Wednesday, January 5, 2011

January Novelty - Tessa Prieto-Valdes Auctions Gowns at The Podium & SM Mall of Asia

If you've been following the appalling talent on display at the annual "Celebrity Duets" of GMA 7, a festival of the worst wanna-be singers in an industry filled with great performers - coupled with the the most embarrassing set of judges to ever grace any talent show - then I am pretty sure you would be familiar with Ms. Tessa Prieto-Valdes who once stood the same stage as one of the contestants (and eventually won) then moved on as judge.

For the foreigners who follow this blog (and who have no idea who Ms. Valdes is), she is Manila's flamboyant socialite who constantly graces the society pages with her traffic-stopping gowns, gargantuan headdresses, raspy voice and luminous grin. It's hard to deny her effervescent charm and energy. A few days ago, we were surprised to find an auction-cum-exhibit of 14 of her gowns, many of which were made by the Philippines' most respected, albeit avant-garde designers, including 2 pieces from the late great Joe Salazar.


The 14 gowns are then made available through a "silent auction", a fundraising technique frequently used at charity events. It differs from the typical auction conducted by an auctioneer who calls out the prices for items and then takes the raised hands or paddles of people as bids at a certain price. It’s often a preferred means for raising money at charitable events because it does not detract from the entertainment provided at the event, giving people a chance to tour the varied items up for auction and decide upon which items they would like to bid.

The gowns exhibit ended its run at The Podium yesterday, but moves to a bigger location at the SM Mall of Asia (MOA) starting January 6 where Tessa promised to "add more pieces". Proceeds from the auction will benefit the Philippine National Red Cross and Assumption HS '81 Foundation.

There are times when flamboyance and fanciful whimsy translate into a sliver of nobility. For me, it was a pleasant surprise finding these seemingly narrative-rich gowns (each one has a story to tell) from a mall.

This is the Eye in the Sky!

Tessa Prieto-Valdes: socialite, philanthropist, Red Cross co-chair, funny lady.

The Podium's Activity Hall (Mandaluyong City) displaying Ms. Valdes' gowns.

Rajo Laurel and Dennis Lustico gowns.

Another Rajo Laurel creation.

Deep purple princess-cut gown with peacock feathers by Jo Salazar. The off-white number is a Ronald Enrico gown.

A Jan Garcia creation. Any less adventurous individual would get lost in the textile clutter.

Green skirt with hand-painted black tips by Dennis Lustico. Feather-like skirt fashioned from fused organza. See Tessa don this number at the montage below.

A sophisticated number from Jan Garcia, with black-and-white column, accented with stone-like white beads resembling river stones; a gown said to weigh 30 pounds!

Blue plastic Rajo Laurel gown worn at the Tatler Ball in 2009. Said to be made of woven plastic, the kind used in utilitarian shopping bags. Quite a looker, isn't it?

A Jan Garcia gold gown.

With Tessa around, you sometimes ask yourself: Have the Martians landed? LOL

Up next: An intimate cafe and a delectable food haven in Makati City called Bistro Better!


thepinaysolobackpacker said...

whoah! new lay out! and I wasn't expecting to see a post like this on your site! cool! :D

interesting pieces, sino ba d makakalilala ke Tessa? hehe It's really nice that she's making all this efforts to give back to the less fortunate. I hope more blessed celebrities will follow what she's doing. :)

anyway, just dropping to greet you Happy New Year Eye in the Sky! :)

Wishing you more travels this 2011!


eye in the sky said...


Worthy causes deserve an "eyeful" though I really had to "take notes' for the description of the gowns. LOL

Happy New Year to you too! Safe travels. :->

Siddhartha Joshi said...

oh, yes...some of the gowns are extremely flamboyant, but lovely nevertheless, if one could carry them off!

eye in the sky said...

I think some gowns need a "colorful" personality so they can come to life without being too campy.