Tagged: Michelline Syjuco

Reimagined Traditions


The Philippines pavilion for the MAISON&OBJET PARIS 2016, after years of bringing the country’s top shelter brands to the fair, will usher Fashion Philippines’ debut on the international stage. This will be the first time ever that an exhibit will be devoted solely to fashion accessories in MAISON&OBJET PARIS, ably represented by 10 fashion-forward Philippine brands. The participation is organized by the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions, or CITEM, an agency of the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry.

The country’s showcase, which is entitled Reimagined Traditions, will highlight present-day iterations of Philippine jewelry and bag-making crafts which trace their roots to ancient times. A landmark exhibit titled Philippines: An Archipelago of Exchange held at the Musee du Quai Branly in Paris three years ago showed an elegant assemblage of artworks that could be befittingly called traditional Philippine culture. It included an array of accessories that held symbolic meanings or served various functions—as ceremonial accoutrements, signifiers of social status and wealth, markers of rites of passage, utilitarian objects, or simply decorative vanities.

While paying homage to generation of craft skills and techniques, and inspired by the Quai Branly exhibit, the 10 brands this September are present day design ambassadors of the Philippines who come from the country’s main regions, Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao — each represent the diversity that is the Philippines but united and reflect an intertwined story of passion and crafts. For the MAISON&OBJET PARIS 2016 edition, the 10 brands draw from this well of methods and styles as they express their own confident voice on contemporary fashion.

Crystal Seas is based in Davao in the Mindanao region, home to the indigenous T’boli people. The brand borrows the T’boli cloth’s T’nalak patterns for its MAISON&OBJET PARIS presentation. It veers away from literal interpretations, reappropriating the patterns to non-woven forms instead. Materials native to Davao—Paua shells, metals, abaca fibers (Manila Hemp), mother-of-pearl alongside snakeskin—will endow the brand’s pieces a unique sense of place. Hands of artisans from Mindanao will help realize the brand’s designs, with metalsmiths from one of Davao’s mining towns melding, plating, and polishing the various components of Crystal Seas’ jewelry and clutch bags.

Cebu, an island province that lies south of Manila, is recognized as a main hub for fashion accessories with its rich natural resources that yield a wide range of components, and its renowned handcraft capabilities. The province is expected to put up a strong show with four home-grown brands showcasing an expansive range of Cebu’s jewelry and bag-making traditions that honors the province’s exuberant tropical sensibilities.

For Avatar CEO Butch Carungay, the fair will be a momentous event as he is set to unveil his company’s reincarnation as ZAI Design Hive. He says that they will be presenting “a more refined aesthetic which combines cutting-edge materials, traditional Philippine craftsmanship and excellent attention to detail – all with the quirky idiosyncrasies that have characterized our work over the years.”

Mia Arcenas will reveal her Spring 2017 collection, a series inspired by technology and nature with the designer highlighting her signature materials—brass, shells and resin. Arcenas’ line typifies the contemporary approach adapted by Cebu’s designers, melding modernity, natural elements and handcraft techniques. “It is about nature as being the source of all things beautiful, and with the help of technology, we are able to adapt these organic ideas to our ever-changing world,” the Arcenas disclosed.

Floreia’s collection for MAISON&OBJET PARIS embodies the brand’s commitment to sustainable fashion. Floreia brings its conscientious slant to the fore with a series of casual jewelry and bags that are handcrafted using Floreia’s award-winning, patented materials—Nucast®, which is made from recycled paper products, and Naturecast®, made of agro-forest debris.

MegaBijoux completes Cebu’s stellar contingent. Its expertise in metal-plating and resin lamination will be fully exploited in a special collection that express MegaBijoux’s flamboyant—and playful—design philosophy.

Just a short drive from the country’s capital, Bulacan is a province renowned for its more than five centuries-old jewelry industry. Two brands harness the Bulacan’s jewelry-making skills to create contemporary styles. Lush metalwork defines Ann Ong’s design identity—a reinvention of the maximalist concept, tamed and polished for modern times. Ong says that she will be showing her signature pieces which make use of bamboo and salvaged wood, lavished with intricate handmade detailing.

