Joey Samson is officially the featured designer of Red Charity Gala 2017

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Models wear creations by Joey Samson, this year’s featured fashion designer at the Red Charity Gala, October 14, 2017. Photo courtesy of Red Charity Gala.

How does one get past the maximalist creations of Chito Vijandre at last year’s Red Charity Gala? Why, go towards the other direction, of course, and have the spare yet elegant and well-constructed pieces of Joey Samson.

This year, the longest running and the biggest charity event of its kind will be doing just that—honor the low-key but accomplished designer.

Kaye Tinga and Tessa Prieto-Valdes host a Red Charity Gala press conference, September 6, 2017. Photo by Francine M. Marquez, InterAksyon.

The announcement was made on September 6 by the event’s driving forces, Tessa Prieto-Valdes and Kaye Tinga.

Incidentally, it was also the birthday celebration of the ever radiant Tessa whose friends and classmates from Assumption High School Batch 1981 showed up to give their warm wishes.

Socialite, writer, and philanthropist Tessa Prieto-Valdes celebrates her birthday during a press conference for Red Charity Gala held at the Manila Hotel, September 6, 2017. Photo by Francine M. Marquez, InterAksyon.

Now on its ninth year, Red Charity Gala continues to be a fund raiser for the benefit of Philippine Red Cross and the Assumption High School Batch 1981 Foundation.

Samson joins the list of global Filipino designers who have previously graced the gala show: Dennis Lustico, Furne One, Michael Cinco, Cary Santiago, Ezra Santos, Jojie Lloren, Lesley Mobo, and Chito Vijandre.

With a brief program and afternoon tea at the Champagne Room of The Manila Hotel, Valdes and Tinga also gave a glimpse of what to expect at this year’s gala show—new director Roby Carmona and some of the exciting luxury items for the affair’s charity auction.

Red Charity Gala 2017 featuring Joey Samson happens on October 14 (Saturday) at the Shangri-La at the Fort. BENCH is a major sponsor of the fashion show and is earmarking the event as part of its 30th anniversary celebration activities.

Designer Joey Samson (in photo, second from left) poses with models wearing his creations during a Red Charity Gala 2017 press conference, September 6, 2017. Photo by Francine M. Marquez, InterAksyon.

Androgynous, gender fluid
At Tessa’s birthday tea party cum press presentation, the low-key Samson revealed his collection is called “PilgrimAge,” which alludes to his spiritual journey and to the path that has taken him as a fashion designer.

“It will be about the old Joey meeting the new Joey,” the designer quipped at the press gathering.

Samson is known for his refined tailoring techniques and designs that are glamorous yet exude an androgynous feel.

He shares in a press statement, “This collection will be a balancing act. It will run the gamut from tradition to something a bit outre, remixing looks and reshuffling garment elements.” Further, he says, “I want the clothes to be a revival of old wardrobe favorites, as if relics of a long passage, at the same time, something with a sense of familiarity with a contemporary feel transitioning from conventional, street, to ceremonial.”

At a time when the global trend in fashion is no longer about churning out collections per season but creating timeless pieces, and about more gender-fluid designs, Samson’s signature affinity for androgyny, the classics, and for distinctly Philippine touches has kept his work current and fashion forward.

A model wears a creation by Joey Samson. The designer’s collection will be featured at this year’s Red Charity Gala, October 14, 2017. Photo courtesy of Red Charity Gala 2017.

Fashion pilgrimage
Joey Samson intended to be a doctor and had graduated with a pre-medicine degree. But his real passion—fashion—soon caught up with him and inspired him to enroll at Slim’s Fashion and Art School.

Shortly after, his style journey brought him to Jojie Lloren’s atelier where he apprenticed for basic draping and pattern making. Next, he would continue refining his talent by attending seminars and lecturs at CITEM, which back then when they would fly in professors from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York.

The fashion community soon took notice of his designs and Samson earned various recognitions including the MTV Style Awards in 2004 and the Menswear Designer of the Year 2007 at the Mega Fashion Awards.

The Red Charity Gala 2017 is presented by Bench in cooperation with major sponsors Globe Platinum, Megaworld, and SunLife Financial together with Fuentes Manila, Jewelmer, Omega, Philippine Airlines, Remy Martin, and Robert Blancaflor. With additional support from AbitareInternazionale, Adworks, BluewatersSumilon Resort Beach, Emperor Watch and Jewellery, Royal Gem, The Manila Hotel, Viking Range, W/17, World Travellers, Auro Chocolates, Gardenia, Goldilocks, and The Botanist.

For ticket reservations and for more details, check the Red Charity Gala website. 

Red Charity Gala organizers Kaye Tinga and Tessa Prieto-Valdes pose with sponsors and Manila Hotel president Joey Lina (second from left) at the charity event’s media conference, September 6, 2017. Photo by Francine M. Marquez, InterAksyon.