LOS ANGELES, Oct 16, 2008 / FW/ — Raised in Manila and trained at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, Donny Barrios designing under the label ‘Crispin & Basilio’ started as a menswear designer before branching to womenswear.
Barrios, who believes that menswear is on its ‘evolutionary revolution’ successfully translated his tailoring skills into womenswear. In doing so, the subtlety of the cut men’s clothing became architectural shapes in women’s clothing. Then adding a bit more flair, Barrios then turned the ‘tailleur’ into ‘flou.’
Named by Elle Magazine as ‘LA’s Hottest Label’ and WWD as a ‘Designer to Watch’, Donny Barrios’ offering for Spring 2009 did not disappoint. Giving a nod to the ‘beige’ motif this season, he sent out dresses and separates in neutral tones.
Adding a tad of gold and sheen fabric, Barrios also touched on the futurism trend but remained within the realm of highly wearable and highly covetable sportswear.
Now, if you’re wondering about the name of the label ‘Crispin & Basilio’ when actually Donny Barrios is designing the collection on his own, the J.Crew vet named his label after two fictional characters from ‘Noli Mi Tangerie’ (Touch Me Not), a 19th century novel written by Jose P. Rizal, the Philippine national hero. It was one of the two books that precipitated the Philippine revolution against Spain, which colonized the country for 300 years.
This parallel might be reaching, but Donny Barrios might have aptly named his label. In an era when silhouettes are changing, Crispin & Basilio might as well be one of the labels, which will change the face of sportswear. After all, the book ‘Noli Mi Tangerie’ did not incite a revolution, but it did anyway because it was the subtlety of the story that counted.
Retailers have also responded to the line. Crispin & Basilio’s collection can be found at stores such as Hillary Rush, Madison, Neiman Marcus, Big Drop in the US and at Beams in Tokyo, Japan.
Photos courtesy of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week
Los Angeles Spring 2009