Echoes of Heritage

Category: Apparel

My work is driven by a profound commitment to cultural preservation and creative innovation. Inspired by my experiences meeting people from different parts of the world, I challenged myself to express the complexities of my own Filipino identity shaped by centuries of Spanish colonization and Western influence. Through collaboration with local artisans, I hope to showcase the beauty of Filipino craftsmanship to the global fashion industry. Vision and Story Through my creation, I aim to bridge the past and present, celebrating the rich tapestry of Filipino culture while addressing contemporary themes of identity and heritage. By seamlessly integrating new sustainable Filipino innovations like Piñatex with traditional crafts such as shell embroidery, I seek to create garments that are both sustainable and forward-thinking. This juxtaposition of old and new not only honors my cultural roots but also paves the way for a more inclusive and environmentally conscious fashion industry. Impact and Message I aspire to raise awareness about the importance of authentic representation and cultural preservation. By highlighting the evolution of Filipino fashion influenced by Spanish colonization, I aim to spark dialogue on societal impacts and identity dynamics. This collection serves as a platform to educate and empower, advocating for sustainable practices and ethical production while celebrating the diversity within Filipino communities. Envisioned Future I envision a future where fashion serves as a catalyst for social change and cultural appreciation. By promoting inclusivity and embracing diverse narratives, I strive to contribute to a more conscious and respectful global fashion landscape. This journey is not just about creating garments; it's about reclaiming narratives, fostering pride in cultural heritage, and paving a path toward a more sustainable future. Concept of Creation Inspired by Maria Clara, a character symbolizing traditional Filipino womanhood, I reimagined her as a 21st-century empowered and strong Filipina. Using the traditional traje de mestiza, a garment with Spanish origins, I reinterpreted it to incorporate new sustainable Filipino innovations. The camisa (jacket), with its removable sleeves for adaptability, is created using pineapple leather, symbolizing armor for strength. The broken Capiz shells that form the tapis (outer skirt) represent the fragility and beauty of Filipino culture today. The shells are also adaptable for different ways of wear to promote sustainability. The use of banana fiber or abaca for the saya (inner skirt) provides a soft contrast to the strong jacket.