FIBER FASHION FAIR : 10 Years of Celebrating, Showcasing and Promoting Handloom Weaving in Iloilo

By: Bombette G. Marin

IN 2007, the Provincial Office of Culture, Arts, History and Tourism of the Iloilo Provincial Government and SM City Iloilo mounted the Indigenous Fiber Fashion Fair to support handloom weaving through partnerships with local weaving communities.

By combining various initiatives in the weaving towns of Miagao, Oton, Badiangan, Igbaras and Duenas, the annual fair aims at manifesting the flagship craftsmanship and traditional weaving arts of Iloilo, and the latent entrepreneurial spirit of the grassroots women weavers.

Now on its 10th year, the Indigenous Fiber Fashion Fair has helped sustain the local weaving traditions such as hablon, patadyong and abaca weaving.

On the spotlight is the hablon cloth which utilizes cotton and polyester to produce distinctive colors and others with symbolic patterns. Traditionally used as table cloth, curtains, and pillow cases, the hablon cloth has found other uses.

With the support of local designers, the hablon cloth is transformed into fashionable and wearable pieces from simple, playful daytime dresses to glamorous evening gowns.

Our local designers work with weavers by providing technical support and start to market their products. Together they make our handloom textiles a major source of income for the community, and maintain an important tradition within the community.

The trade fair at the event center of SM City Iloilo continues to provide weavers with opportunities to produce handloom textiles of extraordinary beauty and utility.

The daily fashion show helps build a strong image for our local textiles amongst the local population. This year, the fiber fashion fair will feature the works of local designers International Lifestyle Designer PJ Aranador, John Montinola, Sidney Eculla, Jun-G Candelarion, Ram Silva, Jeffy Ticao and John Larlar with Christine Javier and Joel Roth and selected fashion design and merchandising students from ISAT-University.

A general public weaving demonstration presented by popular weavers from barangay Indag-an in Miagao will showcase their weaving skills in an attempt to educate the general public about traditional handloom weaving and learn how hard it is to weave. Visitors will go away with a deeper appreciation for the weaver’s work.

The art of weaving is one of Iloilo’s most important cultural expressions. It is both an important economic mainstay and a source of great cultural pride.

The 10th Indigenous Fiber Fashion Fair will open with its daily trade fair at the SM City Event Center featuring the handloom products from the weaving towns of Miagao, Oton, Badiangan, Igbaras and Duenas, Iloilo. Daily fashion shows starts every 6 and 7 p.m. with Habol Miagaoanon by Miagao-LGU and Anyag by Ram Silva on August 21 (Monday); the Iloilo Tourism Officers Association on Spotlight and John P. Larlar for Preciosa on August 22 (Tuesday); Hablon Moda featuring the Fashion Design and Merchandising students of ISAT-University and Garboso by Jeffy Ticao on August 23 (Wednesday); Joel Roth for De Moda and Hermosa by Christine Javier on August 24 (Thursday); Habol Ilonggo – the Australia Fashion Show featuring International Lifestyle Designer PJ Aranador, John Montinola, Sidney Eculla and Jun-g Candelario.

The event is also brought to you by the BS Fashion Design and Merchandising students of ISAT University, John Montinola, IMG – Iloilo Models Guild, ISAT-University, Municipalities of Miagao, Oton, Igbaras, Duenas and Badiangan, DTI, RCLS Audio System and The Daily Guardian.

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