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An Ode to Prosperity

Photos by Star Sabroso

“Out with the old and in with the new” as the proverbial expression goes. As global citizens of an ever-changing world, I would like to ponder on the common impression that we have an insatiable thirst for the new (hmm…?). 

In business, we want new products, new campaigns, and new ways of reaching consumers. On life in general, we want new things that are on trend and new ways of connecting with people. The so-called “shiny object syndrome” is not just about being clearly distracted. I also would like to believe that it is the result of our general thinking that what is new – and seemingly unique  – is better. This is particularly evident in the world of fashion. 

Thematic ice fountain for prosperity
Albert Andrada takes a bow before a delighted crowd; A bejeweled gown by Albert Adrada;  Models pose in their elegant gowns

On the contrary, I would like to believe that it’s a totally different story when it comes to high fashion. Yes, they say that fashion is ever-evolving. However, there is something about haute couture that is undoubtedly timeless. Well, that’s just my opinion. To clarify, I am not a fashion expert and I will leave it at that. Nevertheless, I will remain one who appreciates the value of beautiful things that transcend time. 

Just recently, I was witness to a grandiose celebration to welcome the Year of the Fire Monkey through a fabulous Chinese New Year dinner and fashion show headlined by designer du jour Albert Andrada. He showcased a magnificent collection of bejeweled haute couture gowns while guests (this columnist included) indulged in an auspicious feast at the multi-awarded Spiral restaurant of the Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila.  

A unique but timeless collaboration – fashion show director Robby Carmona with Miss World Philippines 2015 First Princess Cassy Naidas wearing a piece from Albert Andrada’s La Prosperite  Chinoise Collection, and Sofitel Philippine Plaza GM Adam Laker
Albert Andrada was presented with a bouquet by GM Adam Laker and Alice Jenkins
GM Adam Laker introduces Spiral’s culinary team

For Albert’s sartorial presentation at Sofitel, he highlighted jewel-toned pieces inspired by his colorful travels around the world. His dazzling masterpieces were elegant, stunning, and beautifully handcrafted – a signature of Albert’s. Case in point, his designs made pageant history with his inspired interpretation of the Philippine national costume and evening gown as worn by Miss Universe 2015 Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach. Truly, he has established his mark as a high fashion designer fit for royalty.

  The venue was the perfect backdrop for the awe-inspiring runway creations and culinary masterpieces.  If the intent was to delight all the senses with this event, then, definitely, the organizers have done a “magnifique” job with the visual extravaganza of Albert Andrada complemented by a bountiful feast by Spiral’s Chinese culinary artisan, Chef Michael Tai with his 10 Secrets to Happiness.  

The designer’s high profile clients in full support of his fashion show: Consul Agnes Huibonhua, Ching Cruz, Leo Espinosa, Ting Ting Cojuangco, and Consul Fortune Ledesma
Alice Jenkins, Rosan Cruz, Tessa Prieto-Valdes, and Sofitel’s Yasmine Hidalgo
With Mithi Aquino-Thomas, Consul Mellie Ablaza and Czarina Ablaza-Syquia

The latter’s gastronomic offerings that evening was a symbolic interpretation of prosperity, longevity, friends, faith and fortune. For the culinary artist, these are his ingredients to achieving happiness for the Lunar New Year.  

I must agree, after sampling some of my favorites: Slow-Cooked Abalone served with Money Bag and Supreme Sauce; Stuffed Sea Cucumber with Minced Pork “Szechuan Style”; Poached Dried Scallop Coated with Winter Melon in Dried Scallop Sauce; and heaps of Baked Lobster with Butter and Fried Garlic Hong Kong style. Chef Tai’s cooking unquestionably elevated my spirit to a state of bliss.

One of Albert Andrada’s loyal clients, Tina Cuevas
Precy Belleza, Belinda Laker, and Yasmine Hidalgo
Sofitel’s director of Sales and Marketing Alice Jenkins with general manager Adam Laker

Indeed, Albert Andrada and Sofitel’s unique collaboration was in perfect harmony like a beautiful lyric that inspires a renewed prosperity for a happy Chinese Lunar New Year.  

To this columnist, it was simply timeless.  Cheers!

A partnership of creative geniuses: Albert Andrada with fashion show director Robby Carmona
Tessa Prieto-Valdes with Michael Cinco
The Chinese New Year feast at the Spiral

For inquiries and reservations on Sofitel’s Spiral, please call +63 2 832 6988 or email H6308-fb12@sofitel.com.

Follow me on Twitter or Instagram @francis_deleon8 or email: deleon_francis@yahoo.com.

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