It’s not every day that you get to work with pop royalty, but in the case of fashion designer Avel Bacudio, the opportunity came as a packaged deal.

Working with the Filipino music scene’s biggest stars is a full-circle moment for the acclaimed designer, whose creative process heavily involves music.

Napaka-importante sa akin ng music. [Music is important to me.] I love really instrumental, theater music. Pag nakikinig ako ng mga [Whenever I listen to] music, like our local instrumental natin, I’m really inspired especially pag gumagawa ng gowns kasi ang feeling ko sumasayaw ako [I’m really inspired when I make gowns because I feel like I’m dancing],” Bacudio tells Billboard Philippines.

Bacudio has explained the thought process behind his garments specially made for Billboard Philippines maiden issue cover stars, SB19 and Regine Velasquez.

In their respective photoshoots, SB19 and Velasquez are seen clad in all-black terno looks.

Bacudio first explained his primary considerations when conceptualizing an outfit.

Una, the character, tapos anong pupuntahan, anong event. Kung saan nila gagamitin, of course, kasi kesa naman gumawa tayo ng avant-garde tapos pupuntahan pala nila fiesta [First, I consider the character, then the event. Where it will be worn. You can’t wear avant-garde if you’re going to a fiesta],” the award-winning designer begins.

The next requisite is comfort, especially in the case of SB19 as performers who must dance onstage. Their outfits must not rip under any circumstance.

Dapat wearable, hindi mabigat, medyo elastic nang konti ang fabric para nakaka-move sila. And then sa mga artist kasi katulad ng SB19, dapat very intelligent ‘yung fabric na gagamitin natin sa kanila, ‘yung they can breathe [It should be wearable, light, and sufficiently elastic so they can move. And in the case of SB19, the fabric should be intelligent so they can breathe],” Bacudio explains.


Avel Bacaudio Terno Top and Trousers.

The result in SB19’s case is a modern Filipiniana take composed of black patterned and textured terno with butterfly sleeves and gloves.

Isang design pero different texture ng tela,” (One design but different textures of cloth) Bacudio says, referencing Billboard Philippines fashion director Daryl Chang. “Kasi especially they are all wearing black, so walang pagkakaiba sa kanila. ‘Di mo makikita sa kanila ‘yung personality nila kung wala ‘yung texture [They are all wearing black, so they’ll all look similar. You won’t see their individual personalities if not for the different textures].”

Meanwhile, he designed a black ensemble for Regine with pointed shoulders, wavy top, and straight-cut skirt that hits the floor.

For him, the highlight is the silhouette and the pattern of the cuttings.

“‘Yung cuttings kasi noon very experimental [Their cuttings were very experimental], then I didn’t use anything inside the shoulder. Dapat tayo talaga siya [They should really be upright],” Bacudio reflects.

Regine Velasquez

Avel Bacaudio Structure Top and Trousers.

The designer’s biggest challenge is ensuring the quality of the final output, mentioning that it’s actually better to have a bad sketch and a good result than the other way around. Notwithstanding any obstacles, Bacudio always gets the assignment right.

“Of course, ‘yung pinaka achievement mo diyan ‘yung parang pag nasuot na. And then right after, tumatawag ‘yung dinamitan mo, ‘I’m beautiful because of your clothes’ tapos ‘I’m very comfortable.’ ‘Yun ang the best [It becomes an achievement when they’ve worn it, and then they call me to tell me that my clothes make them beautiful and they feel very comfortable],” Bacudio celebrates.