), Bruce Jenner, William Shatner to singer Jasmine Trias, rocker Mig Ayesa and wife Simone, choreographer Cris Judd, actress-singer Jennifer Paz, actor Dante Basco (who will co-star with Antonio Banderas in Take the Lead), Oscar nominee Pia Clemente, 2005 US Miss World Lizette Diaz, and Grammy Award winner Mariah Carey among others.
So whats next for David Tupaz, we asked.
I am preparing right now for my third haute couture show this year, he disclosed. Following the tradition of the Chambre Syndicate in Paris but with an American approach.
He added, People should realize the importance of fashion as a contributor and a helping hand in nation building.