Manila, Philippines. Puey Quinones has always been one of the most fearless designers I know. Since his breakthrough over a decade ago in Manila, he has always impressed a formidable spirit for marching to the beat of his own drum. Just as exciting as his fresh fashion propositions, is a colorful career narrative that reads like the story of a phoenix rising.
This distinct brand of fortitude, an uncanny ability to adapt and inspired instinct to innovate saw the launch of Puey’s Fashion for Protection collection. It happened as enhanced quarantine measures was being modified in the capital. Coinciding with this was the launch of an e-commerce site as well as a digital fashion show aptly dubbed: Fashion Forward. The name was fitting for the new format in fashion presentations, addressing new safety measures like social distancing and prohibited mass gatherings.
Puey sent me a direct message inviting me to catch his show through events master, Tim Yap’s Facebook Live page. “Please catch my show online. I will also send you something,” he wrote. On the morning of his show, a fine pairing menu meal from Gallery by Chele and a bottle of champagne from Chandon had been sent to residences of those invited to the show. A PPE suit designed by Puey had also been wrapped up and sent out to special guests. This added to the anticipation of what was to unfold later that day.
The show was just exciting as had it been held following traditional fashion show format. The added bonus was that we were watching it and sipping on bubbly in the comforts (and safety) of our homes. It wasn’t mere novelty that made Puey’s show something not to be missed while cooped up at home. Fashion Forward introduced two collections: Summer 2020 and Fashion for Protection. The latter was of particular interest as it showcased a fashion designer’s intelligent take on personal protective equipment using fabrics approved by the country’s Department of Health. It does not claim to be medical grade, and Puey explains, “The PQ PPE offers wearer an additional layer of protection when traveling, shopping, or visiting other high risk locations.” Vibrant hues of blue, yellow and pink were translated into chic cargo jumpsuits. Puey also presented separates as well as color block designs that offered endless options to mix and match PPE garments. Puey says, “The goal of the Fashion for Protection Collection was to create a line of PPE suits that are affordable and chic.” A suit on his website starts at $39 and may cost up to $250 for bespoke variants. The brand has also gone into the creation of hygiene products that include hand sanitizers and soaps, all of which are FDA approved.