“Macarons are a high-end confectionary. They are subtle, soft and delicious… So as my designs.” This was how American-based Filipino designer Alexis Monsanto described his Spring/Summer 2023 collection. A visually delightful presentation of soft sophistication in its sweetest executions—all lensed by Dion Trinidad.
Sweets, flowers, and Audrey Hepburn. Alexis Monsanto takes all of these through his elegant sieve and creates a show of confectionary fashion delights for New York Fashion Week.
Love for Audrey
For the collection, Monsanto was heavily inspired by his ultimate muse Audrey Hepburn. “I would remember her in movies like Sabrina, Roman Holiday, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, to name a few. She wore different silhouettes—from long and lean, to small waist and big hips.” And as seen from the show’s pieces, the Filipino designer executed his inspiration’s beauty and famed looks (all by the legendary Hubert de Givenchy) in exquisite effects. These are most exemplified in one of his first outings from the show. Beautiful, flower-printed tops with exaggerated lapels, and bows are completed with feminine pleated skirts. Also, the pieces were finished with delicate ballet-like heels with silk ribbons in various vibrant colours.
A Structured Ease
Suits for both womenswear and menswear were structured and sharp in a muted palette. Monsanto accompanied some of these looks with organza that started out inside the suit, grasped itself onto the models’ wrist, and flowed down the runway beautifully and with ease.
The Finest of Materials
When I asked the designer about the materials he used and focused for the collection, he presented an array of textiles often synonymous to delicateness and beauty—which in this case, is ever-present in the show. “The fabrication used on the entire collection is so variable. I’ve also used mikado as base on my Monsanto prints, and stretched twill in my luxury sportswear. Silk chiffon, crepe chiffon, silk charmeuse, novelty knits, organza and french tulle.”
An Elegant Fashion Finish
Two dresses were muted in color, but loud in its elegance. One was hooded and looked like it was straight out of Dune, and the other embellished with a constellation of jewels.
For Monsanto’s final gowns, the first was a beautiful pink pleated silk number with a plunging neckline and adorned with white feathers. The model sold the look on the runway like Audrey Hepburn in those 60s films the designer referred to. The drama of the model and the piece she wore also echoed the photographs of Richard Avedon from that said era. And for the last gown, it was truly magnificent. It was a beautiful and elegant hooded look (of tulle) with a subtly crystallized bodice and a Disney princess-esque skirt. It started from lovely lavender and finally went to pure white below. Thus the finale of Monsanto’s elegant presentation.
Alexis Monsanto’s Spring/Summer 2023 show for NYFW was a sweetly delicate and elegant presentation of the designer’s delicious fashion delights.
A fourth-year fine arts college student in the University of Santo Tomas, majoring in advertising. Nathan usually does extensive research on fashion and runway history, film, music and pop culture, with a strong eagerness to learn more.