Bibs and piña fabric are two things you probably never thought could work together. Well, wait until you see Gabbie Sarenas' latest creations. Preview caught up with the local designer, who shared with us the story, inspiration, and intricate craftsmanship behind her stylish and coveted bibs.
Hi Gabbie! What’s the inspiration behind the bibs?
"The inspiration came from varied ideas and forms since we started. Piña is always a staple for us because it became a problem solving project for me—to be able to make it contemporary. The bib sprouted from our very first apron, the Hindrika. It was one of the first smaller pieces that we did, [and] we tried it in the form of Bagwis using linen."
"The Cecilia bib’s intention is for you to be able to wear piña over your T-shirt, long sleeves, or on top of your old gown. The enclosures, which are ties, are to somehow experiment on the fit—as fit or as loose as the wearer wants. The objective is to innovate without crushing the tradition of the fabric and its story."
Can you describe to us its fabrication and embellishments?
"For this, we made it in two types of fabrics—piña shifu (piña and abaca) and hablon.
"Piña has always been a staple for us. We try to use different kinds of piña (last series, we used piña cotton). We hand embroidered our signatures—sampaguita buds in varied ways and notes in script—so it could be the same design but embroidery will be different.
"Hablon is another fabric we worked with. We have a current project with the Philippine Comission on Women that allows us to experiment and coordinate with different communities around the Philippines.
"For this project, one of the communties I worked with is SALNGAN Multi-Purpose Cooperative of Oton, Iloilo City. They specialize on hablon weaving. We tried to work on a solid black color and make it thicker than usual."
You named your collection, ________, Nagmamahal, _______. Can you explain the idea behind this?
"The story of each bib is much the like anecdotes behind the last question we wish we could ask a loved one: limitless in variation but effortless in the way we don't realize how we carry the sentiment in our heart. The title of the collection also reflects the same fluidity. The blanks could be filled in according to the role we wish to play, either as the sender or as the receiver of the loving thought."
"As with love, art, fashion, and memory, this collection only truly comes full circle when the wearer gives it meaning. When we look at a piece of art or fashion, we subject it to the memories we hold dear. And this is the key to the variety of interpretation."
See the rest of Gabbie's Cecilia bibs below. All will be available at the ArteFino Fair until September 2 located at 8 Rockwell.