Meet The 6 Emerging Ilonggo Designers Challenging Fashion’s Norms With Sustainability

You know when you've been hibernating so long, you're dying to go on creative mode? We felt THAT.

One thing we also missed in the two years of being indoors? Watching live art by up-and-coming Filipino fashion designers.

It’s been a while since we’ve watched runway shows. Nowadays, designers have different gimmicks in launching their collections. You’ve got Balenciaga debuting on The Simpsons, Gucci collaborating with Roblox, young designer from Auckland Rob Tennent presenting his pieces on hook up app Grindr, everyone had to be creative. But for the designer crew of Iloilo? They went back to their roots and presented different runway collections in form of a fashion film.

You know when you’ve been hibernating for so long, you’re dying to go on creative mode? We felt THAT. From a designer who made dreamy gowns out of scrap fabrics to a collection that was inspired by what’s inside of them—literally human anatomy, here are 6 designers from Iloilo New Breed Fashion Challenge 2021.

READ MORE: At 19 Years Old, Here’s How This Filipino Designer Made It To Fashion School in France

1. THIS DESIGNER WHOSE COLLECTION IS ENTIRELY MADE OUT OF OF UPCYCLED FABRICS

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Thea Balume’s Collection entitled “Boro”

Young designer Thea Balume took a more sustainable approach for her collection by upcycling denim and plaid fabrics with Japanese stitching techniques called boro and sashiko for the patchwork details. Thea also dyed the fabrics with betadyne solution to make it look more lived in.

2. THIS AVANT GARDE TRIBUTE TO THE HEROES OF THE PANDEMIC

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Jay Elabra’s collection entitled “Paragons”

Ilonggo designer Jay Elabra reimagined our pandemic heroes in a more dystopian setting for his collection, Paragons. He experimented with reflector strips, plastic covered mesh and pleated panels.

3. THESE DREAMY GOWNS CREATED FROM SCRAP FABRICS

iloilo fashion challenge new breed
RG Macabanti’s collection, “RETASO”

How is it even possible for designer RG Macabanti to even create these gowns with only scrap fabrics? She used different fabric manipulation techniques like ruching, gathering overlay of fabric strips either pleated or fluted to create a ripple-like effect.

4. THIS DESIGNER WHO GREW UP IN THE BEST OF BOTH CULTURES

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Mor Echalar’s Collection entitled “Puwa”

Mor Echalar is a part of the indigenous community in Tubungan, Iloilo. He intertwined both elements from his traditional culture and love for street style through embroidery, frayed red-on-red applique and accessorized it with ornaments like mini-dolls, brass necklaces and bottles of medicine. Best of both worlds.

5. THIS COLLECTION THAT DEBUNKS CROCHET’S DAINTINESS

iloilo new breed fashion challenge young filipino designers
Trinie Siasat’s Collection entitled “Chaotic Crochet”

For those who’ve been into cottage core for a while now, crochet has always been associated with daintiness. But for Trinie Siasat, it takes on a whole new meaning by experimenting with its chaotic nature. She made use of organic cotton and pineapple threat and hand-dyed the rest of her pieces.

6. THIS DESIGNER WHOSE TECHNIQUES WERE INSPIRED BY HUMAN ANATOMY

iloilo new breed fashion challenge young filipino designers
Ericka Celiz’s collection entitled “Anatomy”

Ericka Celiz has been crowned as the winner of this year’s Iloilo New Breed Fashion Challenge for 2021 and it’s easy to see why. Just look at all the tiny details you might have missed such as the DNA structure on one of the exaggerated sleeves and patterns that almost look like the heart’s arteries. Ericka made use of heat-treated satin polyester, pleated organza, fiber-filled and hand painted details and distressing.

You can watch Iloilo New Breed Fashion Challenge 2021 here.

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