DESIGN FOR EXPORTS EXCELLENCE. In the recently concluded 59th edition of Manila FAME, the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM) recognized exporters and designers through the Katha Awards, considered as the most prestigious award in the Philippine design scene. Its goal is to give distinction to ingenious designs and encourage exporters to raise their design standards for Philippine export products and to pursue a skillful exploration of new materials/processes. The Katha Awardees for March 2014 are The Gilded Expression for the crocheted hand bag with real twig (Best Product Design Award for Fashion); Navidad Crafts Export Corp. for the bird ornament with capiz wings (Best Product Design Award for Holiday Décor and Gifts); MCAA Industrial Corp. for the Angler lamp (Best Product Design for Houseware and Furnishings); and Industria Home for the Bordeaux Chair (Best Product Design for Furniture). The Eco-Design Award, a special citation, went to Floreia CVD Ventures, Inc. for the Poi necklace. In photo are (from left to right): event host Daphne Oseña-Paez; Nini Ledesma of Navidad Crafts Export Corp., Jude Tiotuico of Industria Home; CITEM Executive Director Rosvi Gaetos; Carlo Delantar of Floreia CVD Ventures, Inc.; Trade Undersecretary Ponciano Manalo, Jr.; Trade Undersecretary Nora Terrado; Rowena Domingo, wife of DTI Secretary Gregory Domingo; Ann Pamintuan of The Gilded Expression, and Angeles Havitan of MCCA Industrial Corporation.
The Philippine design community, composed of seasoned artisans, creative entrepreneurs, and emerging design specialists, showcased once again their unique and innovative creations in the 59th edition of Manila FAME, the country’s premiere design and lifestyle event, held on the second level of the SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia Complex, on March 14-17, 2014.
Organized by the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), the export promotions arm of the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Manila FAME featured a wide range of handcrafted products including home furniture and furnishings, fashion apparel and accessories, holiday décor and gifts, as well as arts and crafts products made by the skilled hands of local designers.
Drawing crowds from day one was Craftspots, set within the Weaves of the Philippines setting, where live demonstrations of traditional weaving, juxtaposed with contemporary display installations, gave Manila FAME visitors an insight into the cultural narrative of the country’s weaving heritage. The special installations showcased the Piña of Aklan, Abel of Ilocos Sur, T’nalak of the T’boli, and the Tikog mat of Samar. Installation artist Patty Eustaquio, interior design duo Vernice Songco and Marga Espiritu, accessories designer Natalya Lagdameo, and interior designer Rossy Yabut-Rojales collaborated with local manufacturers and weaving communities to give the country’s traditional weaves a contemporary spin.
Inside the exhibition hall, the Red Box Scenography attracted visitors, where a collective of local designers on the rise displayed export-quality products developed in collaboration with local manufacturers and exporters under the mentorship of Manila FAME Creative Director Budji Layug. Previously focused only on the home category, this year’s Red Box has expanded to designers representing the fashion, holiday décor and gifts, as well as the One Town One Product (OTOP) Marketplace sectors.
CITEM, in partnership with the Bureau of Domestic Trade (BDT), presented design-forward arts and crafts products from select towns in the country, including the Yolanda-ravaged towns of the provinces of Leyte and Samar, under the OTOP Marketplace. Locally sourced materials used for these special products included water hyacinth, bamboo, burnt wood, coconut, and a variety of natural fibers.
In the fashion scene, indigenous materials transformed into eye-catching apparel and fashion accessories were the highlights of Manila Wear, a branding initiative that aims to position the Philippine fashion industry in the tropical wear market segment, and push Philippine design and its unique sensibility that is better than the rest of Asia.
Manila FAME also recognized exporters and designers through the prestigious Katha Awards. The Katha Awards, considered as the most prestigious award in the Philippine design scene, is a significant platform where Philippine product design innovation is recognized. Its goal is to give distinction to ingenious designs and encourage exporters to raise their design standards for Philippine export products as well as to pursue a skillful exploration of new materials/processes.
The Katha Awardees for March 2014 are the following: Ann Pamintuan of The Gilded Expression for her real twig handbag (Best Product Design Award for Fashion); Roberto Borromeo of Navidad Crafts Export Corp. for his bird ornament with capiz wings (Best Product Design Award for Holiday Décor and Gifts); Miguel Aguas of MCAA Industrial Corp. for his Angler lamp (Best Product Design for Houseware and Furnishings); and Jude Tiotuico of Industria for his Bordeaux Chair (Best Product Design for Furniture). The Eco-Design Award, a special citation, went to Marivic Licardo of Floreia CVD Ventures, Inc. for her Poi necklace.
“Manila FAME will always come out with something new. The companies participate twice a year to come out with something new. Buyers come here for something new. But what’s sexy, in Budji’s words, about the 59th Manila FAME is the excitement provoked by the range and expansiveness of design ideas and materials presented,” said CITEM Executive Director Rosvi Gaetos.
Manila FAME is one of the longest running trade shows in the Asia Pacific, and is the only trade event in the country that has been approved by UFI (Union des Foires Internationales) or the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry.
