Friday, August 29, 2014

Philippine Fashion Designers Rock 2014 Emmys

Philippine Fashion designers Oliver Tolentino and Monique Lhuillier made their presence felt anew at the recent Emmys.
Oliver created a royal blue embroidered ensemble for “The Big Bang Theory” actress Mayim Bialik. It was the second collaboration for the two as Oliver also designed Mayim’s emerald green mermaid gown in last year’s Emmys. “Oliver just works with everything. Nothing was a problem for him,” the actress shared in an interview. Oliver, for his part, took to twitter to express how “honored” he is working with Mayim. 

Meanwhile, Monique designed Mayim’s “The Big Bang Theory” co-star Kaley Cuoco’s red backless dress with pink embroidered pattern, with matched her pixie cut. Both designs were hailed by critics.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Sen. Loren Legarda and Kultura: Bringing Philippine Fashion to the mainstream

During the President’s recent State of the Nation Address (SONA), Senator Loren Legarda turned heads when she wore a traditional attire of the Mandaya indigenous community composed of a bado (blouse) with embroidered geometric designs of colorful threads and beads, and a dagmay (handwoven skirt) made of abaca strips, dyed using organic colorants from plants and herbs.
Earlier that day, she had attended the opening of the Second Regular Session of the 16th Congress, wearing a kinamayan skirt handwoven by the Tingguians of Abra. The skirt is designed with frogs that depict abundance, “3 kamay” that represents the growing palay, and the joinery at the edges represents the hands that planted the rice. She also wore a pangalapang necklace, one of the ornaments of the Cordillera people in the eastern Ifugao region. It is made of six pieces of mother of pearl formed into flat trapezoidal shapes and connected by a thin rope of finely braided rattan.

Her fashion choices are in keeping with her “lifelong passion to explore the indigenous artistry of Filipinos told through traditional textiles. Our vibrant traditional textiles are revelations of the Filipino’s indigenous life, reflections of our cultural rootedness, and symbols of our identity.”

Her passion had led her to author Republic Act 9242, the Philippine Tropical Fabrics Law, which promotes the country’s natural fabrics through their use for official uniforms of government employees.

The same fervor has inspired her to spearhead programs to create awareness about the country’s weaving traditions and cultural heritage through the Hibla ng Lahing Filipino Gallery, the country’s first permanent textile exhibit at the Museum of the Filipino People. She also supports the National Museum’s Lecture Series on Philippine Traditional Textiles and Indigenous Knowledge.

“The tropical fabrics industry has great potential in the world market,” she says. “We already have the raw materials and the skill to start with — sturdy abaca from all over the country; banana fiber from plantations in Sultan Kudarat and Davao; delicate pineapple fiber from Camarines Norte and Mindanao; and precious silk from Negros Occidental and Benguet.

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This is a passion she shares with Kultura Filipino, which she says, “has been promoting “fashionalism” — fashion with nationalism — by selling only products that are not only locally made but also represent Filipino traditions and culture.”

During a visit to Kultura at SM Aura Premier, Senator Legarda was fascinated by the contemporary Filipiniana collection in the store. Indigenous fabrics were transformed into modern pieces — mantons made of abaca, silk ponchos, and piña silk blouses — bringing Philippine Fashion into the mainstream, and hopefully to a more global market.

There were also a wide selection of elegant evening bags and accessories — mother-of-pearl clutch bags and jewelry with agate stones and South Sea pearls.

“Kultura features a wide selection of tropical garments, woven bags and Filipino-made accessories that can be worn and used in the office and even during casual and formal gatherings,” she says.

More than that, “being located in SM malls, Kultura stores are able to attract more Filipinos and foreign tourists alike to consider indigenous and local garments as part of their everyday wardrobe.”

Kultura stores are located at SM Aura Premier, SM Makati, SM Megamall, SM City North EDSA-Annex, SM Mall of Asia, SM City Cebu and at selected SM Stores.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Philippine Fashion Retailers to Barge into World Scene Through Indonesia Franchise Show

Philippine Fashion industry, now facing stiff competition from foreign brands in the domestic market, will get a chance to make it to the international scene through the Fashion Brand Pavilion at the Indonesia Franchise Show on September 11 and 12 organized by Kadin-Indonesia Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
The Philippine Fashion Brand Pavilion was made possible through the coordination of the Philippine Retailers Association (PRA), Philippine Franchise Association (PFA) and the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) Center for International Trade Exposition and Mission (Citem).

“The DTI, through Citem’s ‘Brands in Motion,’ in cooperation with the PFA and PRA, has organized the Fashion Brand Pavilion as strategy to export Philippine fashion store brands. In view of the Asean integration, there is a need to strengthen the local brand network. PFA takes the lead to go on the offensive in penetration of the Asean market,” PFA and PRA Chairman Emeritus Samie Lim said. “With foreign brands such as the Uniqlo, HM, Forever 21, eating into our market and more will be coming year after year, the PRA and PFA joined hands to help promote the local garment industry.”

To make it inclusive, a Catalogue of Fashion Brands will be published, similar to the Korean Food catalogue sponsored by the Korea Agriculture Department.

“In the spirit of bayanihan or working together, Filipino fashion entrepreneurs will be working as one to become globally competitive,” Lim added.

PRA President Lorenzo Formoso is happy to commit the group’s resources to the project. He is hopeful that the other retail sector will have similar program so the country will be able to showcase the best of Philippine products for the coming Asia Pacific Retailers Convention & Exhibition (APRCE) that will happen from October 28 to 30, 2015. This will be a gathering of retailers and mall owners from 17 countries in Asia Pacific. The conference is expecting to have 3,000 delegates.

Citem is working with the garment and textile board to move up the value chain.

Alfredo Yao, president of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, congratulated the concrete action taken by the PRA and PFA.

“We aim to become a country known for export of fashionable garment brands and accessories,” Lim said.

Sergio Ortiz-Luis, president of the Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc. (Philexport), is encouraging the group’s members to franchise their stores as a strategy for garment manufacturers to export as a whole store, range/category of branded products, rather than just be contracted makers of few items of other international brands.

The Philippine Fashion Pavilion in Indonesia will be composed of nine booths: Mint, Rusty Lopez, Bench, Karimadon, Plains and Prints, Onesimus, Anemony, Figlia and Sofab.

Bing Limjoco, vice chairman of PRA, will be at the booth to promote the retail and franchise industry in general 

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