Filipino avant-garde designer Rocky Gathercole has made a name for himself through his unconventional fashion aesthetic. Having dressed the likes of Hollywood femme fatales such as Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, Katy Pery, Sia and Thalia, Gathercole has indeed proven to be a force to be reckoned with in the fashion industry. The designer also has a line of stunning wedding gowns and other formal wear but his edge and trademark lie in his more risqué designs. More than once, he has defined the “Gathercole woman” as someone who is feisty, strong, and loves a challenge.
True to form, Rocky Gathercole’s persona and work ethics exhibit a kind of boldness and courage that goes beyond his fashion choices on the runway. It was just around July of last year when the benefit fashion event Rock the Runway was presented by Lifestyle Network in cooperation with For the Stars Fashion House. Rock the Runway paid homage to Rocky’s journey as a former street vendor and homeless teen by donating the event’s proceeds to Bantay Bata (Child Watch), an ABS-CBN Foundation International program for abused children.
Today, Rock the Runway contends with shows from HBO and CNN as a nominee for the Best Original Movie or Special category at the 2017 National Association for Multi-ethnicity in Communications (NAMIC) Vision Awards. The awards “honor original and digital programming content that depicts the lives, spirit, and contributions of people of color and best reflects the ethnic and cultural diversity of the viewing audience (from NAMIC Awards press release).”Beverly Desuasido, Executive Producer for Lifestyle Network, says that it was an honor to see [Lifestyle Network] shows alongside shows from HBO, ABC, OWN, Food Network, and CNN among others. “Not only is it my personal duty to shine light on our culture and roots, it’s the company’s mission to introduce our talent to the world stage, and this recognition solidifies our efforts. Looking forward to continuing this effort with ABS-CBN International,” says Desuasido after attending the nomination ceremonies.
We at Lifestyle Network couldn’t be more prouder of the success that Rocky Gathercole’s fashion benefit has reaped. After all, the opportunity alone to help Gathercole reach out to children in need was an honor in and of itself, not to mention that the event was a great platform for more people to get to know his inspiring story and advocacy. Not one to shirk from a challenge or run away from his otherwise dark past, Gathercole has shared his story in multiple interviews prior to Rock the Runway–he recounted his experiences as a battered child who had to run away from home and live in the streets, acknowledging them as a part of his past and identity. Possibly the wellspring of his unique and complex fashion aesthetic, Rocky’s rich and inspiring personal history brings a message of hope to those who hear it.
In a post-event interview with ABS-CBN News Hollywood reporter Yong Chavez, an emotional Gathercole delivers his message to the young who have yet to pursue their dreams:
“Lagi kayong mangangarap, mga bagets, mga bata. ‘Yun ang hindi natin kayang bilhin. So mangarap kayo, at tuparin ninyo ‘yun. Maraming salamat sa inyong lahat, mga kabataan, sa patuloy na paglaban sa buhay.”
“Do not stop dreaming, young ones. That is something that is priceless. Keep on dreaming, and makethose dreams happen. Thank you, everyone. Thank you–to the young who keep living and fighting for it.”
Rocky Gathercole’s collection of avant-garde designs was on full display at Rock the Runway, and if you’ve ever wondered what it looks like to keep on dreaming despite your circumstances, well–here are Rocky’s creations, which, like their creato
r, are all complex, creative, beautiful, and full of possibilities.
Photos by Sthanlee Mirador, Rex Vincent, Nerissa Fernandez and Alyssa Castillo
Be #PassionForward like Rocky Gathercole and let your passions inspire others, too. Visit us at www.lifestylenetwork.tv for similar content. #LNAchieveAmazing