I am so beyond excited and ecstatic with having been asked to design the costumes for The King and I. You all might not know this but when I was 7-years old I played one of the king’s children in the Repertory Philippines production. That cast was stellar as the children then are all very well known stage actors and singers now. Names like Lea Salonga, Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo, Raymond Lauchengco and even some of you might remember the WEA twins?
It was a time when Philippine theater was at this golden era and everyone enjoyed it. Anna then was played by Tita Baby Barredo and the whole play was directed by Tita Bibot Amador. These two women are like the pillars of Philippine theater and my exposure to them have lead to my deep love and respect for the industry.
Back then Tito Freddie Santos was the assistant director and he has been a guiding light for me since my very start. So when he texted me if I wanted to be part of the new production and to design the costumes, I almost fell from my chair and jumped up and down! I immediately said YES! I know in my heart I am a designer today because of this production.
I fell in love with the costumes in the play and the play between the east and west. I fell in love with color, texture, shine, fabric and more importantly to create a visual story with clothes. I want to share with you some of my sketches for the costumes for this amazing play and please do your best to see it. I attended the press preview and it was simply magical! In many ways this is truly a dream project for me. It feels like coming full circle from the 7-year old boy mesmerized by that giant hoop skirt to now. Thank you for this opportunity!