(Photographer: Joseph Requerme)
THERE is never a time in a person’s life when one is freer than during his childhood.
Those days were spent in endless pursuit of adventures with the company of other toddlers dabbling in newfound discoveries, trifling with anything their hands can grab, leaving fragments behind from their exploits in forms of mud stains, paint splatter and dirty footprints, and uncontrollably laughing at every single mundane circumstance.
Part of the mirth of being a kid was the endless string of convivial days just doodling or painting characters from their wild imaginations or enchantments thought up in their sleep as well playing with different colorful shades—a joyful pastime that fashion designer Francis Oliverio, also known as Punky, considers memorable at the same time innovative when wielded right, hence his designs breathing all things purple and Punky.
“The color purple is a very rich and playful color. It reminds me of kindergarten, when I played with crayons,” he said. “Painting is so playful and child-like for me, too. I can’t really explain it but what the colors and hand painting do for me is that they take me to a special place—a carefree, dreamy place. They make me feel like a little kid again.”
Depicting a sense of novelty, Punky’s designs are composed of fabric manipulation with applications on the tulle of the purple dress rendering a touch of lightness and fluidity to the design. “I have always been interested in fabric manipulation. What I did to the purple gown is an evolution of what I did in the past. I applied different pins, tucks and pleats to the fabric to create newness.”
Both the hand-painted gown and dress were a first for him and were both inspired by street painter and artist Soika. “It was the first time for me to do hand painting. The gown was a collaboration with street artist Soika. The dress was painted by me and is about my take on the application of surrealism on clothes, inspired by Soika’s pop surrealism. We wanted to create new “game changer” designs to formal clothes,” he said, “The lips to me represent the sun, which is the earth’s main source of energy, while the blue represent the seas and the oceans which is another major source of energy and life,” he stated regarding the dress.
Too often, one’s childhood life is the hardest to abandon as those were precious moments. So like all good things, one takes it with him, never losing one’s childlike enthusiasm.
Francis Oliverio, known to his friends and family as “Punky” is a happy, free-spirited individual who believes in hard work and enthusiasm. After graduating from college and becoming a CPA, he worked for five years in government and private companies while taking up graduate studies in Management. He then studied certificate courses in Fashion and started to build a life within making clothes a year after.