Saturday, August 15, 2015

The Artistic Merits of Ram Silva

Iloilo has one of the richest traditions in the creative activity of handloom weaving. The loom had been in constant threats of being extinguished by highly mechanized dominated textile industry for many years. If the handloom had survived, it is because of its ability to produce exquisite fabrics which machines cannot produce in spite of all their sophisticated technologies.

The handloom fabrics of Iloilo are as diverse as its culture. The towns of Miagao, Oton, Igbaras, Duenas and Badiangan are engaged in weaving fabrics and handloom weavers are one of the single largest groups of artisans in Iloilo. Handloom production is one of the largest economic activities for these towns.

Handloom dresses have paved a new trendy way in the fashion industry. From scarves to decorative throw pillow covers, hand loom materials have dominated the style and appeal everywhere.

People feel special when they get designer clothes unique and exclusive for their wardrobe. And more special if the money they spent goes for a good cause. Designer dresses which bring rural handloom weavers potential income. Feeling prouder creating hablon dresses is local designer Ram Silva.

Born and brought up in Barotac Nuevo, Iloilo, Ramonito Silva graduated with a degree in Culinary Arts at the University of San Agustin although he started his hands in fashion design at the age of 18 designing the national costume for a Hiligaynon Association in Paris, France. He had joined many local hotel and mall fashion shows and is known for the simplicity of his designs without compromising glamour and elegance. The designer finished a course in Fashion Design, Fashion Merchandising and Styling at the Fashion Institute of the Philippines and since then had sailed a long way for the ultimate aim to become the proud Ilonggo fashion designer with celebrity clients such as Janice de Belen, Toni Gonzaga, Shamcey Supsup, Vicky Rushton, Ai-Ai delas Alas, Jason Abalos, Jodi Sta. Mara and Angelica Panganiban.

Silva is no first-timer for the annual celebration of the Indigenous Fiber Fashion Fair. Since his exposure to the event in 2010, the designer noticed that handloom weaving is rapidly gaining popularity. He feels proud that the hablon dresses he is making for some clients are giving some smile in to our weaver’s faces and helping them.

Joining the fiber fair is the designer’s way of exploring the various ethnic patterns and material that can be used to inspire interesting designs, and that local weavers had placed their outstanding efforts to produce handloom fabrics. With the help from local fashion designers such as Ram Silva, their creativity and optimism to take up any design gives them encouragement to think something innovative. 

The annual Indigenous Fiber Fashion Fair organized by the Office of Culture, Arts, History and Tourism of the Iloilo Provincial Government and SM City Iloilo is where we showcase the hand-woven fabrics from different parts of Iloilo.

The show, now on its 8th year will open on August 24-28 with a trade fair and weaving exhibition featuring the weaving communities of Miagao, Oton, Duenas and Badiangan at the Food Court area and series of daily shows starting August 24 (Monday) showcasing Miagao LGU at 4 p.m. and ANYAG featuring designer Ram Silva at 5p.m.; August 25 (Tuesday) will feature HABOL ANINIPAY with Jose Marcial Luigi Escullar at 5 p.m.; August 26 (Wednesday) opens with the youth of Duenas in an accessory fashion show at 4 p.m. and HABLON MODA with designer Francis Ian Chua at 5 p.m.; August 27 (Thursday) will have the Iloilo Tourism Officers on Centerstage at 4 p.m. and highlights designer John Montinola in HABOL ILONGGO at 5 p.m.; August 28 (Friday) will have the students of Apparel and Textile Technology Department of the ISAT University at 4 p.m. and PRECIOSA with designer Sidney Eculla at 5 p.m.

The event is brought to you by the Office of Culture, Arts, History and Tourism of the Iloilo Provincial Government and SM City Iloilo in partnership with the Iloilo Science and Technology University, Department of Trade and Industry, Iloilo Models Guild (IMG), John Montinola and The Daily Guardian.

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