LA fashion designer Oliver Tolentino dazzles Vienna audience
LOS ANGELES – Showcasing a colorful couture Fall/Winter 2023 collection, Filipino fashion designer Oliver Tolentino dazzled a European standing-room-only audience at Vienna, Austria’s official fashion week last September 14.
The Beverly Hills-based celebrity designer Tolentino is the first Filipino invited to show at MQ VIENNA FASHION WEEK.22 (MQVFW.22).The organizers flew him in for a week as their guest, for a crowd of more than 500 people to preview his collection in the MuseumsQuartier, a famous locale in central Vienna.
Tolentino opened his 36-piece collection with a nod to his Filipino roots — a couture gown made from a fabric mix of piña, abaca, water lily and saluyot. The eco piece was covered with recycled beads and the skirt with hand-sewn petals of piña and abaca remnants. The gown was also a part of MQVFW’s opening night runway show.
In a prime 8:00 p.m. solo show, Tolentino presented a collection featuring strong silhouettes in bold colors such as blues, gold & black combinations, purples, florals, emerald greens, bright yellows, yellow and red combinations, and vibrant red closing looks.
Luxurious fabrics, beaded fringes, strong shoulder accents, detachable horsehair skirts were features of the collection, as were flowing opera jackets, inspired by Vienna’s famous ball season. Several of the shoulder accents featured voluminous tulle, ostrich feathers and beadings.
The designer included several pantsuits, including a black and gold floral lamé print with a see-through horsehair detachable wraparound skirt, as well as a red embroidered pantsuit with beaded bustier.
Tolentino also showed two men’s tuxedo jackets – a vibrant emerald brocade lamé coat and a purple plaid Thai silk coat.
Among a half-dozen green looks, one of the standouts was a labor-intensive haltered top cocktail dress with voluminous detachable train, all made from swirled hand-cut mikado strips.
A red-themed segment closed Tolentino’s show, including a high-low red and yellow silk print gown, paired with a red and yellow cocktail dress covered by a long red overcoat, and followed by an eye-catching geometric birdcage cocktail dress.
Tolentino’s second-to-last dress was a labor-intensive organza ball gown with lantern-patterned cutouts, and his finale was a stunning heavily-beaded silver corset with tulle and horsehair red skirt dramatically embellished with circular red strips and Swarovski crystals.
Philippine Ambassador Irene Natividad sat front row, and luxury coffee table magazine book Aurum 999,9 MagBook sponsored Tolentino’s solo show.
MQVFW.22 attracted approximately 5,000 guests during the week, with more than 20 TV, print and online media partners attending.
Creative Headz partners Elvyra Geyer, Zigi Mueller-Matyas, and Maria Oberfrank, who have organized MQVFW for 14 years, produced the program for fashionistas, trade experts, and international press with 36 shows, 1,000 designs, and 140 models. Vienna is a European fashion capital, famous for hosting over 400 formal balls during its social season.