Saturday, June 23, 2007

Filipino Elegance at the Casa del Shai

The lovely Miss Shai Delacroix has truly outdone herself with her latest release, the Filipiniana Collection. A series of gowns that embodies traditional Filipino style with old-world elegance and flair, these are works of art in themselves. All in attendance were quite impressed with these designs when they debuted at the Second Convention Fashion Show, with good cause.

The care and painstaking attention to detail lavished on these gowns is evident in the lace of the bell sleeves and bodices, especially in one of my favourites, the Traje de Mestiza Terno. The panuelo (shawl) and bell sleeves are exquisite, as are the floral details on the skirt - which gives just the right impression of luxuriant weight and volume with deep, well-shaded folds in the fabric.

Casa del Shai Traje de Mestiza Terno.

I'd admired the deceptively simple silhouette of the Imelda Terno dress when I first saw it in the original Verdant, and had suggested a version in cream or ivory, so I was thrilled when Shai dropped me her most recent variant of the Imelda Terno. Sleek and sophisticated, this dress is far more subtle in its charms than others in the collection, but no less stylish. The draped silk of the bodice is meticulously shaded, as is the "ink-dipped" hem of the slim column skirt.

Casa del Shai Imelda Terno in Ivory.

There is a wealth of history behind these gowns that one should be acquainted with to properly appreciate them. Shai's posts on her blog detail the inspiration behind each of her designs, and should serve as inspiration, too, to other designers who wish to recreate their national costumes in SL. I'm hoping this will pave the way for more ethnic dress (especially of Asian origin - I have to admit being biased in that respect). As observed by many, there are myriad styles in which you can choose to attire yourself, but few available quality choices when it comes to ethnic costume, so this is a step in the right direction. Shai's hand-painted texturing and vibrant use of colour is nothing short of luxurious in these gowns, and her hard work and dedication in bringing us this collection has certainly paid off.

Shopping Information
Casa del Shai - Deco (112, 152, 30)