Young designer Jot Losa, despite having been seen on the runways of Philippine Fashion Week for several seasons to date, did not immediately start his career in Philippine fashion. He started in the events industry, becoming a wedding planner, event coordinator, and an account executive for an events outfit when he graduated from college. But a tryst with fashion design when he was 17 (he designed clothes for the women in his family), as well as a stint in dressmaking in Doha, Qatar (where he learned the fine art of couture) cemented his love for fashion design. He has been making beautiful clothes ever since.
This year, Jot has been chosen by the Preview editors to be one of the five practicing designers on the 2011 PEFTA roster. He feels honored and grateful for the experience to showcase his "ultra-feminine, clean, dreamy, romantic, youthful and impeccably crafted" designs to an audience of Filipino fashion industry professionals. He was also particularly enthusiastic about using Filipino fabrics once again (he used abaca silk in his Spring/Summer 2011 collection of party-ready frocks).
"The collection's highlight is the use of abaca with leather in modern and feminine silhouettes," he says. "It's about mainstreaming Filipino fabrics to make them accessible." Indeed, the 6-piece crimson collection takes the two hand-dyed materials—fiber and skin—in a welcome juxtaposition of tradition and youthful verve. Abaca strips are sewn alternately with leather strips on the bodice and skirts of flirty cocktail dresses, with little leather florettes accentuating the waists and shoulders.
Jot's use of abaca in fun, youth-oriented garments reinforces the idea that indigenous fabrics should not be relegated to formal, traditional dressing. Being a young proponent of local textiles, and with a careful couture skill set, it's really no surprise that Jot is part of this year's Preview Designers to Watch.