BAGUIO, PHILIPPINES — Local weaves have found its way to the runway. The launch of the Baguio Culture Couture with Bayo Foundation and the Baguio HARVEST CommUNITY Hub presented a collection sourced from indigenous weaves using Philippine made fiber and designed by a team of proudly local designers.
Cordilleran Harvic Dominguez led the fusion of Filipino design houses with Zarah Juan, Vin Orias and Valdes Designs incorporating traditional hand-woven fabric created by the hub’s local hand weavers from Baguio City to complete the first HARVEST collection dubbed as “Culture Couture,” launched in the UNESCO-declared Creative City.
The first HARVEST Hub in the country has championed locally sourced and weaved cloths made by a team of creatives from the Baguio communities, designed to become an off the rack collection of clothes inspired by the beauty of the highlands.
A private viewing launched the collection on November 19 at the Baguio Botanical Garden led by Anna Lagon, Bayo Foundation Executive Director, and Marie Venus Tan, Bayo Board of Director, with Senator Nancy Binay gracing the show and pledging support to the project.
The newest collections boasts of an original Culture Couture highlighted by contemporary designs using Cordilleran weaves with new patterns expertly done by the local team of community weavers from the city using soft hues to play on a relaxing but elegant collection.
“The patterns we used had symbols which are endemic to the Cordillera, these are designed to be off the rack pieces which can be used for the everyday,” explained Harvic, who has made the tradition and culture of the highlands closer to the mainstream markets.
Dominguez is a fashion designer from the Mountain Province in the Cordillera and is known for his innovation of in combining “inabe” a hand woven textile by indigenous communities in the Cordillera region with locally sourced materials to create a ready to wear and made to order ensemble.
“The Bayo–HARVEST weave collaboration was a combination of colors, placement of symbols and editing of weave design composition, I am very happy to know that the weavers are very enthusiastic more so when the finished products came out. I am very happy that our artisans are open to development and innovation with the proper guidance,” he expressed.
A city launch on November 20 saw the collection presented to the public during Baguio City’s 5th Ibag-iw festival at the streets of Session Road with models sashaying the chalk art painted pavement, donning the collection which awestruck the crowd.
Gone are the days when Cordilleran weave was meant only for special occasions with the younger generation of designers breaking free from tradition and making the weaves available for everyday fashion.
Harvic Dominguez advocates the use of local weaves and combines the indigenous with contemporary material to be used in everyday wear, fusing tradition and fashion to the mainstream: “The Culture Couture colors were selected by Bayo thru the threads they provided so the challenge was how to make weaves from these newly introduced color palette, I created a collection of relaxed wear, sporty resort that can also be evening wear which is more appropriate for our two-season country.”
He further emphasized that there is renewed sense of pride when local weaves are worn and is reflective of how the fashion industry has embraced the local materials, not just in the cordilleras, but all over the Philippines.
The collection will be available at the Bayo Greenhills branch by 2023.