Text and Images by John Legaspi

Celebrating every Filipina of the nation, the Designers Center of the Philippines (DCP), in partnership with The Forest Lodge in Camp John Hay, mounts “Luzviminda: Tapestries that bind our Independence” fashion exhibit. With its title derived from the three main regions of the Philippines: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, it aims to present the rich weaving heritage of the country through Filipino formal wear, but in a couture level.

The exhibit showcases the works of the 80 members of the DCP coming from all over the Philippines. “We want to strengthen the use of indigenous materials in the market,” says Francis Calaquian, chairman of the DCP. “And by mixing those textiles with other fabrics, we transformrd the cultural garments of the Philippines, celebrating both the craft of weaving and the art of the classic Filipina dressing.”

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Francis Calaquian

 

Culture Couture

An ode to the delicate beauty and grace of a Filipina, “Luzviminda: Tapestries that bind our Independence” strengthens the voice of the weaving tribes and local artisans. It is a flight of freedom from the crazy world of fast fashion and into the creative minds of our ancestors all over the country.

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Walking through the exhibit is like traveling to every island of the archipelago. From the lavishly beaded Filipinianas, romantic ternos, Maria Clara dresses complete with pañuelo, camisa, and tapis in an array of colors, to the elegant gowns that celebrates the fabrics from the southern part of the country, the exhibit is a one-of-a-kind display of true patriotic style.

Mountain Threads

The Cordillera region is among the many homes of local weaving in the Philippines. Ethnic tribes such as the Igorots managed to keep the long thread of weaving culture alive, even after the Spanish and the American colonial era, making it inextricably part of the tribe’s ritual and life. A major tourist spot, Baguio City is such a perfect fit to mount the celebration because of its warm hospitality and its treasure trove of artisan works.

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Ramon Cabrera

“Heritage is rich here in Baguio, and we want to support it with something closer to everyone which is fashion,” says Ramon Cabrera, general manager of The Forest Lodge. “Fashion plays an important role in our lives. It is considered a medium to express ourselves, and I think Baguio City champions both fashion and heritage.”

An ode to the delicate beauty and grace of a Filipina, “Luzviminda: Tapestries that bind our Independence” strengthens the voice of the weaving tribes and local artisans. It is a flight of freedom from the crazy world of fast fashion and into the creative minds of our ancestors all over the country.

Traditional Throwbacks

The exhibit will run until Aug. 13 at the lobby of The Forest Lodge. And on Aug. 9 the exhibit will be brought to life with a spectacular runway show.

To give a taste of what’s to come, guests witnessed a fashion show during the launch of the exhibit.

Mimicking one of the country’s revered traditions, the Flores de Mayo, models walked the runway and posed on pedestals donning the reimagined pieces inspired by different cultural wears.

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The ethnic display became more festive with the performance by the City Rondalla and the traditional Igorot dance by Ub-bok.

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Ub-bok

Filipino flavors reigned supreme with tables full of local delicacies from chicken inasal and lumpiang sariwa to halo-halo, bibingkang kawali, and puto bumbong for a sweet finish. All the dishes were prepared in the kitchen of the Forest Lodge under the direction of Chef Billy King.

“The Forest Lodge, together with the DCP, aims to showcase and promote tradition and heritage through a world-class couture collection made from indigenous materials and local textiles,” says Cabrera. “We believe that while we move forward to the new millennium, we need to preserve, enrich, and enliven our diverse culture, a single piece of clothing at a time.”

www.campjohnhayhotels.ph | Facebook: @TheForestLodgeCampJohnHay | theforestlodge@campjohnhayhotels.ph | DCP Facebook and Instagram: @DesignersCirclePH

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