Avel Bacudio Celebrates Filipino Ancestral Crafts

The Buhi-native designer uplifts a dying national heritage of craftsmanship through a black-and-white collection.

A night that celebrates a Filipino heritage that is on the verge of extinction, a show that pays homage to fashion ancestors, and an artist who embraces where he comes from. Glamorous guests in their Filipinianas and Barongs filled the Goldenberg Mansion in Malacañang Palace. Hence, the night was nothing short of grandeur with Avel Bacudio showcasing his artistry and love for the art of weaving and embroidery.

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Championing Filipino culture

The Buhi-native designer paid tribute to the traditional weavers and embroiderers in the Philippines by incorporating their products into his design. According to Bacudio, the show was all about honoring our country’s artisans. “Now if you notice, we are slowly forgetting about them. No generation will continue their craft. This show is an awakening for us Filipino that we need to start teaching the younger generations the cultures of our ancestors that are slowly fading away,” the designer explained. 

Avel Bacudio black and white collection
Santino Rosales in Avel Bacudio/Photo by Kim Santos

The collection is predominantly black and white. Two colors symbolize the message and the purpose of the show. Bacudio told the story of our ancestors in his collection. Futhermore, he said that during the old days, weavers would only use cream and no other colors. And if there were a color, it would be black. Aside from the historical reference, black and white tells Bacudio’s humble beginnings. “The black represents my beginning. I’m from a sleepy town in the province of Buhi, Cam Sur. And now I’m doing well, and that’s the white,” the designer explained. 

Avel Bacudio black and white collection
Weaved skirt and Filipiniana top by Avel Bacudio/Photo by Kim Santos

Muses and inspirations 

Aside from models gracing the runway, Bacudio’s muses and inspiration for the collection opened the show. Dawning their custom Avel Bacudio ensembles, these muses are the designer’s customers and friends. Bacudio gained a clientele that ranged from politicians and industry leaders who braved the catwalk to support him. 

Wearing a custom black knee-length Filipiniana is the Department of Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco. Alongside the DOT secretary was her husband, Deputy Speaker Duke Francisco, in a custom bomber jacket with black embroidered details. The Chief Operating Officer of the Tourism Promotions Board, Margarita Nograles, was also present—wearing a weaved little black dress.

Avel Bacudio black and white collection
Christina and Duke Frasco/Photo by Excel Panlaque
Avel Bacudio black and white collection
Margarita Nograles/Photo by Excel Panlaque

Continuing with muses from the government, the Undersecretary to the Special Assistant to the President, Attorney Joeie Domingo, walked the runway in a white dress with black floral appliques while another notable attendee was Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) Director Gilbert Remulla, wearing an embroidered Barong

Avel Bacudio black and white collection
Attorney Joeie Domingo/Photo by Excel Panlaque
Avel Bacudio black and white collection
Gilbert Remulla/Photo by Excel Panlaque

Wearing a black bomber jacket with custom embroidery was Xavi Tengco, while Cagayan Economic Zone Authority Chief Katrina Ponce Enrile, the daughter of Juan Ponce Enrile, was in custom black coordinates with feather details on the sleeve. 

Avel Bacudio black and white collection
Xavi Tengco/Photo by Excel Panlaque
Avel Bacudio black and white collection
Katrina Ponce Enrile/Photo by Excel Panlaque

Banner photo by Kim Santos.

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