Cultural potpourri | PWC’s TRIBUte to Tribal-Inspired Fashion 2018

THE PHILIPPINE Women’s College (PWC) of Davao celebrated the institution’s 65th year with its annual fashion graduation last Feb. 25, 2018, at the Activity Center of the Abreeza Ayala Mall.

BEA Abrigo (center) with judges (L-R) Jaggy Glarino, Aries Lagat and family

BEA Abrigo (center) with judges (L-R) Jaggy Glarino, Aries Lagat and family

Presented with the cooperation of the Artistry Long-wearing Foundation and Team Maquillage together with the Davao Fashion and Design Council Foundation, Inc., this year’s TRIBUte united the PWC Fashion Design students with the award-winning alumni. Davao’s 11 tribes’ artistic heritage served as inspiration for contemporary fashion as witnessed in the over 200 garments and accessories worn by Davao’s top fashion models and catwalk aspirants. “The ensembles and fashion accessories were not only visionary but also market-driven,” described Prof. Emi Englis, the fashion guru of PWC.

Such is the creative collaboration behind the collection presented during the 10th Art and Design Awards held at the Abreeza Mall. PWC parents, teachers, and students filled the mall’s Entertainment Center to see for themselves the varied artistic works reflecting Davao City’s cultural diversity Mindanaoans are truly proud of.

BEST Rising and Excelling Newbies in Design and the Arts (BRENDA)  awardees Bea Abrigo and Christopher Zamora with Dean Brenda Barba and Fashion Chair Emi Englis

BEST Rising and Excelling Newbies in Design and the Arts (BRENDA) awardees Bea Abrigo and Christopher Zamora with Dean Brenda Barba and Fashion Chair Emi Englis

“Yes, despite the proliferation and internationalization of art and design at the easy touch of a screen, or a tap on a track pad, viewers and art lovers will still look for context of these visions on differing media… This exhibition presenting various art and design forms pays tribute to our cultural connection and oneness in this region in Mindanao,” said the professional visual artist and educator, Abraham Garcia, Jr., of PWC’s Helena Z. Benitez School of Fine Arts and Design.

This year’s Apparel Collection challenged the students by having them do research on both the tangible and intangible cultures of the Ata, Iranun, Kagan, Klata/Guianan, Maguindanaw, Maranao, Matigsalug, Obo Manobo, Sama, Tagabawa, and Tausug tribes of our region. The students were then tasked to inject or tweak artistic details from these tribes’ ethnic art; and translate them to accommodate a fresh look on contemporary apparels that would be accessible, wearable and commercially viable. “It’s adapting ethnicity to fit our contemporary lifestyle which we are proud of as our identity,” explained the ever fabulous Fashion Design Program Chairman, Emi Englis.

BFA Fashion 1st runner-up Christopher Zamora

BFA Fashion 1st runner-up Christopher Zamora

Bea Angela Abrigo, a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fashion Design graduating student; and Mark Lawrence Tamayo, a Senior High School Fashion Strand student, were proclaimed TRIBUte Designers of the Year 2018. Abrigo was also awarded the HZB-SFAD’s BRENDA, the highest award conferred to students for being the Best Rising and Excelling Newbee in Design and the Arts. Her 10 piece resort wear collection, “Gypsy Hearts,: which was inspired by her research on the Tepo Mat weaving tradition of the Sama Dilaut or Badjaos, was well critiqued for its quality of execution and presentation, marketability and designer personality. Abrigo used the wave-like patterns on the tepo mat and created a digitalized version which saw print on chiffon fabric. It was truly a unique creation that resulted in an invitation for the young designer to show her collection this April at the Panasonic Manila Fashion Festival.

BFA Fashion Designer of the Year Bea Abrigo's “Gypsy Hearts”

BFA Fashion Designer of the Year Bea Abrigo’s “Gypsy Hearts”

Tamayo, on the other hand, showcased his ability through his three piece collection that featured a “fabric-on-fabric technique.” His design also utilized embellishments of cut-out mirrors and crystals. He won on the strength of the diversity of vision of things to come by 21 grad students in the Senior High School Program.

The other winners included Christopher Lim Zamora (1st runner up) and Sofia Palmejar (2nd runner up). Zamora presented an outstanding 10-piece menswear collection he called, “Manuevo.” His inspiration came from his outstanding research on the Bagobo Tagabawa’s headpiece, the tangkulo.

SENIOR High School Designer of the Year  Marlaw Tamayo

SENIOR High School Designer of the Year Marlaw Tamayo

Palmejar’s “Anore” is an Islamic meet Yohji Yamamoto interpretation of the embroidery on the Landap of the Maranaos called the “habul tiyahian.”

“I am so excited as to how this endeavor will open doors for our new generation of fashion designers who are globally attuned but still deeply rooted to our very own cultural heritage. I am truly overwhelmed with this year’s fashion collection. It’s truly professional. Surely, this year’s batch has gone a long way. I saw them enter PWC as naïve, young and restless students. In the past three years, these students learned to focus and discipline themselves armed with their passion for fashion. It shows in the collection they presented and I am truly happy for them,” the well-loved Program Chair, madame Brenda Barba, professed with a gush.

BFA Fashion 2nd runner-up Sofia Palmejar

BFA Fashion 2nd runner-up Sofia Palmejar

Congratulations to the new breed of fashion makers of PWC and Prof. Emi Englis.

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