Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Butlak: 8th Sunrise Festival Inspires Indigenous Fashion Show

photo by Mark Yamada
Growing numbers of Ilonggo designers are drawing inspiration from our local fabrics such as hablon and patadyong widely worn during the pre-Spanish era, and now they are coming up with fashions that give tradition a contemporary twist to these fabrics. And now, the fashion movement is gaining more strength.

The mere fact that our local fabrics is a very unique material and considered one of the country's famous indigenous fabrics is definitely something that we should proudly promote.

If anything, the designers represent a revival for a clothing tradition that has fallen out of favor in local villages such as in Miag-ao, Oton, Badiangan, Dueñas and Igbaras, where generations of young people have both left behind their homes and their customs. For centuries, the technique was passed down among women, where since their childhood, they learned skills.

Local fashion shows for the last ten years in Iloilo represent a lot of ethnic fashion. The rich colors that our local fabrics are famous for is reflected in the designs and local designers draw inspiration from that. For many, if a designer were to put something indigenous on, they would ask you “Why, how and where would you wear that? But, now, it is in style.

photo by Mark Yamada
Ian Jorda began working with our local fabrics a few years back with the indigenous-inspired garments and began to see how people were reassessing them. He is one of those many local designers who do deserve credit for trying to change the landscape of Ilonggo fashion.

In his latest fashion, BUTLAK: 8th Sunrise Festival in SM City Iloilo, Jorda showcased multi-hued corsets and nude-colored gowns infused with pieces from traditional shawls of polyhemp from Dueñas woven by Mrs. Susan Laboriante.

The Iloilo Provincial Government through the Office of Culture, Arts, History and Tourism has been organizing events and advocating in promoting things that are locally made, indigenous. Along with the MAHARLIKA Artists and Writers Federation or MAHARLIKA, an association of artists, writers and regional cultural groups all over the Philippines will hold “BUTLAK: the 8th Sunrise Festival” in Iloilo on November 25-27, 2011. Music, theatre, dance, visual arts, literature and fashion take center stage with its series of activities.

photo by Mark Yamada
Butlak Fashion Show series 2 will be on November 19 at 5 p.m. at the fountain area of Robinsons Mall and will feature the designs of Ryan Lopez (Red Tyler).

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