Awit at Laro's Follow-Up Puts Filipino Fashion On Centre Stage
Tukod Foundation's Bambi Mañosa-Tanjutco and UNICEF Ambassador Gary Valenciano come full circle in their Awit at Laro 2018 campaign as their initial concept of mounting a fashion show that highlights traditional Filipino culture and music comes into fruition this September 2019. The concept was previously stalled as the Awit at Laro book and album needed to be produced first. Now in the much-awaited fashion show entitled Baro at Sayá, local fashion designers join together to present their collections inspired by the songs from the Awit at Laro album and book.
Hailing its name from the words baro, which means "clothes", and sayá, which means "fun", the fashion show is expected to highlight playful and beautiful creations that cut across generations. "We are working with extremely talented designers whose inspiration runs deep," shares Katrina Sandejas-Mañosa, Baro at Sayá fashion show Project Head. "They create not only for themselves but to help inspire and uplift the Filipino people in more ways than one. We are also working with families to be our ambassadors to help represent what the Baro at Sayá fashion show represents."
On September 22, the follow-up campaign features the collections of modern outfits made of ethnic designs and weavings set against the backdrop of Filipino traditional games and Original Pilipino Music (OPM). As models walk through the runway at Grand Hyatt Manila in Bonifacio Global City, they will be accompanied by the Awit at Laro album's songs assigned to their respective fashion designers. Guest artists for the night include the album's producer Gary Valenciano, Darren Espanto, and the TNT Boys. Also participating in the show is Sofia Zobel Elizalde's STEPS dance project choreographed by James Laforteza.
Baro at Sayá's fashion consultant Rajo Laurel shares how the preparation for the fashion show progressed in the previous months. Each artist took inspiration from the Awit at Laro album song assigned to them with the objective of introducing Filipino wear to a younger generation and spark pride in the Filipino culture and heritage.
"I have always believed in the foundation from day one. I love what it stands for and I am always inspired by organisations that foster the same values and morals I was brought up with. It was really a natural progression and I am so privileged to be part of such a special and worthwhile endeavour." His collection has an element of play, he adds. "I actually made my own fabric for the collection and asked my nephews and nieces to help. One weekend I brought some fabric and paint and we just had a blast. I wanted to truly incorporate the sense of play in the collection and what better way to do this by literally playing with my nieces and nephews. It was fun!”
His fellow designers who are participating in the event are equally as excited to showcase Filipino culture through fashion and play. Len Cabili will highlight her children’s line, saying that the revival of games we grew up with is something close to her heart. "The theme is really unique and fun, we focused on our core competencies and found a way to relate it to the whole thrust of the project," she shares.
For Ito Curata, the project brought back childhood memories and the moments he spends playing with his son. "It brought out so many emotions in me, and I was challenged because designing with a Filipino game in mind brought me out of my comfort zone in design. I am also very excited because the project is extremely worthwhile."
Meanwhile, Rhett Eala will show off the stately side of Filipiniana. "Our pieces combine several fabrics and techniques of embroidery to highlight our mixed cultures, making you stand out. Each piece was made to reflect the rich culture that we represent made wearable and relatable for the modern woman," he explains.
Zarah Juan likewise experienced the joy of play, as she turned to playing piko (hopscotch) with her team for inspiration. "This collaboration is a celebration of who we are as Filipinos. It is deeply rooted to our culture and heritage which makes it inspiring and exciting."
Marga Nograles will highlight the traditional weaves in her work. "We took inspiration and put together our favorite weaves that represented Filipino song and play. Then we mixed some hand beading and embroidery by the indigenous tribes that we work with and topped it off with fun Filipino accessories. Each piece we will present will tell a fun and unique story," she says.
It’s embroidered wearable art that Anne Marie Saguil of Amarie will set out on the runway, she says, as her part in empowering the Filipino people through art, craftsmanship, culture and sustainability.
"The design process for the collection was quite different and a lot of fun for me because childhood, fun and play was the central theme for the clothes’ colours and silhouettes. As a result, the collection took on a younger playful vibe but still always suitable for the adult modern Filipina," Saguil explains.
For Paloma Urquijo’s PioPio, the collection is all about the Filipino family. “We thought it would be fun to include the Mañosas, our brand ambassadors, in all stages of this project. Awit at Laro is all about family, generations and going back to this holistic child-like mentality where we showcase the importance of playing and our traditions. By allowing our brand ambassadors to help in the designing process, from picking fabrics to designing their dream outfits, we carried through this theme of getting back in touch with our roots and using art and creativity to help bond families and friends."
Baro at Sayá aims to give children the opportunity to appreciate the Philippines’ indigenous fabrics in order to raise a generation that gives value to sustainable fashion. Furthermore, Kat Mañosa said that this is not the first and last of the fashion show as they are planning to do it again next year. This year’s Baro at Sayá fashion show is a fundraiser for UNICEF, Museo Pambata’s renovation project, and Tukod Foundation’s "Pamato sa Pagtuturo" Awit at Laro workshops for teachers.
The Baro at Sayá by Awit at Laro fashion show will be held on September 22, 2019 at the Grand Hyatt Manila, BGC, Taguig City. For ticket bookings and reservation and other details please contact: Ann Loren Yu - Executive Director of Tukod Foundation Inc. at +63 917 123 2724. The Baro at Sayá by Awit at Laro fashion show is co-presented by Grand Hyatt Manila.