I was glad to be finally well enough (not sick) to make it to faraway SMX Convention Center last Saturday, October 27, for the Philippine Fashion Week’s Burdang Taal: Habing Pilipino show.
I had second thoughts about watching Saturday’s show because I still had some coughing fits. I also dreaded riding the MRT standing up from North Avenue to Taft station and back. But I thought I’ve not ventured out of the house long enough (except for trips to the doctor). Besides, I’ve looked forward to watching Philippine Fashion Week with a friend for a long time. Too bad that the invites were given out at the last minute, just 2 or 3 days before the show, so my usual Fashion Week companion,T, could not accompany me because of previous plans. Another friend, B, did go with me, even if I told her about the event on the day itself. o_O
To start the show, Batangas Vice Governor Mark Leviste, along with Governor Vilma Santos in a videotaped presentation, proudly introduced to the audience the legacy of Taal, Batangas: the town’s hand embroidery or “burda” industry. A proud tradition for many generations among many Filipinos is wearing Burdang Taal creations to important occasions like weddings. It’s sad that there remains only a few embroiderers in Taal right now. While older folks would gladly pass on their hand embroidering skills to the younger generation, the latter choose to try their luck in more financially rewarding ventures (usually found in jobs abroad).
On to the designers now and their creations. There were 17 designers in this show. Using Philippine fabrics like piña, many creations were in natural colors like cream and beige. Some had little injections of color. In contrast, Fanny Serrano’s creations stood out because of his use of bright, colorful tops (not to mention the models’ big hair). In terms of embroidery, I liked the details on the creations of Oskar Peralta and Edgar San Diego. Most of the menswear showed Burdang Taal used the old-fashioned way in the Barong Tagalog. The designers for women mostly had modern interpretations of Burdang Taal.
As is my personal style, I liked the simple, minimalist designs of Dong Omaga Diaz for the women. For the men, I could picture the Bergamo collection in international magazines. Both collections presented Burdang Taal and Filipiniana fashion in a modern way.
Below are some of my pictures from the show:
Focusing on Philippine fabrics and native Philippine crafts like hand embroidery in a high profile fashion show is a commendable effort to revive and promote a dying tradition. I wish more of our designers, and more of us consumers, would use Burdang Taal not just because it’s a local craft, but more so because it is beautiful! The challenge for our designers is to create modern, wearable Burdang Taal clothes not only for formal occasions.
This early, I’m already looking forward to the next Philippine Fashion Week.
Check out other pictures of the Burdang Taal show at the Philippine Fashion Week website here: http://spring-summer.philippinefashionweeklive.com/2013/burdang-taal/