After bagging second place in the 49th Japan Fashion Design Contest in Tokyo three years ago for his "Dreamweaver" collection, Jun Artajo has been an unstoppable force to reckon with. Known for his intricate weaving techniques and modern interpretation of our native fibers, the young designer/Art and Fashion professor easily established his signature aesthetic which earned him a slot in the prestigious International Fashion Showcase (IFS) in London together with five other Filipino designers.
We were able to squeeze in a quick chat with this young wonder before he flew out of the country so read on as he talks about his design inspiration and what he's most excited about to see in London.
Have you always wanted to become a designer?
I grew up in a family of tailors and seamstress but I never imagined myself being a designer, although clues and hints were showing that I am going to be one someday. After my second year in Computer Science, I shifted to Fashion Design in Philippine Womens College of Davao where I am actually teaching now.
What was your reaction when you found out that you'll be part of IFS?
Mixed emotions. I was happy, excited, and pressured all at the same time. My creative juices just started to pop out the moment I knew about it.
What was your inspiration behind your collection?
My collection is inspired by the textures, color transformation, silhouette, and weaving of the traditional Filipino house, bahay kubo. I then translated it into clothing using various techniques such as weaving, macramé, fabric dyeing, and braiding.
How long did it take you to finish the collection?
Around two months including the technique experimentations.
What was the most difficult part in the whole process?
The construction part, specifically the weaving and macramé as tying and knotting can get painful. Product development was also very challenging as I have to present technique re-enforcements and innovations such as mixing macramè and weaving as well as using different fibers while making sure that they don't turn into a hodge podge.
What are you most excited to see in London?
The Queen, the fascinators, museums, and the tube.
Again, congratulations, Jun! Thank you for proving that Filipino fashion is indeed, world class.
Click on the gallery to see Jun Artajo's Bahay Kubo look book for International Fashion Showcase 2014.