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Artistic license

Art comes to life in Mark Bumgarner and Heart Evangelista’s first fashion collaboration

When a massive “box” (made up of what looks like a hundred LED screens) set in a middle of a ballroom is hoisted up to reveal an assemblage of models with one in the middle dancing languidly to an ambient Enya-esque music, you know you’re in for a good show.

MB x LM. Race car driver-turned fashion designer Mark Bumgarner’s and actress-artist Love Marie Ongpauco-Escudero’s (a.k.a. Heart Evangelista) initials were enough to draw a roomful of fashionable guests, designers, editors, beautiful faces, and philanthropists, but the moment that box was lifted, the lights turned up, and models began snaking through the runway, it became apparent that this was no ordinary fashion collab debut. It was a demonstration of creative pursuits. It was a fashion spectacle. It was art.

  •  Ecru gown with boxy balloon sleeves handpainted by Heart Evangelista.

  • An army of models and muses for MB x LM fashion show

  • MODERN ROMANCE Heart and Mark’s first fashion collab is all about feminine silhouettes and romantic touches inspired by art and flower gardens

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  • Ecru gown with boxy balloon sleeves handpainted by Heart Evangelista.
  • An army of models and muses for MB x LM fashion show
  • MODERN ROMANCE Heart and Mark’s first fashion collab is all about feminine silhouettes and romantic touches inspired by art and flower gardens

The MB x LM is a 40-piece collection, 15 of which were handpainted by Heart. Their dresses, according to the artist, exemplify femininity. Romantic is another way to put it, pieces every woman would want—covet—to wear. With dramatic flourishes to fanciful column gowns and tea dresses, lace and embroideries in all the right places, clean lines, deep and sweetheart necklines, boxy balloon sleeves, capes, trains, a celebration of shoulders.

The rich fabrics underpin long and easy silhouettes. The colors bold and straightforward—green, red, black, grey, ecru, white—fine canvases for Heart’s heavy expressive brushstrokes that bloom into delicate flowers and gilded floral patterns.

Watching the show was like seeing Heart’s paintings come to life. The models including celebrity muses Bianca Valerio, Lovi Poe, Maggie Wilson, Julia Barretto, Gabbi Garcia, Ariella Arida, and Hillarie Parungao) were her pensive and melancholic “girls” in a profusion of colors, prints, and patterns creeping from their hemlines to their necks.

The collaboration, the marriage of ideas and perspectives, was so seamless the collection looked cohesive without losing touch of Mark’s classic streamlined style and Heart’s bold oeuvre. This familiarity and respect for each other’s aesthetic was borne out of a professional partnership that effortlessly turned to friendship. Through the years, the fashionable friends started discussing ideas on how they wanted to paint and design shoes (something people should definitely watch out for). It was Mark who said “Why don’t just paint on the gowns?” So she did. And for a cause. During the fashion show gala, a silent auction was held, for which all proceeds would go to the Corridor of Hope Foundation and Thalassemia International Association.

As Maggie Wilson sashayed down the runway wearing the collection’s breathtaking all-white finale piece (custom-embroidered pants and a train jacket intricately handpainted with delicate gilded vines, flowers, and leaves), Heart Evangelista stood silently backstage, taking it all in. “I didn’t want to blink. It was like a little girl’s dream come to life!”