Cultural potpourri | Alfonso “Boy” Guino-o’s Badu

IF I am not mistaken, it has been four long years since Davao’s veteran fashion designer for four generations of Davaoenos showed his fashion collection to our city’s fashionistas. Thanks to Marco Polo Davao and GM Dottie Wurgler-Cronin and of course, tito Boy’s ever beloved fashion muse, Joji Ilagan-Bian, the latest of Alfonso Guino-o’s Badu was finally shown last Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018, at the Cafe Marco of Marco Polo Davao. Davao’s women in power plus those coming from the neighboring areas of Mindanao who were attending seminars in the city had the time of their lives purchasing tito Boy’s off-the-rack collection.

THE TRIUMPHANT veteran fashion designer, Alfonso “Boy” Guino-o, with Joji Ilagan Bian, GM Dottie Wurgler-Cronin and Dr. Gene Bangayan

THE TRIUMPHANT veteran fashion designer, Alfonso “Boy” Guino-o, with Joji Ilagan Bian, GM Dottie Wurgler-Cronin and Dr. Gene Bangayan

“Badu” means clothes. And Alfonso Guino-o’s Badu evokes the heady exuberance and gaiety of empowered modern Filipinas of today. Alfonso Guino-o has always been known for his lavish surface ornamentation of intricate beadworks, embroideries, textile hand-paintings and appliqués; and sophisticated feminine silhouettes. This veteran designer has always made known that he is allergic to minimalism; and has always opted for the sensational in integrating indigenous culture into modern design. His Badu 2018continues his fashion advocacy to revive Mindanao’s exquisite fabrics of life through the evolution of Philippine fashion.

At 84 years of age, the veteran designer has successfully cultivated clients among the wealthy and beautiful women of Davao with whom he socializes. He is the only designer who has managed to dress up four generations of Davaoenas since he opened his dress shop in 1956.

Tribal weaves, rich detailing in colorful beadworks (in coconut shell, mother of pearl, capiz and brass), trimmed peacock and chicken feathers, and bundled horsehair, deep exotic colors comprise the avant garde silhouette of Alfonso “Boy” Guino-o’s signature Tribu Mindanao collection which hehas been showcasing for decades now.

ALFONSO Guino-o’s Badu at Cafe Marco

ALFONSO Guino-o’s Badu at Cafe Marco

Goodness, but the rich mix of the Guino-o tribal collection is definitely for the woman who wants to make the “Who is that?” entrance. And immediately, Joji Ilagan Bian, Guino-o’s iconic fashion muse, comes to mind. And it’s now the equally gorgeous daughter, Nicole Hao Bian, who continues her mom’s fashion heritage with the fashion Supremo’s valuable legacy in Davaoeno dressing.

With Guino-o’s Badu, the overriding theme, as always, is on the richness of Mindanao’s indigenous people’s culture. Guino-o’s ethnic-inspired masterpieces showcase the various tribes’ painstakingly hand-woven fabrics of life which reflect the weavers’ reverence for nature. “I’ve always distinguished myself with my signature Mindanaoan collection wherever I go,” the 84-year-old designer of Ilonggo parentage proudly told this writer.

Boy Guino-o’s designs reflect the influence of the various tribal groups of Mindanao which he has compiled and synthesized, as in fusion fashion, to a point that it has become sophisticated. Let’s hand it to the veteran designer who has effectively distilled the essence and simplified traditional wear to make it representative of the Bagobo, Mandaya, T’boli and the other tribes. Definitely, Guino-o’s fashion has always taken a patriotic slant since the designer’s Bayanihan interlude.

“As compared to the tribal costumes of the other regions of the country, Mindanao’s tribal outfits are more outstanding in terms of their varied colors, textures, magnificent hand-woven fabrics, and regal designs. They’ll standout from the rest,” he gushes.

Posted in Lifestyle