Monday, August 10, 2015

Weaving Heritage into Modern Fashion

hablon and patadyong short dresses by Ian Jorda


Our country's unique fashions have relied so much on our local textiles, its cloth, patterns and colors, as much as garment type, styles and looks. A wide variety of local textiles have all contributed to the definition of modern Filipino fashion.

The designs and fabrications of our local textiles have changed from culture to culture, artist to artist, expressing history and experiences throughout generations.   

hablon dress by Jun-g Candelario,
photo by Drae Pilarta
Major Filipino fashion designers had helped put Indigenous textiles on the map. They worked with local weavers and their handlooms to come up with fabrics to produce fashion garments. The focus on Indigenous textiles by local designers was reinforced by local and international trade fairs and exhibitions thus expanding indigenous cultural production, including fabric clothing and accessories. Many continued their connections with several weaving communities.

With very few local designers trying to help handloom weavers in their own way, there is still a great for local government agencies and local government units to promote our handlooms especially to work on innovation. The role that designers play is to bridge the gap between the weaver and its end user.

red hablon cocktail by Ian Jorda
Applauding the creation of an Indigenous Fiber Fashion Fair to throw the limelight on a dying craft, the Office of Culture, Arts, History and Tourism of the Iloilo Provincial Government was motivated and dedicated a week for handlooms. The event hoped for handlooms marketability not only in Iloilo but also all over the country and around the world. The event will be a moment of celebration for handloom workers, designers as well as weavers who spent tireless hours in their looms to create beautiful fabrics.

Started in 2008, the annual indigenous Fiber Fashion Fair co-organized by SM City Iloilo is an event where Ilonggo weaving grandmothers, mothers and daughters exhibit their handloom fabrics. The fair and exhibit is something they all look forward to every year allowing them to develop their art that sustains, supports and promotes their cultural heritage and improves the lifestyle of their community members.

polyabaca dress by Jun-g Candelario,
photo by Drae Pilarta
The intention of the event is to jump over the stereotypical handloom fabrics of patadyong, polyabaca and hablon to a product that would fully interface with the professional commercial world yet not losing the essence of its cultural identity and integrity. Local fashion designers are involved where they prepare suitable fashion garments through a fashion show.

The annual celebration hope to further accelerate the growth of handlooms and motivate many young generations from the weaving community to pursue this art and widen their interest in not only producing them but also in enhancing the handloom brand value amongst fashion consumers across all age groups.

pink hablon gown by Ian Jorda
The 8th Indigenous Fiber Fashion Fair 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.

Hablon gown by Jun-g Candelario
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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