NeoTextiles Philippines launched its second edition at the 60th edition of Manila FAME last October 16-19, 2014. Located at the second floor of the SMX Convention Center, NeoTextiles weaved together homegrown design talents and indigenous weaving communities to create contemporary Philippine textiles: fabrics that are ethnic-inspired yet versatile, artisanal yet progressive, world-class yet distinctly Filipino.
Designing pieces for NeoTextiles October 2014 were Olivia d’Aboville for Home and Amina Aranaz-Alunan for Fashion. Olivia d’Aboville, a Manila-based French-Filipino artist who specializes in tapestry and textile structures, was also the designer last October handling both Home and Fashion. This time, her home designs share the stage with fashion pieces from Amina Aranaz-Alunan, founder of Manila’s first specialized fashion and design college School of Fashion & the Arts (SoFA).
The recent edition featured six weaving communities coming from the Visayas and Mindanao regions – twice the number of textile manufacturer-participants as compared to last year’s introductory launch. Olivia worked with three weaving communities and their textiles which included the hablon by Salngan Multi-Purpose Cooperative of Iloilo, raffia by Tubigon Loomweavers Multi-Purpose Cooperative of Bohol and hinabol by the Higaunon Women Weavers of Bukidnon.
Olivia also teamed-up with CustomMade Crafts Center and Tinukib to produce Home items made of hinabol and hablon and with That One Piece to create eye-catching lamps using the developed fabrics. The communities taught her about the textiles they used and from the available textiles, that’s where she got ideas on what exactly to transform them into, specifically home accessories. Olivia also learned about the weaving patterns and techniques (ex. Suksok) they used on the communities’ textiles from which she drew inspiration to innovate further and implement these patterns into her designs.
As for Amina, she worked with piña by Heritage Arts and Crafts of Aklan, the Philippine silk by Negros Silk Manufacturers’ Association of Negros Occidental and the t’nalak woven by the T’boli weavers of Klowil Multi-Purpose Cooperative in South Cotabato. Amina also introduced the ARANÁZ chic collections of Fashion wearables using the NeoTextiles. Though it might have been challenging since it was her first time to experience handling textile design, it was definitely a great and learning experience to meet and work with the hardworking weavers of the communities.
The Material Development program of the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), under the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), is a textile development initiative that seeks to develop and promote commercially-viable and globally-competitive fabrics and fabric-based products – through the brand NeoTextiles Philippines which had its first edition back in October 2013.