Sunday, June 27, 2010

Bench Uncut 2010, A Bold Look at the Future and Remembering the Past

Bench Uncut 2010
A Bold Look at the Future and Remembering the Past
Promotional Posters for the Event

Bench has been successful in stripping down hot celebrities for more than a decade.  In 1999, Bench published a 120 - page coffee table book of 203 duotone photographs with Jomari Yllana on the cover. Models include Cesar Alex, Alvin Amposta, Jordan Castro, Andex Cordova, Vladimir Cvetkovic, Junell Liwanag, Chema Marquez, Mark Santos and Raymond Stafford. Models, including Jomari Yllana, had their photos shot on different locations, both indoor and outdoor, wearing only underwear or, for some, nothing at all. I feel lucky to have this rare cofee table book.

The foreword in this book written by Butch Francisco (2000) is indeed worth mentioning in setting up the lens for understanding the current trend in the Marketing field in the Philippines.

There are not many sights more provocative than a pair of briefs. Not the new ones crisply pack in plastic, but a pair in use, doing what it does best.

Perhaps this is one good reason why, despite being able to trace back to the Renaissance and to antiquity the nude male body as a sex object, many lens men still prefer photographing men in their
underwear or skimpy- best, even if not for sales pitch purposes. Although, of course, it was
commercial photography – upon whose immediate impact was created by the valuable art photography of the audacious Robert Mapplethorpe – that gave birth in the ‘80s to the idea of using scantily-clad, young, handsome, and muscled men to advertise anything from underwear to cosmetics, to toothpaste, to liquor. These youthful and beautiful and men had invaded the world’s most famous designers, as such noted photographers as Richard Avedon, paired them with top female models. Soon every man wanted to look bigger and have smoother skin, be -supplemented and pumped up- the likes that would even make the best athletes of yesteryears look wimpy in comparison. Talk about nature imitating art!

The success of this book was only the beginning, and soon enough, on succeeding years, Bench have launched several campaigns presenting their models in their underwear to promote the whole brand itself. I shall say, they have broken the barriers in promoting the brand, stripping a celebrity, but for me, entertaining the eyes of the public. For me, it’s a win - win situation, Bench may get to reap the benefits of their campaigns on these sales pitch, on my case, on the consumer’s point of view. It’s entertainment. Yes, they’ve come a long way, from a coffee table book to big fashion events such as Understatement (2004), Bench Fever (2006), Be Bench Model Search (2007), and Bench Black Out (2008).  

Bench will have another denim and underwear show on the big dome, “Bench Uncut” on July 2. As previously done, the company entertained my eyes by scattering blown-up pictures on billboards several hot spots in Metro Manila.

Here are of the pics and the posters. 

Hover on the image to see their names and click on the thumbnails for bigger pics. My personal favorite is Jome Silayan. When i saw his picture, i was like "who the hell is this guy? H'e so heavenly hot!" and it took me three hours to look for his name. 

Geoff Taylor

Rafael Rosell

Rayver Cruz

Aljur Abrenica

Ron Morales

Jome Silayan

Jon Avila

John Prats

Jome Silayan

Gerald Anderson

Diether Ocampo

Jake Cuenca

More pics on the next posts.
All Photos credit to the owner
Some pics from GwapoRepublic
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