Wednesday, April 11, 2012

origins & translations

calling all fashion and fabric enthusiasts! professionals, amateurs, and students! even mere spectators! if there's one exhibit you must see now, dizzizit:
In its first design-focused exhibit for 2012, Origins & Translations: Philippine Textile Patterns & Motifs, the Yuchengco Museum looks at tradition as a source of inspiration for contemporary designers and artists.

In the ethnic tradition of textiles, a reconnection to a people’s heritage, ways of life, and belief systems is found through the motifs and patterns on the surface of cloth, apparel, and accessories. Textiles are integral to the personal, economic, sociopolitical, and religious lives of the indigenous groups that weave them.

With the creative mind, the possibilities from traditional textiles are endless. Origins & Translations puts together examples of indigenous textiles and clothing and a selection of inspired contemporary creations, retranslations, and reinterpretations by leading designers and visual artists. Whether inspired by patterns, the possibilities of material constructions, or the material itself, designers and artists today continue to celebrate, explore, and make Filipino culture relevant.

The exhibit mirrors original indigenous textiles and clothing from the collections of Floy Quintos and Al Valenciano. Among the contemporary translations and inspired works featured are paintings by National Artists for Visual Arts Abdulmari Asia Imao, Arturo Luz, and Hernando R. Ocampo; paintings by visual artists Ivi Avellana-Cosio, Roberto Feleo, Ricarte Purugganan, and John Frank Sabado; creations by couturiers Pepito Albert and Inno Sotto; fashion and accessories by fashion designers Amina Aranaz-Alunan, JC Buendia, Randy Ortiz, and Lulu Tan-Gan; sketches by stage and costume designer Gino Gonzales; a loveseat by furniture designer Ito Kish; and pieces from the designer collections of Silk Cocoon by Jeannie Goulbourn and Filip + Inna by Lenora Capili.

Also on exhibit are the winning pieces of the winners and semifinalists of the Fashion and Design Council of the Philippines’ Weaving the Future Philippine Fashion Design Competition.

among the items on display were a lot of pieces from the personal collection of theater writer/director floy quintos. below, albong takmun, which are little tops and jackets (embroidered, beaded, embellished with mother-of-pearl discs) worn by the bagobo tribe of mindanao:
check out this neckpiece made of crocodile teeth! it's called balungkag, also from the bagobo tribe:
look at this modern bustier by randy ortiz fashioned out of t'nalak, an abaca fabric handwoven by the t'boli tribe from south cotabato:
this ensemble by pepito albert incorporates dreamy pale tulle with purple abel, woven fabric from ilocos norte:
there was also a "pintado" bodysuit from inno sotto's 1995 collection, which was cleverly displayed next to a portrait of giolo, a fully tattooed islander who was brought as a slave to london way back in 1691 and then exhibited as a curiosity:
and there's inno himself! he came to view the exhibit and was constantly asked by fans to have their picture taken with him. he's a rock star!
it's wonderful to see the rich heritage the philippines has when it comes to textiles. i can imagine how inspiring this can be for all kinds of designers. there's so much to see and learn! go before it ends!

Origins & Translations: Philippine Textile Patterns & Motifs runs until April 24. The museum is located at RCBC Plaza, corner Ayala and Sen. Gil J. Puyat Avenues in Makati. Museum hours are from Monday to Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, call (632) 889-1234 or visit

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