Filipina designer launches award-winning collection at Fashion Week San Diego


Filipina artist and 2020 Fashion Week San Diego (FWSD) Top Designer Bea Cruz adds to her recognition the Ashley Nell Tipton Top Designer Award as she launched her latest collection at Fashion Week San Diego in California.

2020 Fashion Week San Diego (FWSD) Top Designer and Benilde Fashion Design and Merchandising alumna Bea Cruz

Labeled Bright Young Things, a nod to the 1920s phrase that means young ones, the 20-piece series encapsulates one of the most glamourous decades in the history of fashion.

Handcrafted soft tulle ensemble with two kilos worth of gold crystal seed beads

The assemblage features silhouettes and heavy sparkling hand-sewn beadworks that mark Cruz’s brand of flair, including a soft tulle ensemble that dons two kilos worth of gold crystal seed beads, glittered organza garbs with shoulder trains, white sequined peplum top, skirts and frocks, godet sequined tulle dress and black gowns with acrylic chain straps, detachable trains, and beaded bust cups, hem tassels and floor-length robe. 

A beaded sheer top with mulberry silk wide-leg pants with chain belt

The line also comes with a sheer top matched with wide-leg pants, a gold dress with a high slit, plus equally sophisticated accents and accessories such as fringed ostrich feathers, mulberry silk scarf, sheer gloves, and chain belts to complete the looks. 

Sequined dress with fringed ostrich hem detail, mulberry silk scarf, and hand-beaded gloves

Through Bright Young Things, Cruz looked back at the dashing era of alluring skirts, feather headbands, rhinestone pieces, long pearls, jazz, and overflowing booze as she dreamed of a brilliant future. 

“It is reminiscent of the time when people, after being struck by the Great War and the world’s deadliest pandemic, the Spanish flu, craved for light, speed, and celebration of life. This is so fitting for what we are battling in the present,” she expounded.

“This collection is about my vision – the kind of life we aspire to take back after the coronavirus,” she added. “I wish this will shed a little ray of hope we can hold on to in these trying times, as we have a lot more roaring centennial years to come.”

Cruz was recognized with the special top emerging designer award named after the guest judge, designer Ashley Nell Tipton, the first plus-sized fashion specialist who triumphed at the prestigious Project Runway series.

Cruz is a 23-year-old designer from Victorias City, Negros Occidental, who honed her creative talent under the Fashion Design and Merchandising Program of the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde School of Design and Arts. 

The artist first turned heads by clinching the Art & Beauty Behind Fashion Team award at the prestigious 14th International Virtual Art Renewal Center (ARC), the largest realism art competition hosted by the premier auction house Sotheby’s New York. She was the youngest and the sole Philippine representative at the event.

Her international debut at the 2020 FWSD likewise bagged the Top Designer title for Vivirá, a 10-piece autumn series that brought a new dimension to the classic baro’t saya, panuelo, and barong.

Cruz likewise brought Philippine craftsmanship back at the 15th ARC Salon Exhibition, wherein she translated the oil and aluminum artwork Bound to Hinderance (2020) by American-Iranian oil and figurative painter and art professor Pegah Semaie into a fully-sequined lace applique she meticulously hand-sewn for 72 hours.


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