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Renan Pacson showcases post-apocalyptic collection ‘First Ball’

Renan Pacson showcases post-apocalyptic collection ‘First Ball’

For Panasonic Manila Fashion Festival, the designer unveils fashion in year 2835

For Renan Pacson’s Panasonic Manila Fashion Festival (PMFF) season 12 presentation, the designer tells a story about a worldwide destruction that happens 814 years from now. Although talking about the future, Renan uses sentimental elements that are essential in the creation of his collection. 

“First Ball,” the designer’s collection title, features a script of the first party after a major glitch that causes a disastrous event. “I want you to feel the excitement, the hope, the energy of preparing for your first music festival. Think Coachella, but year 2835, post apocalypse but campy,” says the designer. 

Aside from the Coachella reference, another dance allusion comes into perspective with the mention of Sexbomb Girls for his design description. Renan shares how the girl group has inspired him as a child. 

“In my head, only a copy of Sexbomb Girls cd survived and the only available music in the year 2835,” he says. “Sexbomb Girls came into the picture while having a conversation with some childhood friends. I literally grew up watching them every afternoon, so I threw away my pseudo-intellectual initial inspiration and just went ahead with something that makes me smile.” 

With PMFF highlighting sustainable fashion this season, Renan makes use of repurposed textiles for his collection which played a fundamental part in the vision of the “First Ball.” Fearsome but exciting, nostalgic yet futuristic, this is what Renan’s collection puts forward. 

Does the pandemic play a part in the inspiration?

For sure! That’s how the collection started. But beyond the fear and anxieties, the message of the collection is hopeful and optimistic.

How is the new normal for you and how did it affect the design process for your new collection?

Slower pace, mindful production, lots of introspection. For this collection I was driven by emotion rather than by a particular fabric or color. With lots of time in my hand, I rediscovered childhood memories which led to re-awakening of some of my forgotten favorites, case in point, Sexbomb Girls.

What can we expect from the collection?

Lots of skin. Push and pull; physics and prayers to make the pieces of fabrics stay in place. Dangerous cut-outs. Perhaps, men in dresses. 

What are the key pieces?

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The “Glitch” pants as it’s very Y2K. Because of the glitch in the system, it came out again in the year 2835. It’s drawstring pants with extra wide legs (aka elephant pants). The “Jopay” top and the LLOBB drawstring skirt.

Tell us about the color palette, materials, technique you used on this collection.

Being more mindful with my production, I decided to use dead-stock materials and scrap fabrics instead of purchasing new ones. A lot of repurposed and reused items were also utilized. 

In constructing the pieces, I had to somehow unlearn the rules of basic sewing because I wanted my head to be in that moment days before the “First Ball.” I got an important party to attend to so lots of knotting and tying and haphazard draping with zero sewing skills. I bleached and weathered some of the pieces. Even the beadwork looks like it went through tough times. 

More than color palette and materials, the whole collection was dictated by that state of mind and feeling of going out for the first time after a very long time. That joyful, happy feeling to be out in the world again.

Catch Renan Pacson’s “First Ball” on June 3, 2021, 6 p.m. at

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