Cover Story

In an unprecedented turn of events, we have seen the world put to a halt with an unseen enemy–the stuff that make the eeriest of science fiction and post-apocalyptic films. At the core of the situation, we have seen how all of us, even while shrouded by a veil of uncertainty, have sought to assert our strength amidst the darkness. But the fight rages on.

Five years ago, renowned Filipino couturier, Michael Cinco, mounted a shoot that aimed to paint a fictional picture of a dystopian society, told with the use of his menswear collection and accessories. He said, “We started to conceptualize a fashion shoot, the premise of which was this: a global catastrophe unfolding. All the clocks in the world stop working, at once. Not time itself, just the convention of time. Life freezes in place.”

He added, “We creatives often toy around the idea of pandemonium–a cataclysm of sorts–as it teases the notion of fiction. Fiction titillates our senses because consciously in our minds, the actual eventuality for a pandemic to occur is highly improbable and that is why we always assert that fashion and fiction go hand in hand. Just because Fashion is Forward. Fashion is visionary!”

“Fast forward half a decade later, when the COVID-19 era struck, what the coronavirus outbreak reveals is not the unreality of our present moment, but the illusions it shatters. Even as our stark new reality becomes clear, it remains hard to accept that ‘normal’ was the fiction. But somehow, fashion might have already predicted this, unbeknownst to our consciousness,” Cinco waxes philosophical.

“Looking at this fashion editorial today, makes it even more relevant. Despite of all this suffering and chaos of our reality now, we will always find refuge on the same premise that fashion, now, will once again envision a future world that is unlike the one we have at the moment. Because ultimately, what fashion brings is a message of survival, and of hope.”

Creative direction and Fashion by Michael Cinco

Photography by Rozen Antonio

Styling and creative direction by Michael Amazona Del Mar

Grooming by Valentino Montuerto Jasmin

Production by Gyn Cabrera Mendoza