Modern Filipiniana: Renee Salud’s take on neo-ethnic fashion wows Berlin

Carol RH Malasig
Modern Filipiniana: Renee Salud’s take on neo-ethnic fashion wows Berlin
The designer wows with designs showcasing Filipino indigenous weaves

BERLIN, Germany – Filipino fashion designer Renee Salud showcased the Philippines’ indigenous weaves at a fashion show attended by Berlin’s diplomatic corps, members of the media, and locals on Saturday, 10 March.

The event, entitled “The Philippines: A Tropical Tapestry,” was a musical fashion show that featured Salud’s designs and performances by the Ryan Cayabyab singers.

NORTHERN FLAIR. The Igorot fabric was a crowd favourite.

An icon in the Philippine fashion scene, one of Salud’s lifelong advocacies is to highlight all the major weaves of the archipelago. This, as a way to promote the country’s indigenous materials and the age-old artistry of Filipino weaving.

Salud’s designs married modern silhouettes with ethnic elements to create a distinct Philippine look without losing its international appeal.

ELEGANCE. Who says black is boring?

The show took the audience on a tour through Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. This, through the songs and the fabric used for each clothing.

Igorot fabric from the Cordilleras, abaca from Bicol, piña from the Visayas region, and t’nalak, inaul, yakan, pis syabit, and silk from Mindanao were featured that night along with exquisite beadwork and craftsmanship Salud has always been known for.

“Filipino fashion is the practical art form by the Filipino artisans to speak of the country’s heritage and culture,” Salud said when asked about his work. “It’s so colorful that is reflective of the soul of the Filipinos. It has its own character and look that is very much identified to the country’s landscape and weather.”

BLUSHING BRIDES. Renee Salud poses with his models wearing neo-ethnic bridal gowns.

The audience, meanwhile, found deeper appreciation for Filipino culture through the show. Berlin native Sergio Oroz says seeing the show made him more excited to visit. “The show was great! Amazing singers, elegant and traditional dresses, and most importantly: all the kind people and the food! I can’t wait to see, feel, and enjoy the Philippines in real life!”

Journalist Rafi Barbiro was also impressed by the Ryan Cayabyab singers who performed songs like “Paraiso” and “Sana’y Wala Nang Wakas.”

“I never expected so much [live] music in a fashion show!” he said.

ETHNIC CHIC. Salud's designs prove traditional doesn't mean backward. All photos by Carol Ramoran

The intimate salon show, directed by another Philippine fashion industry icon, Raymond Villanueva, was held at Arndt Art Agency. The gallery, and the agency behind it, is a known supporter of Filipino artists such as Nona Garcia and Kaloy Sanchez. Garcia’s works were even on display the day the fashion show was staged.

Organized by the Philippine Embassy in Berlin with the support of the Tourism Promotions Board, the show was a side event of the country’s participation at the Internationale Tourismus-Börse (ITB) Berlin. It’s the world’s largest travel trade show with 10,000 exhibiting travel companies and countries. –

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.