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Manila’s Urban Resort wardrobe

Local design and indigenous materials take center stage as Manila FAME opens its doors once again to showcase the finest and latest creations from this side of the world. The 59th edition of the trade show promises plenty of creativity and innovation, and it also boasts a bigger and better installment of Manila Wear, the fashion arm of the event.

Aranaz bags of Amina
Now on its third year, Manila Wear’s theme is Urban Resort, in line with the rest of the expo. US-based Filipino fashion designer and entrepreneur Josie Natori, who has been the creative director of the fashion exhibit since its inception, is collaborating with Manila FAME creative director Budji Layug in interpreting the design concept, characterized by relaxed lines and forms in lush vibrant colors, coupled with dramatic textures and embellishments. The vibe is definitely summer and tropical.

Matahari Collection by
Carissa Cruz-Evangelista
Participating fashion designers are adapting the Urban Resort motif in creating their respective collections to be shown at the event. Indigenous materials and heritage handiwork are encouraged, which a lot of the designers eagerly incorporated into their designs. The show will see a myriad of garments, accessories and jewelry pieces in a variety of aesthetics and sensibilities seeking to define Philippine fashion design and elevate the craft to world-class standards.

Among the designers featured are Amina Aranaz-Alunan, Carissa Cruz-Evangelista, Maco Custodio, Lally Dizon, Natalya Lagdameo, Adante Leyesa, Joyce Makitalo, Arnel Papa, Malou Romero, Ken Samudio and Nicole Whisenhunt. They show everything from bags to bangles to shoes in traditional design and fabrication methods while maintaining a fresh and fashion-forward outlook.

Meanwhile, designs by Jun Artajo, Tipay Caintic, Joel Escober, Twinkle Ferraren, Anne Marie Saguil and Lulu Tan-Gan will be on display as a demonstration of how native materials, such as fabrics, textiles and beads, can be manipulated and used in contemporary fashion and intricately handcrafted apparel pieces to rival the best in the world.

On exhibit at this year’s Manila Wear are
(clockwise): Anna Marie Saguil’s collection, 
shoes by Maco Custodio and neck piece
from Adante Leyesa’s Cathedral
Collection (Image from Manila Fame blog)
Filip+Inna’s Len Cabili, who has carved a niche for her masterful use of locally-sourced materials in modernist designs, will present her new collection.

Manila Wear, a project of the Center for International Trade and Expositions and the Garments and Textile Industry Development Office, aims to be the preferred platform for Filipino fashion designers and craftspeople to go global. It is a testament of how Philippine design, both traditional and modern, can be competitive on the international stage, boosting investor and buyer confidence in the Filipino brand. It’s also a venue to introduce native products from all over the country as viable and versatile production materials for use in garment and accessory design.

Manila FAME, the Philippines’ premiere design and lifestyle event, took place at the SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City from March 14 to 17.

For more information on Manila Wear at Manila FAME, go to or email

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