Fashion Freedom: Meet The All-Filipino Team Of The ‘Indigenous Futurism’ Vogue Italia Spread - The Scene

It includes Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach and weavers from the Lih’han di Immipugo tribe of Kiangan in Ifugao.

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Filipino talent is front and center in a new Vogue Italia feature.

Called Indigenous Futurism, the editorial puts a spotlight on the Philippine indigenous fashion movement, particularly the fabric the Lih’han di Immipugo of Kiangan, Ifugao weaved and Filipino designers utilized in their works.

The feature, inspired by the Afrofuturism of the Black Panther, explores the possibilities “if indigenous peoples had never been colonized,” if [they] weren’t always described as “backward and uncivilized,” and what the future would look like “if indigenous teachings and culture were at the center of humanity’s new frontier in environmental conservation, in science, in the unsolved problems of inequality, ignorance and prejudice.”

The face of the feature, Pia Wurtzbach, wears the clothes styled and curated by Victor Baguilat Jr.—whose works have been shown in New York, Paris and Melbourne during the main fashion weeks—along with creations of fellow designer, Thian Rodriguez. Styling assistant to Baguilat is his friend, interior designer Patrick Henri Caunan.

Vogue Italia photos by MJ Suayan

Completing her looks are accessories by Ron Aguro, Christine Tiu of Amami, and Marigrace Reano of MJorian; shoes by Joel Wijangco, Tal De Guzman of Risque Designs, Roweliza Landicho, and Mara Piñon; and hair and makeup by Mickey See and Renz Pangilinan, respectively.

Image maker MJ Suayan, whose conceptual images have been featured in Italian Vogue since 2017, photographs the 2015 Miss Universe and Philippine ambassador for arts and culture. This marks his 5th collaboration with the prestigious magazine.

Vogue Italia photos by MJ Suayan

“These [images] collect instances of the movement trying to imagine a future where indigenous perspectives are highly visible in the global fashion industry,” Vogue Italia writes. “This work shows several creative realities coming together to restart the local fashion industry. It is nice to have such a political creative project in a delicate moment like the one we are experiencing.”

The photographs for the magazine’s “Talent On The Set” editorial also shows Okada Manila’s Grand Ballroom, where the shoot was conducted.

Behind the scenes photos and videos, meanwhile, shot by Rax Mercado, Jaydee Gungon, Jeremy Lim, Krisanto Blanco, and Michael Peñalosa of the BLKMRKT team, features The Garden and Cove Manila.

“The shoot really is an advocacy project to support indigenous weavers and designers,” Donna Patricia Lopez Manio of Okada Manila tells Lifestyle Asia. “We think it is important at a time like this, since these are [sadly] not considered essential. Aside from making resources available for a worthy cause, we think it’s good to create something inspiring and uplifting, something Filipinos can take pride in.”

Vogue Italia photo by MJ Suayan

In a separate post, Wurtzbach has expressed just how proud she is for taking part in the all-Filipino project which, according to her, showcases “Philippine indi-GENIUS.”

“Everything is intertwined and in fashion, it’s inspiring when different creatives come together—from weavers to designers to artists to photographers. New stories arise from each concept piece, each photo output,” she writes. “I hope this doesn’t end with us just feeling inspired. It’s a start though. I hope we will always support each other’s artistry and creativity. I hope we can learn to preserve and continue traditions so we can weave them into our future.”

Banner: Vogue Italia photo by MJ Suayan

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