Saturday, 10 August 2013

Iloilo Designers Week (IDW) in support of the local design and fashion business

There are three cities outside of Manila which are very prolific in the fashion design business based on the number of designers, fashion events and fashion industries. These are Cebu, Davao and Iloilo. 

Apart from Iloilo's pioneering great ideas in fashion events which ripple off for Ilonggo designers to go back to promote our very own handloom  textiles such as hablon or patadyong, which are the fabric focus for Ilonggo designers for its gala show, the city becomes a busy factory of making clothes and accessories. It also gives income to so many including production people and models.

 Of course, Ilonggo weavers in the rural areas are smiling that once more they will be on stage. IDW , on its second year,  is one of the many activities that are helping our local fashion industry to become a national pride.  Ilonggo designers Jaki Penalosa and Bo Parcon are the brains behind this event.

For designers to produce their collection is a test of visualization, putting pieces of inspirations into one line concept to bespeak the design philosophy of that designer. It is a challenge because a collection can make us or break us...specially to the pens of bloggers and media, some are merciless in spite how hard designers, specially the neophytes,  spend nights and days to work on their collection, even emptying their pockets to the last cent just to make their work outstanding. 

But the Iloilo designers are always fearless. There is always diversity in commonality like using our local fabrics. I think nowhere else in the Philippines that designers like the Ilonggos are so enamored with their own textiles. But it does not matter which fabric a designer use, runways are expressions of creativity. I love seeing fun things on the ramp. It tells us of how great minds can stimulate our creative economies forward.

A distinct point of view of a designer's body of works of who he is  a must  in the fashion business. In my case, I will always be in the resort fashion business. My line is more pret-a-porter than couture--although I make those as well. We are in the tropics and the Philippines is a major tourist destination, I feel, this is a huge market Filipino designers can fill in. Though there are  four global fashion selling seasons-- spring, summer, fall and winter---the new omni-present season is resort which is also called as holiday or cruise. So now there are five seasons.  Resort can mean by the beach, by the forest, by the Alps or frozen lake. 

Let me share with you how designers develop a line concept for a runway show  to build a point of view towards brand image building of a designer. 

Designers get inspirations from trends or tendencies they see in magazines, movies or streets. Some they just research on market preferences. Some go to libraries. Others are  based on consumers' needs. I love the re-surgence of the neon colors from the 1980's because I can relate to it and I think our world needs bright colors to counter some gloomy images of the now generation. This is my peg for my collection. Neon. Luminous. Shocking. Reflectors.

I love the the play of colors in accessories, they are spices to simple clothing these days. While nude color accessories have been a great look, I love the idea of mixing nude color with shocking color like the shoe here --second row from right. I thought I can make some like these accessories, too.

Colors, like fabrics, may dictate the collection of the designer. Black and grey are staple colors but somehow, I thought this can be tiring hues,too. I think Filipinos are not afraid of colors. We are in the tropics and culturally our day to day wear resembles our sorroundings--the gumamela flowers, emerald seas, the leaves in the rainforest. Details at;postID=2560764819041975309;onPublishedMenu=allposts;onClosedMenu=allposts;postNum=33;src=postname

Prints and patterns make a designer's collection. They make the clothing line three-dimensional. They are like graphics to plain canvasses of colored fabrics. I am enamored with always anything artisanal--anything made by hand. They show character and spirit of who made them.  Patchwork is a trend and I thought, it is just in time I am doing so.

The latest from Chanel are simple square geometrics. I love them. So 60's. Designers have their signature pattern, my brand Nautilus PJ Aranador, has its signature patterns of stripes because it immediately suggests resort, beach and holiday lifestyle...and I love to drop something ethnic in patterns because I like a sense of place and origin in my creations. MORE ON PRINTS;postID=373202146820801583;onPublishedMenu=allposts;onClosedMenu=allposts;postNum=26;src=postname 

Once we peg our inspirations, we do our sketches or studies. Designers start to visualize their collection with fashion illustrations where we add our specs and fabric swatches. 

It takes two to three weeks of non-stop work to build a small pret-a-porter ( ready to wear ) collection. Haute Couture takes six months, even one year. The rigors of work is hard but fulfilling. 
I am one of the only few swimwear and resort wear designers in the Philippines, I  will show the 2014 Spring and Summer  trends in color and print interpretations in my latest cruise collection. Many now realized that one of the best selling swimwear collections in Boracay sold to the world market are now manufactured in Iloilo City! 
Consistency is a good direction for brand establishment.  I continue with my signature stripes.
The neon colors in tropical fabrics such as cotton and chiffon.

In this collection, I will use the summer prints in my bags and jewelry while the outfits remain stark plain in blasting colors. My accessories this time will be patterned and textile-based! Last year, I showed handloom textiles in my resort wear with pineapple, pandan ( palm fan leaves) and upcycled tarpualin in bags and footwear. 

The patch work of scrap neon color fabrics will be made into textile-based bags mixed with local patadyong. The jewelry will be done with upcyled "tanzans" ( soft drink tin caps) with these fabric made into doilies. They will be done by students from Central Philippine University through its student livelihood program called Hearts to Hands--which I authored. ( More on

Patadyong espadrilles will be part of the mixed patterns to compliment the solid colors. Neon canvass espadrilles for men with jute will be in, too. 

Soft bags made from scrap hablon and discarded fabrics will be upcyled into beach accessories. And no non-biodgradable metal fittings. 
My green-social design called HABI which uses scrap fabrics from rags ( "trapo"/ "basahan") woven into the tinest texture made into resort espadrilles will compliment the look. HABI was formed by Ateneo University students to help under privileged women in dump site areas in Quezon City through the creation of the international-award winning project. We sell these fast-selling HABI footwear in Nautilus Boracay. 
There are these crafted wedges made from hablon and patadyong from my sketch pad transformed into great pieces by artisans. And I guess, with all the nitty gritty,  I am ready for the show. 

My resort 2014 collection will be shown  at the Iloilo Designers Week   21 September at 6pm SM City Iloilo Activity Center Ground Floor SM City Iloilo . Open to the Public. For gala night fashion show, my collegues at the Fashion and Design Council of the Philippines Jojie Lloren, Ivarluski Aseron & Cary Santiago with Philipp Tampus  will be with among over 20 Ilonggo designers who will show their collection on the gala runway August 24, 2013 6:30pm Kalantiao Hall, Sarabia Manor Hotel, Iloilo City. Regular tickets at Php 1k with dinner. You can only get this grand show for so less. Contact me for tickets. I sell my tickets for Php 900 only--that is a huge discount when you buy from me. just message me here. DETAILS at DETAILS at IDW

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