A spectacular celebration of fashion and camaraderie for a cause is about to dazzle Manila once again as the Red Charity Gala, organized by society icon Tessa Prieto-Valdes and philanthropist Kaye Tinga, is set to happen on October 16 at the Makati Shangri-La.
The gathering aims to raise bigger funds for the Philippine Red Cross and Assumption High School Batch 1981 Foundation. “It is amazing how this vision that came to fruition several years ago is still burning with flames. We are very happy to partner with creative and world-class talents, feature their works, and give back to the community all at the same time,” said Tessa.
Known for featuring a league of world-renowned Filipino designers, such as Rajo Laurel, Dennis Lustico, Furne One, Michael Cinco, Cary Santiago, Ezra Santos, Jojie Lloren, the Red Charity Gala has indeed showcased a variety of design philosophies from edgy and futuristic, to swarovskis and flowy cloths, to collection inspired by paintings and many more. And now, the spotlight focuses on the works of highly acclaimed London-based designer Lesley Mobo.
This year, the Red Charity Gala runway is about to see “an orgy of “Tudor Romance” towards the culmination of the ‘War of the Roses’ and Dynasty kitchy glamour via Studio 54,” according to the designer.
Lesley, who spent his early years in Aklan before moving to England, is known for his mastery of designing and tailoring soft, feminine dresses with edgy, structural touch. Graduating from the prestigious Central St Martin’s in 2002 with a First Class B.A. Honours Degree in Fashion, Lesley also received Colin Barnes Award for fashion illustration from Central St Martin’s, a nomination in the Chartered Society of Designer Fashion Awards held in the British Natural History Museum. His works also took center stage in the ‘Fashion in Motion’ exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum, from which his masterpieces were featured in the BBC News.
In 2005 he designed a sell-out capsule collection called Lesley Mobo by Diesel which was manufactured, distributed and sold by Diesel in its major flagship stores in London, Milan, Paris, New York, Antwerp, Berlin and Tokyo.
Four years after, he started wholesaling his MOBO womens wear line in Paris during Paris Fashion Week, and was featured in Italian Vogue. From 2012 – 2015, he consulted for both luxury and high street brands in the UK and became the design consultant for Ghost, and just recently he designed his top selling T-shirt line “MOBO Lesley Mobo” (Women, Men, Girls, Kids and Babies) for the Japanese Brand Uniqlo selling in China, Hong Kong, Macau, Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Australia and U.S.A. making it one of the biggest line products in Uniqlo Stores.
All these glorious victories and recognitions started when Lesley’s metal outfit with pearls design won the CITEM competition. “I was very young when I entered the competition, in fact the youngest and I had no proper training or experience then. I was competing with the country’s great and established designers like Gerry Katigbak and Jojie Lloren.”
However, it wasn’t an easy start for Lesley before making it to the next stage: “I was selected to represent Philippines for Japan and Paris but was not able to get a visa to Japan in time.” At that time, he was also affected by opinions of other people who did not agree with his fashion ideas. “That was a traumatic period in my life,” he shares, adding that it was at that point when he thought of abandoning fashion.
But there was a ray of light. “Inno Sotto encouraged me to go ahead with my plan to study fashion so I focused myself on building my portfolio and forwarded it to Central Saint Martins. After a few months, I got accepted to do the main BA Hons course in Fashion Womenswear and was exempted the one year Foundation Course.”
There, Lesley mastered his draping skills. While the immaculate combination of vintage and new materials has been his trademark in designing soft feminine pieces, Lesley’s style also reflects a fun, street vibe. “The identity is always a combination of timeless classic silhouette with a bit of a twist and humour. It has a modern attitude towards power dressing,” he said.
With his signature techniques and touches, the Red Charity Gala is indeed ready to surprise the fashion scene with never before seen pieces from a local talent. “This year, we promise to defy the expectations. With an amazing, renowned talent like Lesley Mobo, more supporters and higher targets, we are very much sanguine about the turnaround of the Red Charity Gala 2015, and we hope many people can join us in this vision, too!” said Kaye.
The Red Charity Gala is directed by Ariel Lozada, with fashion styling by Noel Manapat, and hair and makeup by Henri Calayag. The show is presented by Bench and is supported by Balesin Island Club, Piaget, SunLife, Megaworld, Olay, Downy, Inquirer Red, Lifestyle Asia and the Makati Shangri-La. Special thanks to Abitare Internazionale, Blow Dry Bar, Coca-Cola, FuentesManila, Marie France, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Philippine Star, Remy Martin, Robert Blancaflor Group, Singapore Airlines, Volvo, and W/17.
For inquiries and reservations, contact Maggie Gineta at (+63) 917-8325570 or visit www. redcharitygala.com.