By Marivir Montebon
New York – The house of Feliciano Ador has made a big bold statement here this summer, in a fashion show aptly called Arise Mindanao on August 17, Friday at the Philippine Center.
Venus Raj topbilled the models at the Kalayaan Hall who donned his creations, made of rich and sturdy handwoven fabrics from the indigenous tribes of Mindanao. Raj was 4th runner up in the 2010 Miss Universe pageant.
Produced as a portfolio presentation by Mita Quiogue under her company Glossy Skinnovation, Arise Mindanao aimed to bring to the international stage the indigenous fabrics of the Maguindanao, Tboli, and Blaan tribes. Its partner, the Dalsaka Foundation in General Santos City, brought the fashion ensemble to New York.
An elated fashion director Rain Ramas welcomed guests, citing what a long way they have come as a fashion house meaning to elevate indigenous arts and wanting to help improve the economic conditions of tribal peoples.
The program however had its lapses, fashion show observers said, including the use of jazz and blues music rendered beautifully on saxophone, while the creations were boldly modern-indigenous. The conflicting fusion was too adventurous, diluting the essence and sanctity of indigenous art.
The combined use of spotlight and the full lights of the Kalayaan hall had been unnecessarily overwhelming as well.
Erno Hormillosa, a New York fashion and beauty pageant consultant, told OSM! that the casting of models was “off” as many clothes were either too long for the female models or too short for the male models. “The models did not give justice to the clothing which were impeccable. And the head pieces were African-inspired. That was not how Maguindanao women wear their head pieces. The show should have focused on portraying women of Mindanao, and not on the individualized walking styles or facial expressions of models,” said Hormillosa.
Arise Mindanao was realized in partnership with JCI Manhattan and The Filam.net.