Weaving has been practiced in the Philippines since ancient times. This year, Manila FAME is giving traditional weaves a contemporary perspective through Weaves of the Philippines, a collaboration between designers, local manufacturers and weaving communities.
This initiative by the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), the export arm of the Department of Trade and Industry, aims to highlight the versatility, viability and global competitiveness of Philippine craftsmanship. Weaves of the Philippines will feature live demonstrations and special installations of textiles, providing a cultural narrative of the local arts and crafts industry.
Highlighting this tapestry of culture are different weaves from various ethnic groups in the Philippines, which will lend their classic styles to the designs of modern artists.
Dating back to Spanish times, Aklan province’s pineapple plant-derived traditional piña weave is incorporated into accessory designer Natalya Lagdameo’s designs, which merge antique components with modern concepts. The fine fabric is made into scarves and other fashion items, each bearing an updated aesthetic that retains its traditional essence.
Highlighting the stark contrast between the present and the past, painter and sculptor Patty Eustaquio lends her vision to the traditional aesthetic of Samar province’s mat weaving. The colorful and intricate handcrafted mats, made of sea grass locally known as tikog, are given a modern twist, and fashioned into home décor and accessories.
Recognized for their vibrant and refreshing fusion of vintage and modern aesthetics, interior designers Marga Espiritu and Vernice Songco of Bungalow 300 create their own interpretations of cotton loom-woven Abel textiles from Ilocos in Northern Philippines. The fabric has been recognized and traded in the Southeast Asian region since the 1500s for its strength and durability.
Meanwhile, designer couple Rossy and Bong Rojales brings new meaning to the traditional art of T’nalak weaving from South Cotabato through home furnishings that are made with the widely recognized abaca-woven fibers. Traditionally stained in tones of red, brown and black using natural vegetable dyes, the patterns of the T’nalak usually depict the dreams of the individual weavers.
Global buyers will get a glimpse of time-honored indigenous crafts as the DTI, through the Center For International Trade Expositions and Missions, (CITEM), in partnership with the Bureau of Domestic Trade, launches the One Town, One Product (OTOP) Marketplace as part of the 59th Manila FAME.
Handcrafted products made from endemic materials will again be placed under the limelight as the OTOP Marketplace showcases intricately designed products from select regions of the Philippines. Catering mostly to international buyers, the exhibit aims to emphasize the massive potential of the Philippine export industry at the grassroots level.
This year’s exhibit will feature fashion accessories, furniture, and home accessories made of local materials such as water hyacinth, bamboo, burnt wood, coconut, and tikog, as well as a variety of other natural fibers. About 25 select participants are set to showcase their hometown specialties in this year’s show, which is curated by renowned designer Budji Layug.
Launched in 2004, the OTOP program was created by the Philippine government to promote entrepreneurship and create jobs. The program supports the identification, development, and promotion of a single competitive product per specific area in the Philippines, with the goal of creating jobs and alleviating poverty in the countryside. In line with the program’s aim to promote sustainable livelihood in critical areas, the roster of OTOP Marketplace exhibitors will include artisans from the areas ravaged by the recent typhoon Haiyan.
The Center for International Trade and Expositions (CITEM) and the Garments and Textile Industry Development Office (GTIDO) will unveil the finest tropical wear collections of the country’s most prominent designers in Manila Wearat the 59th edition of Manila FAME at the SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia Complex in Pasay City on March 14-17. Manila FAME is the country’s premiere design and lifestyle event held every March and October.
Spearheaded by international fashion icon Josie Natori, Manila Wear is a bi-annual presentation of the country’s finest selection of summer-inspired fashion pieces that has been making waves in the international fashion scene since its debut in 2012.
For this edition of Manila Wear, Natori is collaborating with Manila FAME Creative Director Budji Layug in the interpretation of the “Urban Resort” design concept, which has been adapted by Manila Wear designers to create their own fashion collections. “Urban Resort” calls for lines and structures that are relaxed and defined by lush, vibrant colors, with dramatic textures and embellishments.
A series of exciting collaborations and exhibitions, featuring the Filipino’s mastery of indigenous materials and heritage handiwork, will be the added attraction of Manila Wear.
On exhibit will be unique fashion pieces that are contemporary fashion expressions of traditional design methods – all creations of leading fashion designers, namely, Amina Aranaz-Alunan, Carissa Cruz-Evangelista, Maco Custodio, Lally Dizon, Natalya Lagdameo, Adante Leyesa, Joyce Makitalo, Michelline Syjuco, Malou Romero, Ken Samudio, and Nicole Whisenhunt. They will again interpret Manila Wear with their own brand and sensibility.
Meanwhile, designers Jun Artajo, Tipay Caintic, Joel Escober, Twinkle Ferraren, Anne Marie Saguil, and Lulu Tan-Gan will display their intricately handcrafted apparels with their own take on Manila Wear. Filip+Inna’s Len Cabili, known for her masterful use of indigenous materials in modernist designs, will present her new collection.
Manila Wear designers are proving how fashion sense can be Filipino and global at the same time. Their fashion creations affirm that the Filipino fashion label has become globally competitive.