Kit Silver is based in Meycuayan City, which is also in Bulacan. The brand exploits the Meycuayan artisans’ mastery of the filigree craft–skills passed on by the Spaniards during its colonial rule–for its initial presentation at the fair. A series of evening bags and jewelry accompany Kit Silver’s centerpiece for the exhibition—a bold reimagination of Philippine-Hispanic accessory, the balabal, or shawl, rendered in metal brass.

Three Manila-based brands capture the vibrant spirit of a fast-growing metropolis. Beatriz sets the agenda with bold colors and geometric patterns. For the brand’s casual line, texture and angled forms are created with fine yarns painstakingly attached to the pieces’ skins. The brand’s evening collection continues with the angular concept, this time expressed using metal with the surfaces lightly hand-polished and buffed to add a hint of understated glamour.

Jennifer Lo takes cues from her grandfather, using his favorite material, rattan for a collection of fashion accessories. Lo infuses drama with a broody palette of neutrals, black and gold accented with abaca, gold macramé and stones.

Michelline Syjuco brings a daring edge to the exhibition with a style philosophy that has captivated mavens who have sported the brand’s funky skulls, daring cuffs embellished with macabre creatures and other intriguing forms. The brand borrows from Goth elements which are lavishly enhanced with baroque treatments.

10 brands are set to regale the MAISON&OBJET PARIS 2016’s audience with spirited expressions of contemporary Philippine style. CITEM, through Fashion Philippines, invite visitors to examine and explore a new expression of national identity and the generation’s design sensibilities.

With the virtuoso workers’ indigenous knowledge on the different craft skills and commitment to traditions and the designers’ new interpretations to these artisanal crafts, MAISON&OBJET PARIS will be the focal point to experience Fashion Philippines’ Reimagined Traditions.

See you at Hall 7, Scène d’ Intérieur, Stand F 198 – G 197.

Manila Wear now on its 4th year at Manila FAME

A fresh and artisanal showcase of Philippine fashion

The Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), the export promotions arm of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), together with Josie Cruz Natori—international designer and founder and CEO of The Natori Company, New York-based maker of women’s apparel, accessories, and home products—will once again present Manila Wear in the 63rd edition of Manila FAME this April. Manila Wear is a platform for showcasing artisanal yet contemporary collections of the Philippine fashion industry’s top designers.

CITEM re-launched Manila Wear in 2012, with the aim of developing the Philippine fashion industry into a globally competitive one, recognized internationally as Asia’s sourcing destination for high-quality, innovative, and sustainable fashion pieces reflective of the distinct Filipino brand and craftsmanship. Aside from being the creative director of the program, Natori serves as a mentor to the designers, priming them for their transition from the local to the global fashion businesses.

Since its re-launch, Manila Wear has had eight editions. It has featured 60 of the country’s brilliant fashion designers, promoting their growth through product development, export coaching, and consultations. Manila Wear is a launching platform to going global, providing our local talents with the unique opportunity to gain international recognition by presenting their creations to the global market and serving as ambassadors to the Manila Wear brand through Manila FAME. Through their participation in Manila Wear, design-driven brands such as Adante Leyesa, Ken Samudio, Maco Custodio, Joanique, Michelline Syjuco, and Beatriz have introduced their collection overseas, transitioning from the local to the global fashion scene.

For the April 2016 boutique edition of Manila FAME, Manila Wear is featuring 13 brands—Adante Leyesa, Aranáz, Beatriz, Jared Servaño, Joel Escober, Ken Samudio, Lally Dizon, Maco Custodio, Joanique, Michelline Syjuco, Micki Olaguer, Thian Rodriquez, and Tim Tam Ong, which will exhibit a curated collection of apparel, accessories, and other wearables under the theme, “Streets of Manila.” Buyers will be immersed in the rich art and culture of Manila as they see the Manila Wear brands’ artistic interpretation of the city’s streets, graffiti, infrastructures, and locals through unique fashion pieces, under the creative guidance of Natori.

