For My Angel,
Written and photographed
By Jude Thaddeus L. Bautista
French Photographer Romain Rivierre has recently emigrated here and attests that the “Philippines is a beautiful country with beautiful people. And I just don’t mean physical.” Rivierre was hired by colleague and director Henri De Lorme as the official photographer for Project Runway Philippines Season 3. The show or PRP will be airing on March 25, 2012 on the ETC channel.
Rivierre worked as photographer in Paris for 12 years. When he arrived here 3 years ago he met and fell in love with artist and painter Tanya Escaler. They are now married and have been blessed with son Rock who is 4 months old.
Among his compatriots here he admires environmentalist and Jewelmer Managing director Jacques Branellec who was awarded the Legion D’Honneur last month here in Manila. “He accomplished his dream the same time he respects nature, he respects people. And he is also able to promote the Philippines with the quality of what this country can make. I’m referring to the human side, to the historical, cultural aspects. He is the best representative of French Filipino exchange of culture. He is the best example of French citizens and how the alliance with another country’s give and take.”
Rivierre admires the art scene in the Phil., “What I like here in the Phil. is also the media and artistic culture. I have a feeling that I am able to witness the beginning of a lot of good things creatively. The underground artistic scene is very interesting.” In terms of fashion he sees a lot of imagination here, unlike in Paris where sometimes “big fashion companies” can stifle creativity.
Henri DeLorme met his wife Delphine while the two were working in French television. At the same time Delphine was an artist and painter while maintaining her career. Now she has also delved into furniture design and has a growing business in Cebu. She loves the Philippines so much that one of her favorite subjects is Filipino Icon Manny Pacquiao.
Rivierre believes that Project Runway is one of the ways that young Filipino designers can be discovered. The winner of this season will receive P500,000 (or more), a feature on Mega magazine, a start-up business package, a short-term fashion design course at a “top European design school,” and a four-year scholarship at Asian Institute of Fashion, which includes a two-month apprenticeship with its faculty of top fashion designers. This season, Solar Entertainment collaborates with Models Association of the Philippines and Asian Institute of Fashion
Both the US and local versions of Project Runway have built a large following. It is very similar to a number of reality competitions where each episode whittles down a field of 12 each episode. The final challenge is left down to 3 contestants. Every week, each non-finale challenge requires the designers to develop one or several pieces of new clothing to be presented at a runway show. The challenges range from creative diversity to test the designers’ ingenuity while maintaining their personal design aesthetic.