There is no other textile native to the Philippines that is worth making a tribute to other than the lovely, ethereal, and symbolic piña. This most precious of materials is produced only through a painstaking process that involves splitting the fibers of the piña leaf and meticulously weaving the resulting filaments into a gorgeous fabric. Woven with polyester, the delicate piña becomes durable and sturdy; woven with silk, it becomes the epitome of luxury and elegant timelessness.
Its laborious production and prized qualities make it a cherished textile that sets many artistic imaginations aflame. For the Piñagayon Fashion Forecast held last Thursday at the NBC Tent, ten designers showcase their interpretations and varied uses of the material, proving that piña is indeed "magayon"—"beautiful" in the Bicolano dialect—and more versatile than ever.
First to present was Alcs Porras, who presented a 6-piece collection of tiered piña pieces that were hand-dyed in azure. He counteracted the sheer delicateness of the pineapple fabric by combining it with black vinyl panels to give his pieces a decidedly punk look.
Adhering to a black and gray palette, Jerome Lorico exhibited his typical rock 'n roll design sensibility in a slew of black knit mini dresses embellished with strips of the piña fabric sewn in industrial designs. To add more roughness to his small repertoire, he has his models strut down the runway in full-head ski masks and patent leather ankle boots. The exception was his muse, Bubbles Paraiso.
Martin Bautista draped and mixed his piña with black lace in a strong manifestation of his romantic and super-feminine aesthetics. Particularly fetching is the piña-jersey-lace wide-legged catsuit combo donned by his muse, Preview's Agoo Bengzon.
Project Runway Philippines participant Charette Regala channeled contemporary stylings for her Piñagayon collection, sending down the catwalk several urban silhouettes—a strapless mini dress, a banded bubble mini, and a zippered romper—texturized by piña accents folded into electric pleats.
Inarguably a mistress of piña, being more than just acquainted with formal dresssing, bridal designer Veluz Reyes took the audience's breath away with her beautifully designed and beautifully executed wedding creations. Either lavishly—but tastefully—encrusted with crystals, or falling down to the floor in a simple cascade of unembellished ruffles, her piña perfections are lovely tributes to the precious textile that, undoubtedly, every bride would want to wear on her most beautiful day.
Continue reading to find out more about the other collections for Piñagayon Fashion Forecast.