Fashion as Preservation: An Investigation Into the Implications of Contemporary
Adaptations of Indigenous Philippine Textiles
In recent years, there is no denying the marked interest in resurrection and preservation of indigenous Filipino arts and crafts in many tribes around the Philippines. However the intent and purpose for such a resurgence may not be altogether altruistic. More specifically, the essence of true preservation become somewhat lost in translation as they are appropriated for more functional and commercial use for the general public. This is particularly apparent in the Philippine fashion industry where independent designers “team” up with certain indigenous tribes in various parts of the archipelago to build boutique brands in the name of preservation and generation of livelihood.
Although the field remains to be controversial, through my investigations on the implications of contemporary adaptations of indigenous Philippine textiles, I have come to believe that [if handled with care] this growing interest of the Philippine Fashion industry presents numerous opportunities to benefit the preservation of Indigenous Philippine crafts and culture. However more so, I believe this interaction plays a crucial role in the quest to crystalize the “modern Filipino identity” by allowing us to integrate and adapt important traditional practices into our contemporary culture and identity.
Kayla Romberger (FNAR)
Ian Verstegen (VLST)