Tuesday, February 17, 2015

John Ablaza’s “Couture and Culture” is coming to Arizona in Spring!

Manila-based international couturier John Ablaza has sealed the deal for his one-man-show, coming to Arizona on May 31st 2015!

L-R: Daniel Butterfield, Founder/CEO of Investment Property Experts (IPX); John Ablaza, International Fashion Designer;  Sir Tom Rodriguez, KGOR USA Regional Commander of Arizona Knights of Rizal '12-'14; Joey Balasta, Deputy Commander of AZKOR; and Arcelie Butterfield, Executive Producer 

John’s solo fashion show, “Couture and Culture,” will showcase a 40-50 piece collection including sculptured gowns and menswear handmade with eco-friendly and organic materials like coconut, dalet or barks, sig-id or reed grass fibers. 

The show will be accompanied by the “Jose Rizal Traveling Museum,” featuring Rizal’s personal belongings, photos of his lifeworks and writings, and replica garments. Inspired by the people and rich culture of the Philippines, one of John’s treasured work is he did an exact replica of Dr. Jose Rizal’s garments, which has been exhibited in Belgium, Canada, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and soon in Phoenix! The idea behind this traveling exhibit is to bring awareness about Philippine history and awaken the Filipino patriotism.  What a perfect opener leading up to the annual Philippine Independence Day celebration in June!

Not only does John work at a global level. Unbeknownst to many, he is an advocate of ancestral craftsmanship and collaborates with the Mangyan tribe to safeguard the indigenous culture in Mindoro, Philippines.  He mentors the tribal women to hone their embroidering techniques and design skills with a mission to bring them more work and improve their livelihood. 

John Ablaza, International Fashion Designer

John is a multi-faceted artist; he is a horticulturist-turned-designer, and also a published author.  He chronicled top models of Philippine runway during the late 1970’s to 2000 in a coffee table book called “Ramp Diva: Filipina” which was released in 2011.  His second book is currently in the works and soon to be launched.

In cooperation with the Arizona Knights of Rizal, the "Couture and Culture" fashion show will benefit the students of St. Martin de Porres, a special needs school in Cebu City, Philippines.  This charity event will be sponsored by InvestmentProperty Experts (IPX), thanks to its Founder and CEO, Daniel Butterfield and produced by his wife, Arcelie Butterfield.  When asked how this partnership was formed, Arcelie replied, “Every once in a while, we stumble upon a unique and amazing talent and know in our hearts it has to be created and shared to everyone.  John Ablaza is one such example.”

L-R: Daniel Butterfield, Founder/CEO of Investment Property Experts (IPX); John Ablaza, International Fashion Designer; Arcelie Butterfield, Executive Producer; and Sir Tom Rodriguez, KGOR USA Regional Commander of Arizona Knights of Rizal '12-'14

Though they just recently met, Arcelie and John have had some quality time together.  Arcelie said, “I was able to delve into the history of his collection, the culture as well as relish in some key points of his inspiration. John and I had a very special connection that was John Ablaza presented his collection which was clearly buoyed by his determination to ensure that he create designs that come with a promise of a livelihood for the artisans that he teaches and employs.  Designs that also proudly possess an important eco-friendly and organic appeal which makes perfect sense for a horticulturist.  As Executive Producer, I would like to ask everyone’s support for this upcoming Couture and Cultural Fashion Show along with Rizal Traveling Museum Exhibit.”

Maureen Montagne, Miss Arizona 2015 and John Ablaza

Fashion for a cause… how exciting! I can't wait to work side by side with John Ablaza, Claris Manglicmot, Arcelie Butterfield - Executive Producer, Ihman Esturco - Photography/Production Director, Marian Alcordo - Hair & Make-up Stylist, and the rest of the production team!

Just hangin' with John Ablaza

What I’ve admired only in photos from John's recent Canada Philippine Fashion Week runway show, I will soon be able to see the gowns up close, be able to touch the intricate details and who knows…maybe wear them too! John was equally ecstatic to visit Arizona, grateful for his kababayans’ warm welcome, and thrilled for the opportunity to showcase his creations not only to the Filipinos but also to the valley’s mainstream fashion community. 

Stay tuned for more details about this glam affair.  In the meantime, get your FASH on, keep styling and make a fashion scene. Visit and LIKE “Chasing Sheila” on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and stay attuned to chic stories and happenings!

(Photo credits Ihman Esturco Photography and John Ablaza)


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