Pepito Albert Collection
- 20 October 2023
By Glenna Aquino
His elegant and feminine designs gained him a loyal fan base among Manila’s elite and through the years it included everyone from Irene Araneta, Tina Ocampo, Kaye Tinga, Maricris Zobel, Monique Villonco, and the late Nina Halley; they all loved how he made them look. He was known for a silhouette that was romantic, and feminine and his knowledge of technique and construction was impeccable. Pepito Albert had a haute couture sensibility which guided everything he did in life: attention to detail, precision and uniqueness; valuing exclusivity and the idea that fashion should be personalized.
Some of Pepito Albert’s collected artworks, curated at the Salcedo Auctions main gallery. Facing front from left to right: Demetrio dela Cruz, ‘Scapegoat (2013)’; Emmanuel Garibay, ‘Untitled (contemporary portrait of a man)’; Leeroy New, ‘Flaming Chair’; Don Salubayba, ‘Twm-Hee-Yaaa’
He was also an avid art collector and because he approached fashion not merely as clothing but as a means of artistic expression, he was drawn to appreciating the visual arts, finding aesthetic synergy with a younger generation of visual artists.
Fashion designers are always intrigued by shapes, form and color and he found himself gravitating towards works exhibiting the raw and brutish quality of Neo Expressionism, the geometric shapes and colors of Abstraction and the dreamlike reality of Surrealism. The themes and subject matter of Surrealism and Neo Expressionism resonated with him. He supported emerging artists and was good at spotting raw talent. The paintings seen together, become nothing short of delightful even for those not inclined towards the predominant artistic styles in the collection.
A three-piece inabel suit from Pepito Albert’s atelier. He also possessed a Louis Vuitton Sirius 55 monogram soft suitcase travel bag and a Stratos 80 travel bag set. Also in the picture a gold leaf mirror with handcarved frame.
He also collected black and white woodblock engravings after the original watercolors of the English traveler and artist Charles Wirgman.
In the mix are black and white engravings of travel accounts in the Philippines found in the Le Tour du Monde series of journals from the 1880’s. The mid-19th century prints depict scenes of life in the islands and have modern -day cachet for their value as decorative material culture capturing the essence of a bygone era. These prints have become harder to find.
Pepito had a tight circle of friends he would hang out with, he was a deep thinker, fiercely protective of his privacy, in spite of being one of the country’s leading designers.
It’s hard to think of a better opportunity for Pepito Albert’s muses and collectors alike to have some of his personal indulgences both precious and prosaic, that he lived with till his very last days.
gavel&block’s art+design ‘the estate sale’ is supported by Exclusive Bank Partner HSBC. Preview is ongoing up to Friday, Oct. 20, 9am-6pm. Auction starts at 11AM, Oct. 21. View catalogue and register to bid