Year after year, the Fashion Institute of the Philippines (FIP) stages a fashion show that showcases the work of their Fashion Design graduates. This 2019, JJ Aquino (of Vilquin label) has bagged the Designer of the Year award, besting 17 other budding designers. His collection is named Boloto Ko Bel, which is a Maranao phrase that translates to "bahaghari sa usok" in Tagalog or "rainbow amidst smoke" in English.
His debut collection was made in partnership with the Sinagtala Foundation, a non-profit organization that helps displaced people, especially the women and children victims of the Marawi war. JJ gathered traditional handwoven textiles from these weaving warriors and fashioned them into a four-piece capsule collection. His collection interprets the "stories of hope and triumph by the warrior weavers of Sinagtala from Marawi." It starts with an ebony outfit that signals the sorrow and hardships of these women and slowly transforms to layers of rainbow-hued pieces as they steadily ascend over their past sufferrings. JJ also modernized the traditional Marawi outfits, giving his pieces a complex silhouette coupled with historic references.
Further, two more graduates from the same Ethnic design category bagged the second and third places. Mariton Villanueva produced a sustainable collection made from naturally-dyed recycled fabrics. Meanwhile, Clarisse Gotico reinterpreted Maria Clara as a modern Filipina with her hand-embroidered pieces paired with strong street style references.
Below, see all the collections of FIP's graduating batch:
Camie del Carpio