A known advocate of ethnic textile and clothing, Senator Loren Legarda recently congratulated the Philippine Textile Research Institute (PTRI) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) for the Institute’s untiring work in developing new technologies and promoting the use of natural fibers for clothing and fashion accessories.
Legarda witnessed the fashion creations of different well-known designers in the country as they showed off their unique designs using local natural fibers during the 50th anniversary celebration of DOST-PTRI called FABulous @50, TELA Pilipinas: Beyond Gold held at the Philippine Senate,GSIS Building in Pasay City.
Senator Legarda said that using natural fibers empowers indigenous peoples communities to put their traditional arts and crafts like the ikat, the t’nalak, abel iloko, the piña, and others in the mainstream textile industry.
“We are very grateful for all the support that Senator Legarda has been giving PTRI especially in promoting local textile and in particular the passage of the law on mandating the use of Philippine tropical fibers as government office uniforms. Now, on our 50th year anniversary we are pushing for the promotion of natural fibers and natural dyes from non-traditional sources that are abundant in the countryside,” stated PTRI Director Celia B. Elumba.
Exhibited were works of designers who have been PTRI’s partner-collaborators for the past years. One of these is Jean Avellanosa-Dee, fashion and textile designer from the DLSU-College of St. Benilde, who showed her “Di-Matinag” (Unwavering) design based on the fashion trend of the 1960s. It is a design using the custom-made fabric of the cotton-abaca blend and handwoven in an ikat-binakol technique.
Meanwhile, island wear fashion designer Twinkle Ferraren showed her creations that used natural and indigenous materials with her modern take on the “polo-barong”, a staple office wear made from pineapple-abaca-cotton-silk fiber naturally dyed using colorants derived from the talisay (Terminalia catappa) tree.
Also on exhibit were Narda’s Naturals coming from the highlands of the Cordilleras. Its creative director, Lucia Capuyan-Catanaes, came up with a new product line composed of shawls, ponchos, and fabrics made from homegrown cotton blended with abaca/pineapple leaf fibers and colored with natural mahogany, turmeric, and cogon dyes.
The use of Philippine tropical fibers is fast gaining momentum in the local textile scene with more fashion designers using natural materials like abaca, pineapple, cotton, and silk fabrics for their creations. These locally available materials are woven by indigenous people from different communities in the country.
The PTRI TELA Exhibit was also visited by Senator Cynthia Villar and different stakeholders, such as officials from the National Museum and other textile organizations. (Rodolfo P. de Guzman, S&T Media Service/ Photos by Gerardo Palad)
Chic uniform. Senator Loren Legarda looks at the chic office uniform of polo-barong made from tropical fibers developed by the Philippine Textile Research Institute (PTRI) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST). PTRI Director Celia B. Elumba (right) who heads the PTRI FABulous @50 Exhibit at the Philippine Senate said that this exhibit is just one of the activities lined up for the year in celebration of the institutes golden anniversary.
Au naturel fashion. This creation by Twinkle Ferraren, a renowned island wear fashion designer, was on exhibit recently at the PTRI FABulous @50 Year Anniversary event at the Philippine Senate. The pina-silk orange blouse and the abaca + paper jacket (in natural brown color) were all made from natural fibers using natural dyes. The Tausug-woven malong (skirt) is made of pina-cotton fibers with geometric design and pattern.
“Di-Matinag” fashion. Fashion and Textile designer Jean Avellana-Dee from the DLSU College of St. Benilde showcases her “Di-Matinag” (Unwavering) design in an ikat-banakol fabric using handwoven cotton-abaca fibers inspired by the 1960s fashion. The gray color on the masterpiece uses talisay leaves as colorant. This creation was one of the finalists at the 53rd Japan Fashion Design Contest in Tokyo, Japan in 2015.