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Hope in a dress

MBxLM launches a one-of-a-kind collection for a special auction

On Jan. 18, at the Mayuree ballroom of the Dusit Thani, a merging of high and wearable art and fashion, rendered in 40 breathtaking, one-of-a-kind couture creations, will be sold at a silent auction to benefit two charities.

The first ever collaboration of Love Marie Ongpauco-Escudero and designer Mark Bumgarner, produced in a span of nine months, features 40 dresses, 15 of which was painted on by Love Marie (a.k.a. Heart Evangelista), a prolific actress who is now well on her way to becoming an equally prolific painter and whose works of art, exhibited both here and abroad, can easily fetch six figures (on the high end).

  • DESIGNED TO HELP Mark Bumgarner and Heart Evangelista collaborate on a 40-piece collection to be auctioned off for the benefit of two charities.

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  • DESIGNED TO HELP Mark Bumgarner and Heart Evangelista collaborate on a 40-piece collection to be auctioned off for the benefit of two charities.

(Images by Noel B. pabalate)

Drawn from varied inspirations and ideas,  the dainty dresses—“timeless and edgy, but wearable and basic,” says Heart—takes its cue from the designer’s and painter’s love for the feminine, both culled from nature and their own artistic sensibilities. Says Mark, “[Our ideas] came from art, gardens, flowers, and vines.” Bumgarner’s aesthetic have always veered toward womanly silhouettes, and each creation is handdraped, handtopped, handembellished—each piece made by hand—which accentuates the female form, like the white corset tea dress that accentuates the waistline.

“This dress is dedicated to the power woman,” Heart says. “This is actually especially made with a doctor in mind who works at a hospital that treats patients with thalassemia, a blood disorder that can be likened to leukemia, and that requires chelation as part of the therapy—an expensive treatment.” The cost for each patient averages R20,000 a month.

Each dress is earmarked for a special charity organization, with Corridors of Hope, a foundation for cancer-stricken children, being the other chosen beneficiary.

Mark adds, “I didn’t design with a specific woman in mind, but each dress is designed to make the wearer—whoever she is—feel beautiful.” Heart smiles, “And when a woman feels beautiful, she can do anything, and everything else follows.”

The best thing is, because each dress is a work of art, 10 years down the line, when it’s made its appearance in every important event (or if you’ve gone up or down a few dress sizes), you can always follow Heart’s cheeky advice: “Cut it up and frame it.”

  • cherrie

    I meant to say the dark gown with long sleeves

  • cherrie

    The dark gown is pretty