Farm to Runway: Fashion At Its Finest Featuring Filipino Cotton - Arts & Culture

Ilocos Norte cotton travels from farm, to fabric, to fashion at Pintô Art Museum’s Gallery 7 show, which featured creations from some of the Philippines’ best designers.

This is an excerpt from Lifestyle Asia’s March 2023 Issue.

“Algodon” is a soft , fluffy, and extremely durable agricultural product. We know it better as cotton. It’s precisely Algodon (Spanish for cotton) that took center stage at Pintô Art Museum’s Gallery 7 on February 5. During the “definitive fashion event of the year,” cotton starred in an invitation-only show featuring the creations of leading Filipino fashion designers.

Pepito Albert, BARBA, JC Buendia, Tonichi Nocom, and Randy Ortiz at Algodon Fashion Show at Pinto Art Museum

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These included the likes of Pepito Albert, BARBA, JC Buendia, Tonichi Nocom, and Randy Ortiz. Each of these creators demonstrated their respective signature styles through inabel fabrics made of pure cotton and dipped in organic dyes.

Pintô Art Museum founder and president Dr. Joven Cuanang said Algodon is a “celebration of the revitalization of cotton farming in Pinili, Ilocos Norte.” The museum executive initiated a Pinili-based cotton development project in 2016, due to the fact that most of the inabel fabrics in the market were made from a combination of polyester and cotton.

Algodon Fashion Show at Pinto Art Museum

He envisioned the farming community to supply sufficient fibers for the weavers to produce 100-percent pure cotton inabel. Fortunately, with the local and national government’s contributions, what initially began as two hectares for cotton farming expanded to 20. This was enough to keep the weavers occupied and the looms active.

Algodon Fashion Show at Pinto Art Museum

“Algodon is a statement of an idea put into action. Painstakingly, over the last six years, we nurtured it from the seed farm to fiber to fashion. Farm-produced cotton has its rightful place in our times. It is part of our cultural heritage. It should be revitalized all over our country,” Cuanang said.

Algodon Fashion Show at Pinto Art Museum

Eventually, as grassroots cotton production built its foundation, designers made use of these available fabrics. Albert, Barba, Buendia, Nocom, and Ortiz—all seen as champions of domestic materials—transformed inabel into eyecatching creations.

Read more by purchasing a copy of the Lifestyle Asia March 2023 magazine via or select newsstands in National Bookstore and Fully Booked. Subscribe to the E-Magazine via Readly, Magzter, and Press Reader.

Photos by Kieran Punay of Kliq, Inc.

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