“This next show is going to be more intimate with new additions that will certainly inspire buyers. I look forward to each edition of Manila Wear because there’s always a nice surprise—there’s always something very special, and I think the joy and the passion of these designers are so obvious in how they are producing their work. It’s always a treat to come to this event to see these collections. That is why I always consider Manila Wear as one of the highlights of FAME,” said Natori.

The April 2016 boutique edition of Manila FAME, the country’s premier design and lifestyle trade show, is scheduled on April 21-24 at the World Trade Center Metro Manila in Pasay City. For more information on Manila Wear and Manila FAME, log on to www.manilafame.com.

Fashion Philippines—Hot-tipped to take the prize at IFS 2015


Hot-tipped as the country to take the 2015 prize at the International Fashion Showcase, the Philippines returns to London this February 19-24 after leaving a powerful, lasting impression at last year’s IFS, the world’s largest public fashion exhibition. Fashion Philippines is now equipped with collections inspired by the mythical creatures in Philippine folklore.

unnamed (1)10957568_907941745904675_7485539833913590570_n

The Fashion Philippines participation at IFS is spearheaded by the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), the export promotion arm of the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). “As envisioned by CITEM, the design (of the Philippine Pavilion at the IFS) is inspired by Philippine folklore, showcasing jusi, abaca, hemp and pineapple fibers and capiz shells but in a contemporary and sophisticated twist to highlight interesting textures and unusual shapes that capture the essence of various mythical creatures,” said CITEM Executive Director, Rosvi C. Gaetos.

Top (left to right): Jaggy Glarino, John Herrera, Ken Samudio, Michelline Syjuco, Renan Pacson  Bottom: Tony Evan

Top (left to right): Jaggy Glarino, John Herrera, Ken Samudio, Michelline Syjuco, Renan Pacson
Bottom: Tony Evan

Top (left to right): Jaggy Glarino, John Herrera, Michelline Syjuco Bottom (left to right): Renan Pacson, Tony Evan, Ken Samudio

Top (left to right): Jaggy Glarino, John Herrera, Michelline Syjuco
Bottom (left to right): Renan Pacson, Tony Evan, Ken Samudio

The team of six young rising designers showcasing their talent at Brewer Street Car Park includes Jaggy Glarino, John Herrera, Ken Samudio, Michelline Syjuco, Renan Pacson and Tony Evan.  Led by widely known Philippine set and costume designer Gino Gonzales, they have come up with a theatrical and thought-provoking rendition of the fascinating tales and legends that dominate culture and society.

Jaggy Glarino

slide1 (1)

Jaggy Glarino is making a name for himself with his outstanding and intricately-woven knitwear. His innovative use of organic cotton yarns from pineapple and jute – combined with his skilled hands and keen attention to detail liberates flat patterns creating varied textures and dimensions. Jaggy’s IFS collection will champion indigenous fibres and weaves from the Philippines with its multi-dimensional approach through experimentation, and skillful play of fabrics and techniques.

John Herrera


John is carving his own niche in the Philippine fashion Industry for his skills in laser-cut fabric manipulation. His unique pieces use indigenous materials such as banana fibre, pineapple silk, and silk cocoon to help support traditional weavers from the province of Lumban, Quezon. He believes that the magic in his every creation lies in his hands as a pattern maker. In the IFS show, John seeks to promote the use of indigenous Philippine textiles with his fashion forward silhouettes and skilled technical construction.

Ken Samudio


Ken Samudio – is a marine biologist-turned-accessory designer – is constantly inspired by the diversity in the coastal and reef system of the islands of the Philippines. His pieces – created with up-cycled beads made from plastic bottles and recycled glass combined with bamboo and abaca – earned him critical acclaim at the IFS 2014. Without any formal education in fashion, Ken continues to thrive in the industry armed only with his raw talent, determination and innate creativity.

