From Puey Quiñones' Spring/Summer 2020 show. All photos by Vivien Killilea Best/Getty for Puey Quiñones

From Puey Quiñones' Spring/Summer 2020 show. All photos by Vivien Killilea Best/Getty for Puey Quiñones

Puey Quiñones Unveils His Made In Los Angeles Couture Line

Puey Quiñones designed for gowns Filipina newsmakers such as Kris Aquino, a television host and daughter of former Philippines president Corazon Aquino.

He also gained notoriety with his documentary The World's Most Fashionable Prison. The 2012 documentary followed Quiñones teaching violent criminals how to make clothes at the Maximum Bilibid Prison outside of Manila.

In 2013, his business went bust. He was also caught up in controversy. A client accused him of sewing the Quiñones label into a wedding jacket that he didn't make. The designer called it an honest mistake and apologized. Quiñones moved to Los Angeles to reinvent himself.

In California, he worked for bridal design house Cocomelody. But he never let go of the ambition of making his own designs.

He officially marked a return to fashion couture on Aug. 20. He and business and life partner Paul Martineau, a curator at J. Paul Getty Museum, introduced a made in Los Angeles Puey Quiñones label. A reception and luncheon took place at Redbird. The critically lauded downtown Los Angeles restaurant is located in a building which formerly served as the rectory for St. Vibiana’s Cathedral.

Quiñones hoped that that his new line would be considered as giving back to his adopted hometown. “I wanted to contribute glamour and couture to the Los Angeles fashion scene,” he said.”I’ve attended a number of L.A. fashion weeks and I’ve seen mostly streetwear at those shows.” Streetwear was great he said, but a city at the center of so much art and performance needed styles with more refinement.

Quiñones’ Spring/Summer 2020 Collection was an homage to the work of pioneering couturier Cristobal Balenciaga, especially his looks from the 1940s and 1950s. Quiñones’ S/S styles also were inspired by the styles of religious people in his native Philippines. “Being sexy is not always about wearing revealing clothes. My definition of sexy is wearing something that you are confident in.”

During a 15-look presentation where cellist Jonathan Genziano played Bach, Quiñones showed looks such as silk taffeta dresses which were detailed with jewels. The show also included a houndstooth jacket paired with loose pants. In a nod to Balenciaga, others had balloon hems.

For now Quiñones said that he will be making clothes by appointments, which can be made through his website After further establishing his couture brand, Quiñones, eventually hopes to release a ready-to-wear line.