Fashion and art collided once again as Freeway paid tribute to National Artist for Visual Arts, Vicente Manansala, launching its Holiday 2011 Collection dubbed "Freeway x Manansala, National Artist Collectors' Series Holiday 2011" last October 18, 2011 at The Row, Glorietta 5.
Vicente Silva Manansala was a Filipino cubist painter and illustrator who industrialized a new imagery based on the postwar urban experience and drew themes from the indigenous Filipino setting. One of his famous works is Madonna of the Slums, a modern mother and child which reflected the poverty in postwar Manila. Manansala directly influenced his fellow Filipino artists, which is why he was hailed as National Artist of the Philippines in Visual Arts in 1982.
Freeway relives the cubist facets of Manansala's works as they channel the broad geometric forms and shifting and overlapping of planes into their collection. They incorporated the use of color in all its folk vitality, luxurious appeal, and evocative power, just like how Manansala incorporated colors into his art.
Before the main event started, a live painting and sketching exhibit was done by artists from the Kunst Pilipino Group, where guests where treated to their own portraits done on the spot. The main event gathered both fashion and art enthusiasts, press, bloggers, and the family and friends of Manansala. Guests were treated to a mini fashion show showcasing the 22 piece collection composed of classic and modern tailored dresses, woven shirt tops, sublimation print graphic tees, and dresses, Manansala watch, tote bags and accessories, all featuring prints translated from some of Manansala’s famous works such as Madonna of the Slums, and Jeepneys.
Special guests, namely Maritess Mendoza-Pineda, President of Friends of Manansala Foundation, Cedie Lopez-Vargas of the The Lopez Museum and Ronna Manansala, granddaughter of Vicente Manansala, shared their own interesting stories and gave a candid look on the man of the hour. The event was hosted by Tim Yap and Divine Lee, both wearing pieces from the collection.
It was truly a night of fun, fashion, and learning as Freeway once again successfully breathes new life to an important aspect of Filipino culture.