Chito Vijandre’s artistry had its beginnings in drawing and painting during his childhood when he would create unusual works in art class, gaining school recognition, winning national art contests and participating in international art competitions and exhibits. He distinguished himself from his peers at an early stage, both in technique and style. While his peers were using light aquarelle brush strokes and pastel colors, Chito went a completely different way and applied paint directly from the pain tubes on to the canvas to create thick, rough textures in an expressionist vein with bright Fauvist colors. It was no surprise when he was eventually chosen to go to the Mexico Olympics to represent the Philippines in the prestigious international event’s art forum.
His talent continued to manifest but this time, in fashion, where he would gain acclaim for his highly original and refined designs favored by Manila’s most elegant women like Chona Recto Kasten and Tingting Cojuangco. At the age of 20, he was chosen as one of the designers for Chito Madrigal’s Bighabi International (Bighani means “to be in awe” in Filipino) and had his first one man show at the famed Hyatt La Concha which presented fashion shows by the country’s top fashion designers. His second show, “The Year of the Snake” further secured his fashion ranking and position in society.
His third and biggest show, “Vijandre”, mounted at the Philippine Plaza was the testament to his title as one of Manila’s master couturiers. Melding Africana and Victoriana in one spectacular pageant of haute couture creations, he treated Manila to a visual feast never seen before. With Chito, the pegs are never taken literally; tiny glass beads from a Masai necklace were turned into fully beaded flapper gown, one of which were worn to an international film festival at the Malacanan palace and was well received and applauded for its exquisite design and craftsmanship.
After renovating his home and expectedly receiving praises for his work, Chito started channeling his creative energies into interior designing. As expected, he won several awards and one of which was a platinum award for the production design and styling of the Bench commercial L’Amoureux.
Chito’s passion for everything artistic and beautiful provided him with an opportunity to open a landmark concept store that showcases a well curated selection of home accents, jewellery and object d’art. He also dabbled in designing the interiors of well known and loved restaurants and cafes.
After years away from fashion, his Alma mater, SLIM’S called upon him to create clothes again. His capsule collection for the fashion school’s anniversary show received raves from the fashion press, bloggers and the general public who wanted to see more from the designer, resulting in his selection as the designer for the next Red Cross Charity Gala fashion show.