Philippine Fashion Week

Cary Santiago




Birds have inspired fashion designers aplenty. From the late, great Alexander McQueen, whose childhood ornithological obsession frequently swooped through his lifetime's work (resulting in his avian S/S 2001, 2003, and 2008 collections), Alber Elbaz's feathered millinery for Lanvin Fall/Winter 2009, to Miuccia Prada, who presented upbeat, sparrow-strewn creations for Miu Miu's Spring/Summer 2010 lineup, our feathered friends have served as design inspirations not just for their plumed beauty but also for what they symbolize: freedom, voyage, loftiness and grace, among a vast number of things.

In our corner of the fashion globe, one of our design maestros have likewise had an abiding love for avian allure. "I’ve always had a fascination with winged creatures—especially the Philippine Eagle, and birds of prey," says Cary Santiago, the master couturier whose name has become synonymous with magnificent lasercut work. "In fact, my winning collection for the Young Designers Competition in 2004 was inspired by the Philippine Eagle. And I presented a bird-inspired collection back when I was in Beirut, but it had a different treatment," he says.