Mindanao Tapestry: A Gift from the South

It takes a design legend like Renee Salud to come up with “Mindanao Tapestry.” It is the initiative to highlight all the major weaves of the island, in an effort to promote indigenous materials and the amazing Mindanaoan artistry.

Hailed as an icon in the Philippine fashion scene, Salud creates ethnic clothes with international appeal. He advocates for the use of indigenous materials in all his fashion shows – and project a distinct “Philippine look.”

Salud has a strong sense of pride for fabrics that are specific to the indigenous Filipino tradition, and produces intricate creations representing a fashion statement on the exotic and regional influences of indigenous groups.

His intricate combinations of beadwork and use of native textiles have been exhibited at design expositions all over the world, including Tokyo, Taipei, Seville, the Caribbean and in most major cities around the world.

Creations of Renee Salud from the raw materials from Mindanao. 

This time, Salud’s focus is on Mindanao, the second largest island in the Philippines, and home to more than a dozen Indigenous People groups. They each have their own unique identity and customs, but their colorful woven products show that they have a common tradition.

“Throughout my career, I’ve been championing the development and promotion of the Filipino fashion industry for the purpose of reaching the global market, with a strong sense of pride for fabrics that are specific to the indigenous Filipino traditions dating back to the Spanish times,” says the Philippine Fashion Ambassador the World.

Though not a native of the island, he lends his vital voice in the preservation of the weaves of Region IX (Zamboanga), Region X (Bukidnon), Region XI (Davao), Region XII (T'nalak / T'boli), Region XII (Manobo) and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (Maranao).

An astute designer, Salud deftly uses these fabrics for his enthralling collection: Inaul, a woven fabric of different colors and designs used as wall d├ęcor, or buntings, for special occasions like weddings by the

Maguindanao tribe; T’nalak, the T’Boli cloth made from abaca fiber, and the designs are patterned after the dreams of the weavers;

Malong, a tubular dress, skirt, blanket, baby hammock, a table cloth, a bedspread, a curtain for dressing modestly behind it, a cover over the head for sunny or rainy days, a decorative fabric to hang as canopy; a status symbol denoting royalty; and Yakan, intricate weaving, which is hand-loomed fabric made from abaca and pineapple.

Salud’s knowledge of Mindanao’s rich weaving resources was harnessed when he practiced his profession in Davao City. “My Davao business flourished for 15 years. It was an integral part of my business, because my Mindanao clients did not have to go Manila just to have their clothes done by me.”

On March 27 at the Marco Polo Hotel in Ortigas, Pasig City, Salud and his Mindanao Tapestry collection will give everyone a peek into a beautiful aspect of the Philippines: the Mindanao culture. The neo-ethnic collection will enhance one’s appreciation of the totality of the Philippines’ cultural heritage.

By showcasing the best of Mindanao, everyone will be let in to a Mindanao that is rich in culture, beauty and tradition, and not a Mindanao that is ridden in strife and conflict as portrayed so unfairly in the media.

The grand fashion show, which will also feature cultural dances and video vignettes, will communicate to the audience that the region is worthy of a visit because it is beautiful and peaceful. It will be a celebration of all things enchanting in Mindanao.

Mindanao Tapestry is presented by Mode Devi, In -Cooperation with Department of Tourism, Marco Polo Ortigas and Globe, In partnership with Business Mirror Group of Publications, Philippine Graphics, Health and Fitness, Pilipino Mirror, Cook, Philippines, Locale, Experience Travel and Living Magazine, Manila Bulletin, Crossover Channel Hue, PINAS, DZAR Sonshine Radio,Crossover 105.1,Business Week Mindanao, Wacoal, Yoshinoya, Phoenix Oil, Wacoal, Yoshinoya, Cherry Mobile, Gallo Family, Canyon Road and Cliff De Torres.



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