Rocky Gathercole unveils new collection at a fundraising event for abused Filipino children.

Written by: Shin Kitane/Tuesday, Aug 15, 2017 09:52 AM

Photos by Krisz Viola


VERY GATHERCOLE--A term that has unequivocably come to describe an individual who carries the essence of Rocky Gathercole's aesthetic: risqué, feisty, and yes, complicated but also immensely beautiful. Rocky's newest collection, "Art Imitates Life/Life Imitates Art," is a passion project twenty (20) years in the making.


Twenty Years in the Making

"Iyon 'yung collection na 20 years na sa isip ko. 20 years na, gustung-gusto ko siyang gawin."

(Translated: This is the collection that has been brewing in my mind for 20 years now. For 20 years, I have wanted to make it so badly," says Rocky of the collection which was unveiled last August 12, 2017 during the Bantay Bata 20th Anniversary fundraising dinner. 

Rocky, once a battered child who ran away from home now seeks to support advocacies that aim to rescue and support abused and underprivileged children, such as ABS-CBN's Bantay Bata (Child Watch). It was not too long ago that Rocky also held a fashion show called Rock the Runway for the benefit of Bantay Bata.


Rocky's new collection, however, took the term Very Gathercole to an entirely different level. The collection sought to tell Gathercole's story through art, and it is a collection that Gathercole describes as similar to a butterfly's metamorphosis. In short, the collection was not just an ordinary one: It was also Rocky's origin story, and the narrative of his becoming as an individual.



The Why Behind His Art

In an emotionally powerful pre-interview, Rocky revealed why he chooses to give back the way he does:

"Ginawa ko lang talaga ito para makatulong sa Bantay Bata, (Translated: I really did this solely for the benefit of Bantay Bata," Rocky says of the driving force behind putting together such a large and complex collection. 

For Rocky, it isn't an issue of establishing his name anymore or making it bigger in the international scene. For an internationally-acclaimed designer who has already dressed the likes of Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, Katy Perry, Sia, and Thalia, the way Gathercole bares his purpose for coming up with his biggest, most ambitious collection yet is incredibly inspiring, sobering, and humbling:

"Kasi kung ang maiiwan kong legacy, yung magaling akong designer—ang daming magaling eh. Pwede pang sabihing may mas magaling parati, hindi puwedeng ikaw ‘yung pinakamagaling palagi. Palaging may mas magaling. So, this is the best legacy that I will leave this world—yung nakatulong ako sa mga bata."


(Translated: "If the legacy that I leave is only that of being a great designer--there are a lot of great designers. It can even be said that there will always be someone better than you. You cannot always be the best one. There will always be someone better than you. And so this is the best legacy that I will leave this world: the fact that I was able to help children in need."



Pangarap Na Bituin (Dream Star)

Today, Rocky is friends with a lot of prominent people, celebrities and politicians included. But back when Rocky was just a young teenager who was trying to make ends meet as a street vendor, there was one celebrity whose craft and music inspired him to dream: the Philippine Megastar, Sharon Cuneta.


It was revealed during the Bantay Bata event that Sharon Cuneta's song "Pangarap Na Bituin,"  was particularly instrumental in a young Rocky's journey to success. Rocky says of his rough start as a designer, back in the Middle East: "Noong bago ako sa Middle East, nilalait-lait ako ng mga designers doon. Hindi ako natinag." (Translated: "When I was a new designer in the Middle East, other designers kept on criticizing me. I didn't give up.")


And so during the unveiling of Rocky's Art Imitates Life collection, there was one sweet, empowering voice that emerged from the crowd--Sharon Cuneta's. Rocky, still weak from a previous hospital admission, was in a wheelchair but was crying tears of joy as he and the Megastar (who also became a good friend of his) shared a poignant moment while Sharon sang "Pangarap Na Bituin."

Watch Rocky Gathercole's life story on Maalaala Mo Kaya (MMK) on














































When you look at the core of your intentions, what drives you? #LNFindYourWhy


About Shin Kitane
Shin Kitane writes to remember and believes that words have the power to heal, inspire, and move others. She dreams of a world where men and women are treated equally, where race, gender, and religion are not measures of one's worth in society. She is also a book-hoarder and a firm believer in re-watching Mean Girls and Harry Potter multiple times a year. Follow her misadventures @shinkitane on social media.
Wardrobe Essentials for Every Woman: A Guide by Carla Sta Cruz + Veronica Kerzner
You don’t need a lot to wow the crowd, as two of our fabulous Design + Story artists will tell you.

Passion Forward with Rocky Gathercole: Fashion Rebel With a Cause
Filipino avant-garde designer Rocky Gathercole goes back to his roots and helps the children of Bantay Bata through his art.

Top Fashion Tips from Ingrid Aureada
Ingrid Aureada, currently one of Dubai's top international model bookers shares some of her favorite fashion tips with us.

We've Been Nominated: NAMIC Awards 2017
Lifestyle Network shows have been nominated at the 2017 NAMIC Awards.



Recommended Articles
Our Favorite Sydney Cafés
The History of the Pride Flag
Say It With Flowers
Beauty in Brokenness

Get the Lifestyle Network Newsletter

© 2015. ABS-CBN Corporation. All Rights Reserved.