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The Local Fashion Brands Championing and Reimagining Piña Fabric
by: The Beat Asia
The mere mention of "piña" fabric brings up very specific memories, usually Linggo ng Wika, graduation days, or weddings when we had to wear the barong or Filipiniana. Itchy and stiff, piña fiber is made from the pineapple plant's leaves and mixed with a variety of natural and synthetic fibers to create different types of textiles for clothing, accessories, shoes, and more.
It would be impractical to wear piña on the daily (or at least that's what we thought), so it's no surprise that we've associated it with special occasions only.
Times have changed, though. Nowadays, local brands and designers have taken it upon their shoulders to champion — and reimagine — the piña fabric. Check out these fashion brands that are doing exactly that.
Filip + Inna
It's the marriage of Lenora Cabili's curiosity for fashion and her deep love for Philippine culture that compelled her to establish Filip + Inna, a social enterprise that works with Filipino artisans to create garments that bear "ancient techniques of weaving, embroidery and beadwork from different indigenous groups of the Philippines."
Filip + Inna's pieces at once represent the traditional and contemporary, as evident in its modern take on Filipiniana garments like this Kamisa (P9,500). Made of 100% piña silk, it has an open neckline and bell sleeves that make it chic and comfortable to wear as a not-so-basic basic top.
Ma. Collecta reinvents piña fabric through beautiful everyday pieces in the form of bucket hats, dresses, tube tops, and cropped tops. Bianca Jimenez, founder of Ma. Collecta, apprenticed for Filip + Inna in high school, which became her gateway to learn about different indigenous Filipino communities and their cultures, as per a Philippine Star interview on June 10. This experience informed and fueled her passion to learn more and expose herself to other local brands and designers.
We wager any Millennial would love the pieces of Ma. Collecta, which are dainty, feminine, and minimalist at the same time. This lush Lilac Phalaenopsis Chimis Dress (P11,200), "a bias-cut slip dress perfect for a dalagang Filipina," is one of our favorites.
Raquel's Pina Cloth Products
Raquel's Piña Cloth Products is Raquel Eliserio's eponymous brand and those privy to Aklan piña fabric would recognize her. Eliserio, a piña weaver, is considered the "Cultural Maser for Piña Weaving" and won the top award in the Global Eco Artisan Awards 2021, as per a report by Metro Style on March 31, 2021.
Raquel's Piña Cloth Products takes pride in its hand-woven piña fabrics that follow "standard measures and [go] through intense quality monitoring..." Its piña pieces range from the barong and Filipiniana to earrings, a blazer, and scarf.
Fashion designer Gabbie Sarenas established her eponymous brand as her way of writing a love letter to the Philippines. With the goal to "introduce and re-introduce culture," Sarenas' pieces are an homage to Filipino artisanship, marrying the modern and the traditional to deliver unique creations for the Filipino and Filipina.
Sarenas' Hindrika bouquet aprons are the moment. Bearing flowers and leaves embroidered on pina shifu, the scene-stealing apron can be layered with just about any outfit, from skirts and jeans to dresses, tops, and sweaters, to give you endless stylish possibilities.
We personally love the look of this Hindrika Bouquet 5 (P6,850) layered over a white, oversized button-down!
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