Lulu Tan-Gan, who the Philippine fashion industry fondly hails as its Queen of Knits, is focusing on another textile, the beloved piña, to further her design evolution. She's making it more relevant than ever to the growing hyper-fashion-conscious Filipino market by using it in pieces that are accessible and versatile to use.
Creating hand-sewn vests and capes from beaded and gilt-painted—how luxe!—piña, Tan-Gan breathes new life into the precious fabric. Most of the vests are reversible, and were all designed to be worn with TAN-GAN knit basics, or simply incorporated into your existing wardrobe (check out the photo gallery to pick up some fab styling tips!).
The idea, foremost, is to challenge the (slowly crumbling, thanks to a resurgence of piña-centric designs) association of piña to formal, traditional dressing. The use of the vest form not only makes the native textile easy to mix and match with your clothes, but also foils the stiff, boxy silhouettes piña is traditionally used for.
Knit fanatics shouldn't worry, though: TAN-GAN is still offering its usual array of resort knitwear. But this time, the garments were designed specifically to complement the piña pieces. Hidden "trapezes" were introduced to the clothes' engineering so as to let the knits "float" with the ethereal piña, and finer yarns were used to complement the delicate weave of the traditional fabric.
In all, TAN-GAN's Spring/Summer 2012 collection is a representation of the brand's new direction: a blend of tradition and stylish modernity without compromising accessible luxury.
TAN-GAN's Spring/Summer 2012 hits the L Manila boutique this March. Click on the photo gallery to view the pieces.