FIBER FASHION: Exhibiting Ilonggo Cultural Image to the World

Design by Jett Torrento

Text and photos by: Bombette G. Marin

A NEW breed of young Ilonggo fashion designers is taking their claim on the local stage.

Using our traditional hand-woven textiles, these designers from the different municipalities of the province will experiment and create beautiful design to push the boundaries even further.

They will be out in force for the 12th Indigenous Fiber Fashion Fair taking place from August 24 to 30, 2019 at the SM City Northpoint wing. Here are the five Ilonggo fashion designers to watch out for.


ANNIE CAÑONASO. Clean, subtle and quietly powerful. That is how people describe her aesthetics. The future looks bright for this young designer who graduated from ISAT University with the degree in Fashion Design and Merchandising. Literally. For this show she will lean toward subdued color which she prefers to contrast the brightness of our hand-woven fabrics, chic comfort and color. Covered yet sexy, fabulous and simply classy.


PEACH GARDE. Elegant. Expertly-crafted and directional pieces ever since. His palette for this show is of bold and bright, designs with a tinged of Italian sensuality all in hablon fabric. No doubt the clean craftsmanship of his designs is owed, at least in part, to his mentor, John Montinola, Lexter Badana, Hello Hello and Don Protasio. This Fashion and Design Merchandising graduate of ISAT University believes that a certain ‘slowness’ is essential if you want to create something long-lasting and of quality.


JO NIÑO DAMASCO. Modern silhouettes in classic color ways. Classic but not boring. Wearable and a whole lot of fun. Also a graduate of ISAT University with the degree in Fashion Design and Merchandising, the designer will showcase his hablon in black and white checks in collections with a feel of relaxed elegance—clean, fresh, and pared back in a modern way when wearing his clothes.


EDWARD SALES. Minimalist. Curve-hugging but not clingy. Sexy but not see-through.  This show, the graduate of Fashion Design and Merchandising of ISAT University is pushing his minimalist silhouettes in bold red hablon fabrics cut slightly closer to the body, a bit more sensual and perhaps a little bit more sophisticated. He is steadily rising up the ranks of the local fashion world.


JET TORRENTO. Raw. Gritty city-vibe-inspired. Ambi-sexual approach to everyday dressing. A graduate of Business Administration major in Marketing Management at the University of San Agustin, our designer is finally getting his fashion moment. His designs exude confidence embracing the concept of luxury, in short, ultra-stylish, and gender neutral. His clothes have been worn by celebrities such as Yeng Constantino and Sara Geronimo. So it is no wonder it is catching on after debuting just a very few years ago.

Wedding dress by Nino Damasco

The Indigenous Fiber Fashion Fair is an appropriate forum to showcase our world-class craft traditions and culture boosting further our local tourism campaign.

Our local arts, heritage, culture and tourism are highlighted in this prestigious event attended by upscale consumers, press, trade buyers and VIPs as well as pre and post promotions extended through press and internet coverage.

The Office of Culture, Arts, History and Tourism, the organizer of this annual event sees the opportunity as the beginning of a new marketing thrust for the new designs, colors and textures of our traditional hand-woven textiles that can hit the global market and gains will be more for our weaving communities.

The 12 Indigenous Fiber Fashion Week is organized by the Office of Culture, Arts, History and Tourism of the Iloilo Provincial Government, the Department of Tourism Region VI and SM City Iloilo in cooperation with the municipalities of Miagao, Oton, Duenas and Badiangan, IMG, and Daily Guardian.

Hair and make-up for the daily fashion shows is by John Montinola.