Photos by CJ RAQUION
During Pride Month, people all over the world celebrate what it means to be oneself. The Philippines is no exception; its citizens celebrate Pride regardless of its dominant religions.
One way to celebrate Pride is by showcasing talented LGBTQ+ designers in the industry. In its 10th year, Pride: The Don Cristobal Fashion Show commenced at the Crowne Plaza in Ortigas, Pasig City.
One of the featured designers was Adrian Stephen Cabuhat, in collaboration with Shopawholique that showcased human- and animal-coordinated outfits.
ANIMAL COMPANIONS, BUT MAKE IT “FASYON”
This is not the first time Shopawholique walked the Pride runway. The brand was established in 2018 by Cabuhat to provide animal-friendly clothes and accessories. This year’s theme was inspired by 1950s outfits.
While Cabuhat was not physically present during the show, his Chihuahua, Coco Chanel, was there to showcase the outfits with model Lance Raymundo II who carried her on the runway.
Walking the catwalk along with professional models were the Puspin named Dugyot with their human Maureen Cruz, a canine named Snow and their human Jemina Co, and the Pomeranians Gracia and Sprinkle with their human Zsarimae Malabanan. We talked to Malabanan for her insights.
When Cabuhat called Malabanan to be part of the show, Gracia was chosen as the model. According to Malabanan, this was Gracia’s first official runway show. When she asked if her other Pom, Sprinkle, could watch, it was decided that Sprinkle would be brought to the runway as well.
To prepare for the runway, Gracia and Sprinkle trained with their human.
“I bathed and groomed them the day before [the show]. We also practiced their walk. I conditioned them for the show. Gracia and Sprinkle are people-friendly; that’s why socializing with people and other [animal companions] are not a problem for them. They [are used to being] touched, cuddled, hugged, and held by others. I can say they [were] physically, mentally, emotionally and socially ready for the show.” said Malabanan.
Malabanan started participating in animal fashion shows with her first Dog, Faith, when she designed a long gown for her. Gracia, together with another Dog named Faith, won the costume contest at Paw Park in SM Mall of Asia in June 2021. “From that day [onwards], I fell in love [with buying] clothes for them especially for events and occasions,” Zsarimae stated.
Sadly, Faith crossed the rainbow bridge in September 2021. She then focused on Gracia. “[She] loves to dress up, which is why she is also known as Gracia Pawshionista,” Malabanan said.
Meanwhile, Sprinkle just started her modeling career in early 2022.