FROM THE GROUND UP: KELVIN MORALES’ ROAD TO THE WORLD OF FASHION
If there is one thing that sets Kelvin Morales apart from other visionaries, it is the sense of uniqueness he found in the early days of his childhood.
In the days leading up to Kelvin Morales’ discovery of his love and passion for fashion, he recalled his frequent visits to his grandparents who would often let him borrow their art supplies.
“When I was a kid, my brother and I would visit my grandparents [who are both architects] every weekend, and we started taking an interest in art and creating random drawings. Then every Christmas we would get art supplies from them,” Morales shares.
Morales, who took Fashion Design and Merchandising as his college major at De La Salle College of St. Benilde, said that his “quirky and contemporary” designs are inspired by the books he read and the music he listens to.
“I’m into dark, quirky and contemporary art. I’m a book collector and I listen to music for inspiration,” says Morales.
Revolutionary pop artist Lady Gaga, who was topping charts, grabbing awards, and headlining the national dailies in the early 2010s, played a big role in Morales’ life.
“I am a huge Lady Gaga fan. My aesthetics were heavily inspired by her dark,” Morales explains adding that the singer also embodies his brand’s ideals and artistry. “Lady Gaga is brave and unapologetic in showing unusual things in society,” he adds.
Morales’ efforts in college paved the way for his first real step in the fashion industry–soon after he graduated, local magazines already flocked in his inbox to feature his unique designs. “After my graduation fashion show, local magazines noticed my works and they started to feature them. I was also invited to the Panasonic Manila Fashion Festival in 2018.”
As of this writing, Morales’ brand “K/M” has released its latest collection inspired by his curiosity of the human flesh.
“What if the human skin can be used as material for clothing without the judgmental social hiss on cannibalism? What would it look like in the modern day?
How would it feel?” the designer shares.
Morales’ latest designs invite us to look into his ever-inquisitive mind, as he turns his interpretations into a consumable works of art.
“Clothes should be an extension of one’s self and with this collection I took that literally. I interpreted skin as clothes and translated it into clothing that mimic that concept. This contextualises the human body and the function of fashion in a different way, dismantling the stereotyping of race and beauty.”
Produced by: Leo Balante
Photography by: Josh Tolentino
Shot on location at Penthouse Studio