If you’ve watched GMA’s television series I Left My Heart in Sorsogon, then you already know that the show demonstrates an innate love for the local culture and sceneries. If you haven’t, then you’ll follow the story of Celeste, played by Heart Evangelista, a fashion socialite who unexpectedly rediscovers her roots after a visit to her hometown.
Aside from the sweeping romance drama that unfolds with every episode, another aspect that makes the series well-loved and enticing is the refreshing ensembles on the cast that pays homage to the works of various Filipino fashion designers who have since established themselves in the fashion industry.
In an exclusive interview with Manila Standard Life, the series’ production stylists Gabby Wu, Katrina Cruz, and John Paul Dizon shared that they collaborated with several Filipino designers such as Mark Bumgarner, Steffy De Mylo, Patty Ang, Neric Beltran, and more in creating the looks for the cast.
As production stylists, Wu, Cruz, and Dizon had a big order to fill. The pandemic also posed some difficulties as acquiring pieces became challenging due to the risk of contracting the COVID-19 virus and adhering to strict health guidelines. Despite these hurdles, the production stylists had creative control over the looks of the cast’s wardrobe.
“This approach for this particular series was very liberating and fun for us because the director and the production more or less gave us a free hand on how to style Heart, which doesn’t happen very often,” Cruz said.
Heart also permitted production stylists to use some pieces from her personal collection to use in the series. Heart’s character in the series is a Manila-based fashion socialite, a title that the actress currently holds thanks to her sense of high fashion. As a result, Cruz didn’t find it challenging to dress Heart as the actress already knew what she wanted to wear. Yet as a collaborative effort, Cruz would offer suggestions to help the actress feel comfortable or to coincide with the scene as the show progresses.
Since I Left My Heart in Sorsogon focuses on rekindling a love for the local scene, the stylists took this chance to translate this message through the cast’s outfits throughout the show.
Using local brands also enabled Wu, who’s responsible for styling Richard Yap and Marina Benipayo, to work with his friend and colleague,
Vanessa Dela Cruz, in designing Marina’s look. Marina plays Vivien in the series, the older sister of Richard’s character, Tonito.
Wu shared that when conceptualizing the look for Marina, he decided to collaborate with his colleague and play around with volume to match her character’s intensity and flair as the antagonist.
In the meantime, Wu’s styled look for Richard follows showbiz stereotypes of the rich male lead who’s almost always in corporate clothes. Yet this didn’t stop the production stylist from playing around with some of the pieces to make Richard appear dapper yet casual in some of the scenes. Dizon, on the other hand, drew inspiration from Hollywood personalities to create signature looks for the cast. For instance, the producers wanted Paolo’s to look ruggedly handsome, like Ashton Kutcher.
“I played with plaid and checkered patterns. I also did a lot of layering but I later came up with one look that became the standard throughout the time I was working with him,” the production stylist said.
By the end of the series, viewers can expect to see a glamorous fashion show where the stars wear signature pieces from renowned Filipino fashion designers Neric Beltran and Francis Libiran.
Through the collaborative efforts of the stylists and cast of I Left My Heart in Sorsogon, the characters are given unique styles that coincide with their personalities and the development of the story while putting the spotlight on Filipino brands.