Dubai-based Filipino designer Albert Andrada capped the Chinese New Year celebration at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza Hotel on February 10 with a special fashion show.
Andrada brought out his “Orient Express” collection, an elegant set of couture dresses and tuxedos inspired by the blue and white colors of Chinese porcelain.
“I [looked up] the materials that’s used in Chinese porcelain and try to copy them and put them on dresses,” Andrada said in an interview with PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal).
Andrada chose to use fabrics such as tulle, chiffon, and silk for the collections.
“I also put elements like Swarovski crystals and beads,” he added.
For over a decade, Andrada has worked in the Middle East as a fashion designer for royal clients.
Once he served as the head designer of the royal family of Fujairah, one of the seven members of the United Arab Emirates.
He has earned several accolades for his works over time, among them, Designer of the Year at the 2002 Swarovski Bridal Show held in Dubai.
Today, Andrada brings his talent back to Philippine shores and is set on establishing his first shop in Manila.
“I’ll be opening my first shop in Greenbelt 5 soon, and I’ll be releasing my summer collection, which is mostly in pastels and whites.”
Andrada says he decided to bring his work home because, “For me, I want opulent dresses.
"I want to introduce it here in the Philippines, because women in the Middle East, they really love opulent dresses.
“They like it more when there are more crystals, more jewels in the design, and I know Filipinos also love to wear dresses that are very opulent, so I want to bring that.”
Albert is quite used to incorporating luxurious and costly elements to his designs, such as crystals and precious stones— most of them imported from different countries.
But he says, “That’s also why I came back to the Philippines to do some research.
“I’m sourcing local fabrics here also because it has to be my heritage first.”
Albert has long-term plans to export Filipino products that may be used in producing fashion products abroad.
“I want to research more on the Filipino fabrics and other materials, which I can bring abroad also,” he explained.
Albert was also vocal in saying that he would like to work with more local celebrities soon, especially now that he has become more accessible to Filipino clients.
Asked who he wants to collaborate with, Albert mentions the names of Anne Curtis, Georgina Wilson, and Heart Evangelista.
"I really like Heart Evangelista... very beautiful face.
“There are so many beautiful actresses here in the Philippines.
“But top of my mind right now, maybe Dawn Zulueta.”