In theater, “the fourth wall” is the artificial boundary that separates the actors from the audience. In this spread, fashion and film collide with the help of Ang Larawan’s stellar cast.
The movie musical, to be released in 2016, is based on National Artist for Literature Nick Joaquin’s three-act English play A Portrait of the Artist as Filipino. First published in 1952, Joaquin’s work has been depicted numerous times on stage and on screen and in English and Filipino—making it one of the most pedigreed literary works in the Philippines.
Rachel Alejandro and Joanna Ampil play Paula and Candida Marasigan, spinster sisters who are ill-prepared to deal with their family’s fading fortune. Their story is set against the backdrop of World War II and the looming threat on Intramuros, the walled city of Manila.
Nonie Buencamino and Menchu Lauchengco Yulo play Manolo and Pepang Marasigan, respectively. The scheming older siblings of Candida and Paula, Manolo and Pepang both want to sell the painting done by their reclusive father Don Lorenzo Marasigan, dispose of the ancestral home, and divvy the spoils.
Noel Trinidad, Nanette Inventor, Bernardo Bernardo, Dulce, and Jaime Fabregas play close friends of the Marasigan family. Frequent visitors at artistic gatherings called tertulias, they saw the siblings grow up and the world change before their eyes.
After playing Candida in the 1998 stage adaptation of Joaquin’s Portrait, Celeste Legaspi returns not just as an actor cast in a different role, but as one of the film’s producers. In her notes, she writes: “Larawan is that point in our history when an old world was destroyed to make way for the new. According to Joaquin, something happened to Filipinos within the twilight of peacetime and the long night of World War II. We lost not just the city in the final bombing, but our innocence and moral core, our dignity. By the time the smoke cleared and the bodies were counted, Filipinos were never the same again.”
See the entire fashion editorial, which features 15 actors and one model, in the September issue of High Life.
Photography by Jonathan Baldonado. Styling by Guada Reyes and Nina Diaz. Hair and makeup styling of actors by Jerome Chang and by the artistic team of Ang Larawan. Makeup styling of model by Archie Tolentino for Nars Philippines. Hair styling of model by Cris Colina by Cynos Inside Hair Care. Modeled by Jessica Sulevova for Reign Models. Special thanks to Gay Ace Domingo and Alemberg Ang.