Being one of the most anticipated fashion events in Iloilo, I have always wanted to participate in the Indigenous Fiber Fashion Fair (IFFF). One of the items in my bucket list after graduating was to have my mother seated in the front row and watch my works on the runway. IFFF was supposed to be her first time to witness one of my fashion shows, but sadly, she passed away before the event. I know my mother takes great pride in me and what I have achieved. I will continue to make her proud.
I first stepped on the IFFF stage in 2017 to showcase my 3-piece capsule collection; I was a fashion design student then. The numerous compliments my hablon pieces garnered motivated me to incorporate them in future projects. It was all a dream then but fast-forward to 2019 and those dreams have turned into a full-blown collection.
I always begin the conceptualization phase of my collections by sketching on a blank canvass. I start out with random marks that create straight, curved, broken lines. From there, my imagination takes over as these lines begin to come together to finally form my creations. This process of starting out with lines is evident in my collection, thus I named it “Balangkas.”
Basic casuals, precise details, chic, tailored with a bit of softness, these qualities embody Peach Garde for Hermosa in the 12th Indigenous Fiber Fashion Fair. Lines are incorporated in every piece. You can see waves, stripes, pleats, and my signature cut-sewn technique. They are not patched but precisely patterned. This technique requires painstaking work, especially sewing. It requires proper clipping to release tension with the fabrics and careful pressing after every section is matched. I love a clean and tailored-finish and I always value the quality of how the garments are made. So to achieve my designs I personally did ninety percent of the cutting and sewing for this collection.
Participating in this year’s “Hablon” Fair has given me great honor and pride while allowing me the opportunity to promote the local fabric. Twelve years and counting, we are blessed to have our own textile to show the world. This is a big venue to celebrate culture, arts and history as a means to pay tribute to the great weavers of the past and today in the province of Iloilo. We can definitely stand proud and say that our Hablon is of quality, valuable, and fashionable.
Want to know more about Hablon? Catch the latest episode of the Daily Guardian Documentaries where we discuss its past and present.