he came. we saw. but we didn’t quite conquer. because no photos were allowed. corny. one of the most important international fashion designers of his generation right in front of us, and we were not allowed to take his picture. well, at least we got to meet him and shake his hand… we’re talking about none other than nicolas ghesquière, creative director for the past 10 years for the house of balenciaga, which is always one of the most anticipated collections every season. and after the stress of presenting his last collection in paris three weeks ago, nicolas decided to take a much-needed holiday in amanpulo down in palawan, where royalty (real and hollywood) have been known to get some R&R. nicolas came with a “friend,” who happens to be an equally famous guy from his field, football, which we know nothing about. his name is hidetoshi nakata (hide, pronounced hee-deh, for short), and he’s made his millions, so he’s rich and he buys a building in new york, which he wants to turn into a boutique hotel, and that’s where he met nicolas. and all this we get from eavesdropping on other people’s conversations. so are they lovers? maybeeee, we don’t knoooow, but they didn’t want to be photographed togetherrrr… they didn’t even sit next to each other. so friday, nicolas was back in manila, and we were getting a blow-by-blow of his whereabouts. he’s in shangri-la plaza! in homme et femme! with jappy! checking out his collection! he’s having dinner! at people’s palace! in greenbelt! with ben chan! then we get the invitation that ben chan will be hosting a dinner for nicolas ghesquière on saturday at 8:30pm at chef laudico’s bistro filipino, the new chic resto at fort bonifacio. and the fash pack is on the guest list, woo-hoo! half the restaurant was reserved for the dinner. invited guests included top magazine editors, fashion journalists, society columnists, a few bench endorsers, some designers… and madame imelda marcos?? well, she was a big balenciaga fan, and cristóbal himself designed gowns for her when she was first lady. she was telling anyone who would listen, “he loved the filipino dress [meaning the terno] because he loved big sleeves.” and she got to sit next to nicolas too. we got to sit at the table next to his. so we managed to sneak in a couple of shots sans flash of course, till his manager, a woman our table christened toni leviste, spotted us. this is our very dark, very blurry pic of nicolas: this is “toni leviste” waving us off: in the end, it was all very frustrating for all the guests because we all brought cameras, so we just ended up taking pictures of each other. can you imagine having to write about a once-in-a-lifetime event, publishing photos of all the well-dressed guests, except the guest of honor?
special thanks go out to chuvaness, dennis lustico, jojo liamzon, and mr. ben chan.