Metro and Metro Society celebrated the talent of jewelry designer Wynn Wynn Ong by naming her this year’s Metrowear Icon.
Born in Burma, but raised in the Philippines and in Vienna, Ong has seen much of the world. Her affinity with gemstones started at a very young age as Burmese women, her grandmother and mother included, are known to collect such precious minerals. Her experiences are reflected in the ornate designs of her pieces. Her artworks strike a balance between the elegance and grace of beautiful gemstones with the heavy, hardiness of her chosen metals. An example is an ornate dragon back piece. It is metal crafted into a dragon, plated in gold weaving into fabric, made more majestic by the inlay of precious stones. It is an armor worthy of a warrior princess.
Ong joins the ranks of notable designers like Francis Libiran, Rajo Laurel, Cary Santiago, and Randy Ortiz but is the first jewelry designer to be honored as a Metrowear Icon.
Her journey as a designer and an icon was told in a four-part gala attended by Manila’s luminaries at the EDSA Shangri-La Hotel.
The show started with a display of garments created by students from SoFA Design Institute (Abi Mercado and Alexine Castillo), DLS-College of Saint Benilde (Aminah Adriano and Paulo Arucan), and the UP College of Home Economics (Kyra Buenviaje and Alyssa Tan). Ong has taken these young designers under her wing and they in turn made pieces inspired her own accessories.
The second portion told the story of Ong as a friend of celebrated fashion designers Ivarluski Aseron, Mark Higgins, Jojie Lloren, Joey Samson, Chito Vijandre, and fellow Icon, Cary Santiago. All of them showcased their clothes which took inspiration from the designer being honored.
The main show presented where Ong is now in her life and in her designs. In her very first foray into fashion design, Ong’s treatment of texture and imagination align in a mixed play of feminism and fiction. She collaborated with Savile Row-trained Milka Quin to bring to the runway a collection of clothes and jewelry, each piece as unique as the other. The collection’s overall aesthetic features rich tones and a wide array of fabric texture; painstakingly applied beading, tailoring, and pattern play to support the strong overtones of the matriarchal-inspired fantasy narrative.
Wynn Wynn Ong is a woman who knows how to bring her imagination alive and has expanded her craft to include furniture. She is a woman engaged in the needs of society as she employs and teaches workers from a social welfare institution.
Watch out for the TV special on Lifestyle and ANC in December to know more about Wynn Wynn Ong and to see her talent on the runway.