ILOILO CITY – About 60 children walked the runway donned in local handloom textiles or accessorized with products from Western Visayas in a community fashion show, adding color to the 2023 Panubli-on (heritage) trade fair organized by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
“The purpose is for children to have awareness, education, and patronage of our local handloom textiles, fashion accessories, and crafts in the region,” said PJ Arañador, creative director of the Panubli-on that culminated at a mall here on Nov. 19.
Arañador, in an interview on Wednesday, said it is by starting them young that they grow to be supportive of local products.
He recalled that the last time they had the fashion show was in 2019 or before the health pandemic, and parents were clamoring for its return as it also helped boost their children’s confidence.
From about 20 participants in 2019, the number increased to about 60, with ages ranging from pre-schoolers to teenagers.
Arañador said with the Internet exposing younger people to global fashion, their understanding of their identity and culture has somehow been diluted and this needs to be balanced so they would have a sense of their origin.
The more-than-one-hour fashion show, held towards the evening of Nov. 18, provided kids the venue to romp off like professional models wearing patadyong (wrap-around) textiles from Iloilo and Antique, and smocked dresses from Negros Occidental.
They also modeled handcrafted bags and fashion accessories from Aklan, Guimaras, Antique, Capiz, and Iloilo.
The creative designer cited the ripple effects on producers and micro, small and medium entrepreneurs if Ilonggos would wear a piece of hablon (woven textile) or a patadyong, not necessarily a full dress but even just an accent to their apparel.
“Later, they will learn to appreciate and help promote the industry,” he said. (PNA)