Often, when patriotism is the subject of art, it comes in the form of vibrant and vivacious colors to represent the life and culture that inspired it. However, designer Aztec Barba makes a case for the contrary: He proves that one can inject patriotism into fashion in the form of subtlety while still doing the cultural inspiration justice. "When I started my collection for PMFF, I thought of highlighting our place Mindanao, and from that, my pieces began to mutate and I was glad I completed my 10-piece collection," he tells Preview.
More than that, what makes the collection a lean but sartorially mean collection would be the wearability of all the pieces. This characteristic is truly an integral element to the designer's fashion philosophy. Aztec Barba also notes that fusing the classy with the edgy is a key element in his aesthetic, as seen in the collection’s simple silhouettes and sleek rendering of the geometric patterns.
A key look that embodied the quiet sartorial prowess of his designs would be the ensemble that merged modern femininity, old world glam, and of course, a nod to traditional woven fabrics. The model sported a see-through lace top with a ruched collar and cuffed sleeves—it reminded us of beautiful jusi or piña fabric! The midi skirt featured the constant metallic fabric with the wavy yet wearable geometric pattern.
As for the rest of the collection, the muted color palette was punctuated with a gorgeous green color as seen in the pairing of the midriff-baring top and glitter pants—something you might want to consider for your next formal occasion.
In a word, Aztec Barba's chic tribute to traditional Mindanaoan clothing acts as subtle reminders of Filipino culture. More importantly, he proves that patriotism can be incorporated into your everyday wardrobe. You can wave your flag in more ways than one!
See the rest of the collection below: