Iloilo Designers Week makes dazzling comeback after 3 years

By Sean Rafio

After a three-year hiatus, the much-anticipated Iloilo Designers Week made a triumphant return with 23 collections from the most promising designers and brands in Iloilo.

Kicking off with a dazzling gala night at the Iloilo Convention Center, the event last November 11, 2023, aimed not only to showcase the region’s burgeoning fashion scene but also to raise funds for the preservation of the cultural gem, Museo Iloilo.

The main spectacle unfolded at the Festive Walk Mall in Iloilo City from November 16 to 18, 2023, where a three-day fashion extravaganza showcased the creative prowess of local designers. The highlight of the week was the presentation of 23 stunning collections, each consisting of 10 meticulously crafted pieces that encapsulated the unique vision and identity of the designers.

The event featured an impressive lineup of designers, representing the diverse and thriving fashion landscape in Iloilo. Day one saw the runway graced by the works of RG Macabanti, Aisha Peñalosa, Jaki Peñalosa, Glen Paracale, Habi Essentials PH, Yepyep Mesina, Jayson Bayotas, Junjun Rios, Erik Castelo, and Djohn Clement.

Day two continued the fashion spectacle with designers Jio Azarcon, John Lee Betita, Peach Garde, Regine Espinosa, Mark Jerez, Doddie Tan, Kimbert Jhun Masillones, Tata Blas Pinuela, Toto Ron Jaculina, and Sidney Eculla, each presenting a distinct and captivating collection.

The grand finale on day three featured the creations of Totong Gellangarin, Cyril Villanueva, and Patterns by Joush, leaving the audience in awe with their innovative designs and expert craftsmanship.

Iloilo Designers Week is an annual project spearheaded by the Designers Guild of Iloilo, under the leadership of Jaki Peñalosa. The event serves as a vital platform for local designers to showcase their talent and creativity to a wider audience. It not only promotes the use of local fabrics, such as the intricately woven hablon, but also fosters a sense of community and collaboration within the Iloilo fashion industry.

Beyond the glitz and glamour, Iloilo Designers Week plays a crucial role in empowering the local fashion scene. It provides a space for emerging designers to gain exposure, collaborate with industry professionals, and connect with potential clients and buyers.

As the lights went out on the third and final day of Iloilo Designers Week, the echoes of applause lingered, marking the success of an event that not only celebrated fashion but also elevated Iloilo’s standing in the regional fashion scene.