By Kathy "Purr" Villalon

It is every artist’s desire to have a venue for creative expression and Robinsons Place Iloilo makes this possible through its artsy projects.
One of these is the Robinsons Design Lab, which is now on its fifth year.
The Robinsons Design Lab is a three-month competition among young fashion designers. Every month, the designers face a common challenge.
This year’s grand winner is Paul Conte. The other winners were Archie Concepcion, first runner-up; and Reynan Donguines, second runner-up.
Their final challenge was “New Minimalist.” The designers were asked to design clothes based on the said theme and for a budget of only P300.

The judges were celebrated and renowned designer Randy Ortiz, Project Runway Philippines Season One Grand Winner Aries Lagat as well as Editor and Surface Magazine Contributor Jae de Veyra Pickrell.
Ortiz had good things to say about Conte’s collection, which was in gray and black. “I love the color. It’s a favourite color for the coming holidays,” he told Conte, who revealed that his inspiration was Lady Gaga.
“Your collection is very strong. Your use of the fabric exudes a sporty look,” he added.
However, Ortiz noticed a slight deviation in Conte’s last piece, a gown that had drapings. De Veyra noticed the same, too. Ortiz said that Conte could have made a longer version of the first dress in the collection instead of using drapings.
On the other hand, this is what Lagat has to say: “I like your collection and it follows the concept of minimalism. It’s not easy to combine stretchy and leather fabrics.”
Meanwhile, Concepcion’s collection was inspired by a bird cage while Donguines used staple wires to put the materials together.

Each winner received a cash prize. As part of the perks of being finalists, they will be given priority in future fashion events of Robinsons Place Iloilo.*

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