Michelline Syjuco

slide4Michelline was born into a family of artists. Her passion is creating life size sculptures made of wood and metal. In IFS, Michelline will create hand-forged accessory pieces made from fallen trees during the last belt of super typhoons that hit the Philippines and hundred-year-old woods taken from old railroad tracks and heritage houses. These will be used in combination with recycled bullet shells, metal sheets, nuts, bolts, and other pre-fabricated metal parts and fixtures. Michelline aspires to elevate the state of experimental fashion in the Philippines, and ultimately, around the world.

Renan Pacson


Renan firmly embraces his roots in his designs and felt compelled to ‘give something back’ to his hometown in the province of Nueva Ecija. To support the livelihood of single mothers in his community in San Antonio, he employs them to sew pieces for him. He is also part of the One-Town-One Shoe project, which helps sustain the traditional shoe making in his community. His IFS collection will show his mastery of creating luxury street-wear and skillfully mixing local fibres.

Tony Evan


Tony Evan has learned to developed restraint and a good eye for editing his works. His designs convey stories through the use of simple lines and the careful placement of seams. Rapt by religious images and Biblical symbolism, Tony creates headpieces from unorthodox materials: cables, drinking straws, natural fibers and tree bark. Tony’s pieces for the IFS are meant to hold a heightened sense of drama, touching on historical and cultural references.


Set to be bigger and better than ever before this 2015, the International Fashion Showcase is a fashion exhibition which runs in parallel with London Fashion Week. It is a joint venture between the British Council and British Fashion Council presenting 110 emerging designers from nearly 30 countries.


The CITEM-led Philippine participation at IFS London is in partnership with the Philippine Trade and Investment Center-London, the commercial arm of the Philippine Embassy in the UK.

For more information, visit the Fashion Philippines microsite.

British Council – IFS 2015
Forward PR -1
Forward PR – 2
The Industry London – BFC Puts On “Largest Public Fashion Exhibition” Over LFW
Manila Bulletin – CITEM Sees Bright Spots in EU for Fashion Exports 

Island-inspired fashion at Manila FAME

International fashion icon Josie Natori leads Manila Wear‘s island –inspired collection at the 60th edition of Manila Fame on October 16-19 at the SMX Convention Center, Pasay City.

Manila Wear is a platform for the country’s finest collections of tropical and resort wear collections of apparel, accessories, and other wearables infused with traditional yet contemporary elements.

For this edition, Natori unifies 10 of the country’s most celebrated apparel designers to present fashion collections in a special setting that will feature Luxe’s timeless, and universal fashion pieces. The select group of designers as principal proponents in the local fashion industry are: Ivarluski Aseron, Avel Bacudio, JC Buendia, Rhett Eala, Cesar Gaupo, Rajo Laurel, Dennis Lustico, Randy Ortiz, and Lulu Tan-Gan.

Manila Wear pre-event photo-page-001

Filipinos’ mastery in handicraft is exemplified in a separate special setting withthe collaboration of rising designers Amina Aranaz, Len Cabili, Tipay Caintic, Carissa Cruz-Evangelista, Maco Custodio, Lally Dizon, Joel Escober, Twinkle Ferraren, Emi Jorge, Adante Leyesa, Joyce Makitalo, Arnel Papa, Malou Romero, Anne Saguil, Ken Samudio, Michelline Syjuco, and Nicole Whisenhunt.

Manila Wear’s collective designersare set tocapture what the local fashion is all about: Filipino and global at the same time.

The Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) export-marketing arm, will redefine the Philippine fashion as Asia’s Premier Design and Lifestyle Event that exhibits the finest Philippine-made products from home, holiday, and fashion sectors.

For more information on Manila Wear at Manila FAME, interested parties can visit www.manilafame.com or email manilafame@citem.com.ph