Apples, Tweetie and Marina
Getting in the Louie Mamengo show was chaotic hundreds of people were waiting in line. Even press, some production people had a hard time getting in. But when Anne Curtis was at the entrance the crowd nearly forced itself through the door. There was a huge buzz on the Finale show for L’Oreal and Philippine Fashion week last Sunday, May 16, 2011. The real story is the touching tribute made by Joey Espino for his mentor and friend Louie Mamengo via the fashion show (which I will post and write about soon).
Before the function room at the SMX Convention Centerwas even half full, old videos of Louie Mamengo’s fashion shows were screened. Even though the video quality was poor I found myself and most of the crowd being absorbed by the footage. They were very elaborate fashion shows with huge productions. The models seemed larger than life. It was the era of supermodels where they commanded salaries and even the fame of the biggest movie stars.
I was elated to see Apples Aberin, Tweetie De Leon and Marina Benipayo. I wasn’t as sure about Melanie Marquez (if it was her). The videos were very early in their careers and you could see how they captured the imagination of the public. I was able to shoot those three models in fashion and TV shows, fairly recently. So I was more familiar with their work. Melanie definitely falls into that very exclusive category.
Apples had this innocence about her mixed in with intensity especially with the way she looked into the camera. Nowadays she seems more relaxed and tends to smile more often. Apples has evolved delving into a number of fields apart from modeling. She has become a fashion columnist, editor in chief of a glossy magazine and even a regular judge for Project Runway Philippines.
Tweetie De Leon was very doll faced. There’s more sexiness to her now than before. She became the wet dream of many fans when she went into TV and movie roles. ‘Ok Ka Fairy Ko’ was one of her shows that rated no.1 for many years. Many multinational corporations have sought the face and wholesome image of Tweetie for their brand’s such as Nestle’s Milo. Most recently she endorsed Pond’s Gold Radiance in a huge campaign. She was also co editor in chief with Apples in a glossy magazine. Tweetie has also become an entrepreneur by starting her own jewelry lines: Ice Crystals and TdLG.
Marina Benipayo was always up to the task with the concept of the fashion show even then. She exhibited dance moves in a fast paced theme. And most recently also in Fashion Watch days before Louie Mamengo, Marina modeled for Chris Diaz where she was the star model. She had a light beard as part of the concept and yet her femininity shone through. Her subtle movements were able to deliver a story. She is also a columnist / contributor for Phil. Daily Inquirer in the parenting section. Her PLDT iDD TV commercial plays on this with her as mom. In it, she misinterprets her daughter’s facebook status and raises hell through a phone call.
The similarity between Apples, Tweetie and Marina is that they are undoubtedly even more attractive now than earlier in their careers. There’s more sophistication, strength of character and at the same time a greater ease with who they are as women. The smiles are frequent and more sincere. There seems to be a worldwide trend in getting endorsers from the supermodel era like Claudia Schiffer and Mila Jovovich in L’Oreal’s Revitalift campaign. No wonder we see a lot more of Apples, Tweetie and Marina on magazine covers, billboards and ads.
The music took me back, F.R. David’s ‘Sahara Nights’, Eurythmics’ ‘Sweet Dreams’, Black Box ‘Strike it Up’ and Manhattan Transfer’s ‘Women In Love’ These were songs I listened too on vinyl and even the younger crowd who had never heard of these older songs appreciated them and was impressed with the production value of fashion shows then. The Dawn was the number one Pinoy rock band at around the same time. The coverage of their 25th anniversary concert in Eastwood will be posted here soon too. Joey Espino chose Bruno Mars’ ‘Just the Way You Are’ for Mamengo’s 2011 Philippine Fashion Watch collection. I can’t wait to see the show aired on tv or on video.