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Philippine Embassy Spotlights Philippine Textiles and Weaves in Special Runway Presentations in Tokyo

On 15 September 2023, the Philippine Embassy, in cooperation with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), hosted a special runway presentation featuring Philippine fabrics and weaves in designs created by five renowned Filipino fashion designers. Randy Ortiz, JC Buendia, and designers from Davao such as Wilson Limon Jr. (NIñOFRANCO), Dodjie Batu and Aztec Barba showed off their creations in the show directed by Jackie C. Aquino at CARATO71 in Shibuya, Tokyo.

The show, entitled “Weavefining Philippine Fashion,” aimed to promote the use of various Philippine weaves in both traditional and modern clothing.

In her welcome remarks, Philippine Ambassador Mylene J. Garcia-Albano shared that the Philippines, with its tropical landscape, was blessed with a variety of sources of materials for its textiles while the country’s rich history influenced the design and weaving traditions. The Ambassador further said that “through this special runway presentation, we wish to honor the legacy and ingenuity of our indigenous communities who continue to gift our country with the weaves and fabrics as can be seen in the designers’ various creations tonight.”

Mr. Aquino, on the other hand, noted that this group of accomplished designers champion hand-made Philippine textiles in their designs and are passionate about keeping the weaving tradition alive by being. Wilson Limon Jr. (NIñOFRANCO) focused on the use of the T’boli ikat and Bagobo beading. JC Buendia re-imagined 100% cotton inabel from the Ilocos Region. Dodjie Batu showed ensembles of local woven cloth of the Maguindanaoan Inaul with Piña Cocoon and Jusi. Aztec Barba highlighted the Inaul of Cotabato and Blaan Gintlo weaves from Sarangani. Randy Ortiz showcased locally made and engineered textiles and Filipino ingenuity, including brocades and embroidery on 100% cotton inabel from Ilocos Norte.

The Honorable Ayaka Shiomura, Member of Japan’s House of Councillors, was the Guest of Honor at the event, where members of the Diplomatic Corps, the business sector, and the Filipino community were also in attendance. The designers mingled with the guests, who also enjoyed Philippine-inspired dishes and drinks. At the end of the show, guests were treated to souvenirs made of Philippine fabric.

The special runway presentation is part of the Embassy’s year-long celebration of the milestone 125th Anniversary of the Proclamation of Philippine Independence.