PASSION FOR FASHION, VISION FOR ART

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Ehrran Montoya

Ehrran Montoya is a 26-year-old fashion illustrator and designer (from Morong,Rizal) who is ready to take on the world with his glamorous designs and his artistic approach. The Filipino visual artist is an up-and-coming fashion designer ready to pave his way into the fashion industry through his avant-garde aesthetic. His quirky personality combined with his passion for all things fashion and art make him a force to be reckoned with. Ehrran already made waves in the industry with his first-ever solo exhibition, having to dressed up the biggest star in Philippine showbiz, Vice Ganda, Miss Universe Philippines 2020- Rabiya Mateo, and many more, and now he is looking forward to wow his audience in the future with solo fashion shows and much more! For him, this is just the beginning of an exciting career and opportunities. 

  1. How and when did you get interested in Fashion? 

When I was young, I have always been a fan of Disney Princesses and their beautiful gowns, any animation that has to deal with fashion became an obsession, because I remember when I was 4 years old I would always draw illustrations of them and having to play dress up, through paper, it’s like creating paper dolls from scratch. Until I realized when I got older that the ones responsible for these wardrobe visuals are the fashion illustrators and the designers. My interest to know more about the fashion world started in high school when America’s Next Top Model was introduced to me by a friend to watch and from there I got a glimpse of how the industry works, I get to know the differences and roles of each creatives. My interest develop more as I became fully aware and knowledgeable about designers around the world through the help of pop artists like Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Rihanna and many more. 

  1. What is something you struggled with when entering the fashion industry? 

I think it’s more on the preparation side, because when I entered Fine Arts, all I wanted to do was just to finish a portfolio. I have this vision that when I finish college, I should have a complete set of works that defines my artistry so I could be what I want to become in the future. I was so fascinated about the fashion world that I wanted to become part of it instantly; I would always volunteer to assist in fashion photography, hair and make up or anything that has to deal with the creative works from fashion people just to build connections. And when I graduated, I immediately applied as associate designer for an internationally renowned fashion brand, Francis Libiran. I worked for him for 5 years and I got the position as his Creative Director after 4 years of service. I learned a lot from him and this experience lead me to many amazing opportunities including abroad. 

  1. What is something or someone that influenced your aesthetic? 

Someone that influenced me a lot is Alexander McQueen. His artistic approach in each of his creations are limitless and I feel like we have the same urge to create something that is out of the box. The only challenge to me is to tone it down since I am offering services to clients. That’s why I have the classic touch from Jean Paul Gaultier and Christian Dior in terms of their silhouettes to keep it wearable, elegant yet artistic in terms of details, color combinations and textures. 

  1. Who is your fashion Icon?

I actually have a lot of fashion heroes. Mostly from creatives that are innovative and has artistic approach. The likes of people from Vogue: Grace Coddington, Anna Wintour, J Leon Talley, and some designers that are artists in nature namely Karl Lagerfeld, Jean Paul Gaultier, Rei Kawakubo, Alexander McQueen, and for locals who are internationally renowned designers, it would be Cary Santiago for fabric manipulations and Michael Cinco for his over the top beadworks. For fashion models, I consider Naomi Campbell and Coco Rocha as Iconic. And also Tim Walker for his fashion visuals. 

  1. In your personal aesthetic, are you a risk taker or lean towards classics?

 I lean towards classic because I have to make sure that it’s always wearable, but artistic and out of the box in terms of textures, beadwork, details, structure, or play of hues at the same time. I’m the type of designer who thinks first of what should look flattering instead of risking the looks that I know are not good to begin with. That’s why I always achieve what’s on my design sketches. 

  1. With fast fashion on the rise, do you think it is important for designers to follow trends? 

You don’t have to follow trends. For me, I believe that you should be true to yourself and stick to your aesthetic because that’s what makes you unique and separates you from the rest because if you’re just going to follow trends, everything will look all the same.  It’s also not bad if you follow what’s new on the market if you’re catering for the mass. But It’s always easy to see a good designer when they follow their vision. 

  1. We are seeing a lot of change on social media in terms of body positivity and inclusivity but we have yet to see that change in the fashion industry. What are your thoughts on that? 

I’m pro inclusivity. Anything that’s part of your body is a form of art. Whether you’re a plus size or model size or whatever type of body you have, I believe that you should celebrate it as not flaws but simply embracing being unique. If you’re insecure with your body, I will design something based on your proportion that highlights the best parts of it because I consider that as an achievement if you create something that’s flattering on someone who’s so insecure about themselves. If a designer only designs for model figures, they’re just playing safe with it, because the world is full of various shapes and you should consider creating something out of it. A movement always begins from something that looks beautiful when it’s ugly for some and considers it as an accomplishment if it intrigues the norm. 

  1. What do you think needs to be done in order to achieve that fashion revolution? 

If someone will just push through with creating pieces that are not just on trend, it’ll start from there. The only key is for a designer to fully trust his/her vision without any limits. 

  1. What are your plans for the future? 

I’m planning to create more pieces A list celebrities, I want to showcase the fusion of my art and fashion to the world through them because I believe in my craft and I believe I have lots to offer, lots of concepts in mind that I want to give birth with, and hopefully I’ll have my own fashion show in the future. Part of my goal is to build a wider atelier.  

  1. What advice would you give to new designers?

Always stick to your aesthetic, don’t be afraid to step out of the box because you’ll know more about yourself out there. Expect that you’ll be facing a lot of challenges but with trusting the journey you’ll learn a lot on the way and it’s always another step ahead if you just keep on learning. Don’t be afraid to create mistakes as it’ll lead you to where you’re meant to be. Continue being curious, ask more questions, feed your soul with accomplishments, stay motivated, don’t let your past dictate your future and  lastly, Believe that God planted that vision in you for a reason.

RAPID FIRE QUESTIONS

Describe your style in 3 words.

It’s classic, glamorous and playful

A Fashion trend you thought was a disaster

I can’t think of any disasters. Anything that’s ugly is beautiful for me. 

A fashion trend you can’t get enough of?

The balloon skirts. For me it’s still classic.

If you could wear one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Black cardigan or anything that’s black!

If you have to describe your aesthetic in one color?

Lilac

One person that you want to design for?

I always wanted to dress up as Lady Gaga! That’s the goal.

Ehrran Montoya
Photo by: Miguel Alomajan

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