The Bowl Headed

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March 19, 2018

Lantern

A study that started with eagerness and confidence, 
climaxed with confusion and uncertainty,
and ultimately ended in success.

A year ago, on the seventeenth of March 2017, I had the greatest honor of presenting a collection I had worked on for months. Supposedly, it was a 7-piece collection that had been thoroughly studied and researched; unfortunately, I was not able to comply with all seven leaving me to tell a different story. Today, nineteenth of March 2018, I am unveiling the supposed seven that could have been; the seven that tells a whole different story from the other, the seven that tells my own little success story.

Up until the two-year run of my thesis, I have never truly grasp the true meaning of the adage “there is no overnight to success", I think now I truly do. It was two years, three semesters of stress, restlessness, frustrations, all of which, back then, seem unending. Although, my entire journey was clouded with dubiousness, it actually began with clarity and a clearer sense of direction. Back when I was just starting my study, it actually had a different objective, although with similar intent. It was the year 2015, when my study was still at its genesis and it was at a different route than it is now. It was titled "The Integration of Chinese lanterns into Street-style Ready-to-wear garments". After constant and deliberate consultations from my adviser, errors emerged and confidence slowly dove deep meters down. I could not even answer the simple question of "what the purpose of my study was?", I (unconsciously) slowly loosened my grip with my study and little-by-little I lost touch with it. More so, when the day of the proposal hearing came, at the very end of a mediocre defense it was suggested I do something more intensive, something more— to simply and loosely put it— couture. That was when I somehow totally lost control over my study. At that point I was blinded; I was introduced to a study I felt like was (at first) predictable, something so clich√©. I was introduced to a study that was like my own, but it was my own.

Then, in an unseen circumstance, after a heavy deliberation with myself (and with the parents), I stopped for a semester. I consciously decided not to enroll and spared myself for a moment of constant disappointments. I rested and stayed idle, pushing my study to oblivion. For a while, it was as if I had forgotten I had a responsibility, an unfinished business. When the academic year rolled in after I had decided to stop (which was after seven long months, summer included), I thought it was about time to come back and so I did.

With a somehow well-rested mind and body, I thought I could finish where I had left off.  Prior to the new academic year beginning, I had gone back to my adviser for some much needed consultation to bring my study back to light. From the numerous consultations that transpired, numerous changes also came about. First, the title of my study, changed ready-to-wear to couture as suggested; omitted “integration” and the whole idea of doing so and replaced it with “application”, and outerwear was also brought to the table to give more efficiency to the whole process. It was also agreed that I focus on the objective which was to use the different techniques of Chinese-lantern making and foreground such in the study, thus creating a new study with “The Application of Chinese-lantern techniques into a Couture Outerwear collection”. But, just when I thought it was getting clearer for me, was when it was also becoming more challenging. 

I had to redesign seven new garments of the said study I had made up with my adviser. I was equally excited and manic, I juiced out all the creativity I had and poured it onto this study. I was able to come up with seven new designs, creative and true to what my study called for, somehow discounting how ambitious its nature was. I never thought of it as an ambitious endeavor came the second semester of the new academic year, when I was on a procrastination high and consciously or unconsciously decided to do the works at almost the last minute. When left at the images of sketches I had created and piles of fabrics I had already stocked, more often than not, I questioned myself of the possibility of the garments coming to life. So to move forward with the study, I acquired the help of my uncle, whom I thought was a creative genius, whom I knew could help me with the entire processes of making a Chinese-lantern. But, even with his insightful help, I was still lost and couldn’t seem to bring myself to understanding my own study. I could not find a way to effectively apply the techniques; I could not find a reason to why I was even doing it in the first place. I just didn’t know what I was doing from then on, it was utter confusion moving forward for me, but I persisted in the hopes of still finishing. While everyone was halfway through their collection I was at a zero, it made me extremely nervous knowing that deadlines were coming up. I spent the last month before everything has to be submitted awake at all cause. Spent nights as if they were extensions to my days becoming shorter, made sure that progress (even at the last minutes) was at a constant. Luckily for me, a friend was generous enough to share her time in helping me finish what was becoming an impossible. She too, made her nights into days, she too, like me, had become restless. There were moments in-between where I’d shed a tear, think in solitude about the path I’ve chosen— sometimes remorsefully regret.  

“No!” that was all I could hear on the day we were asked to submit all seven pieces of our garments. The morning before, I had contemplated whether to push or not with the submission as I saw no point at all. I had seven very unfinished garments— unattached lanterns, pins still in the garments, unclosed hems —it was just a mess of an idea and a collection. At that moment my faith was sealed as my professor sealed my box with a large “unfinished” annotation on it. I was not be able to defend my thesis and so I was asked to concede for the time being and pursue on the summer that followed. So I did.

On the summer of 2017, I had spent the time recollecting myself before fully indulging in yet another round— the last and final, as should be. Prior to starting and finishing my seven pieces, I had discovered a style after I hurried and crammed a look, that I wished to include in my collection, and this involved a long fringe that swung behind the garment. It started from there and from some sort of epiphany— I couldn’t really recall much further how— I thought of a way to effectively apply the techniques. It became a domino effect after that, I realized it was really possible and I had known why I wanted to do the study. It all became so clear that from that moment I could see the finish line. I was invigorated and motivated that I was finally able to finish what I started from two years ago. When the day of the defense came, I was like my usual self when in situations as such; I was extremely nervous— eyes red, voice shaking, and dry throat. I was last of the day to defend and as the day went on, my nervousness started to slowly fade with the sun. I was assured by some that I was okay, that it was going to be okay, that they thought it was okay, so I believed them. Came the final hour before it was called a day, it was my turn and I was in front of people who were ready to critic my work. The process went on and as it did, I realized that there were no eyebrows almost meeting in confusion, rather, they were smiles in satisfaction and pride. Slowly, “congratulations” echoed across the room, the utter joy I felt at that moment hearing them congratulate me for a job well done was beyond this world. I had waited two long years for that and after two long years, boy was it worth it!

All I can say is, if doesn't happen the way you want it to, there is a reason. You are most probably setup for even better things or to the most extent for greatness. I had to wait two years to realize that and I had to wait two years to fully understand that success truly never happens in a blink of an eye. 





MODEL
Mhico Espiloy 

PHOTOGRAPHY + STYLING
Pierre Lindsey

OUTERWEAR + DENIM PIECES
Pierre Lindsey






This post is dedicated to all the people who have been with me in this journey. It was a journey that not only tested my physical capacity but also my emotional strength, and I thank all the people who have endured everything with me. All the restless nights, all the tears, all the frustrations, they all were nothing, incomparable to the success of this story two years in the making.

To my parents, my brother and sister
Alyssa, Judy, Timi, Eyla, Jeanom, Myco, Reda, Arianne
   

A huge thank you from me!




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