X Marks The Spot: Ziggy Savella Looks Back On His Decade-Long Career



As Ziggy Savella marks a milestone in the industry celebrating 10 years, we check back on the collection that reminded us why he was and still is a force to reckoned with.

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A rhythmic pattern of A gentle And Almost muffled rumble startles the crowd sitting (im)patiently in the dark. A grainy, whitewashed film that is projected on all four walls of the room then illuminates the wash of pitch black. A silhouette of a man clad in a printed verdant green appears and then a voice breaks through the scene. “I came back here.” Right off the bat, it was very clear that there was a lot of heart sewn in the seams of Ziggy Savella’s collection. After an absence of three years, refraining from participating in a full-blown fashion presentation, this was his comeback. And it couldn’t have been any more well thought of, produced and executed than it already was. It was relaxed, confident and nostalgic—lounge-wear rendered in easy printed fabrics. (Yes, the cozy element wasn’t lost on us.)

AN ODE TO INSPIRATION

“I lost my grandmother last year,” he shares. “This was an homage to her. I was feeling nostalgic and inspired. I had to do something about it.” Coming from a very special place, there wasn’t any hint of grief to the collection. Save for a more somber color palette of burgundy, forest green and navy blue, it was very current. People deal with sadness in so many highly personal ways; Ziggy Savella careened out of an expectation of anything grim. This was a celebration of a woman who trained him well in the technical skill of clothing construction. “Adaptive clothing— special needs clothing for the disabled and elderly is the biggest inspiration in this collection. So the whole vibe of the collection was very comfy,” volunteers Ziggy. It is interesting that he talks about inspiration in the present tense, as most tend to do away with it as mere jumping point, abandoning it once production gains momentum. True to Ziggy Savella form, nothing was forced—everything felt (and looked) just right.

THE REAL DEAL

One of local menswear’s rising stars, he was slowly gaining accolades that would propel him into the league of soon-to-be masters. But then suddenly, he became quiet. Not entirely uncharacteristic of the young designer, Ziggy didn’t exactly fall off the face of the earth (unlike the fate of dinosaurs, a fascination of Savella). His social media stream was generously peppered with steady clients, pet projects and finally, sprucing up his creative space. But when not designing or rabidly talking about anything and everything Korean, K-pop especially, he is an unassuming, low-key and shy guy. He quickly hits the pause button of this writer’s recorder a few minutes into our conversation, preferring to write down his answers instead. And his design aesthetic is an extension of the thoughtful without being highbrow, attainable with enough quirks to fuel conversations.

Red utilitarian jacket with black accents by ZIGGY SAVELLA

BACK AT IT

“Take care,” the short film’s protagonist says as he surveys the scene that is overcome with white. Traditionally, the phrase ‘take care’ underlies a subtext of ‘see you again.’ It couldn’t be a more fitting punctuation to a calm and sure-footed return to the runway for Ziggy Savella. Three years may have been too long an absence in fashion, but if the results are as on point as Ziggy’s then well, we will understand.

There is no doubt about it; this is where he is supposed to be. With that playful, almost mischievous glint in his eye, it is clear that he isn’t going anywhere. Well and good.


This article was published in the August 2015 issue of MEGA Man.

Photography RON MENDOZA
Styling ANGELO RAMIREZ DE CARTAGENA