Treasures from the past made gloriously current-A A +A
By Luci Lizares
Saturday, January 5, 2013
VINTAGE has become such a stylish word these days that I checked the dictionary for its meaning? Vintage more commonly referred to wines, meaning of high quality, identified as to the year and the vineyard or district of origin. It is characterized by excellence, maturity and enduring appeal. It can be representative of and most typical; of lasting interest and importance; venerable; classic.
But fashion today has gone nostalgic and melancholy and seems to excite instead of gloom the senses. Parties from weddings to birthdays and anniversaries have gone vintage in theme. Clotheswise, vintage is a generic term for new or second hand garments originating from a previous era.
Clothing produced before the 1920s is referred to as antique clothing while clothing from the 1920s to 20 years before the present day is considered vintage. Retro, short for retrospective, or “vintage style”, usually refers to clothing that imitates the style of a previous era (in other words-fake). Reproduction, or repro, clothing is a newly-made copy of an older garment (more fake). Modern or contemporary fashion is the more current.
In the just concluded 4th Lizares Grand Reunion, a segment of the presentation was to highlight the clothes of the great grand Lolas and the Lolas to complete the story of the Lizares legacy over the decades.
Unearthing “sayas” of the past millennium was not an ordeal but in fact a journey down history. These treasures considered “antique” were in a great state of preservation and the fabrics and the stitching were rendered exquisitely by hand.
Great great grandchildren and children walked down the ramp with such pride showcasing their heritage.
Two of Felisa Lizares Jalandoni’s (Lola Feling) sayas were modeled by two of her “apos sa tuhod” Rebekah Isabel and Angela Mendoza Andaya. The “sayas” clearly depict the pomp and glory of the early 1900’s. This was not a lackluster era when large banquets were held and illustrados mixed with fellow illustrados. This, too, was the era when men wore only white suits which made the ladies more outstanding despite the demure Maria Clara demeanor.
Another treasure unearthed was Celsa Lizares Kilayko’s (Lola Celsa) gown. Maria Charina Kilayko wore a black long dress complemented by a richly embroidered top with jewelries belonging to grand aunt Lily Pascual of an era gone by. Just looking at her whole ensemble deceives the beholder that this was a gown worn four generations ago.
If you have visited the Balay ni Tana Dicang, in one of the walls is a letter by one of the eight daughters of the great Enrica Alunan Lizares (Tana Dicang), Maria (Lola Mayang) to her sister Encarnacion (Lola Asyon) who was then living in Mexico, Pampanga. That letter is a lively communication between two sisters about ternos.
Then and now, clothes will always be a chick thing and definitely times haven’t change. The remarkable difference is that Lola Mayang tells Lola Asyon if she wants to order a terno that is something out of the ordinary, it will cost from P50-P60 while an everyday attire would be from P20-25. Isn’t that enough to floor you? P60 today can’t even buy you a “caladoed” handkerchief.
Found in the baul of the youngest of the 14 children of Tana Dicang, Remedios Lizares Guinto, is a turquoise terno with branches, leaves and flower designs on the bodice overflowing to the piña sleeves. Crissa Lizares Bagtas glowed with pride using Lola Meding’s gown.
As we moved down the decades, the pre- and post-war era were the glory days of the sugar industry. Masinadyahon and Kahirup Balls were something to look forward to, as well as parties over at the Nelly’s Garden in Iloilo and UC and town fiestas which were celebrated in the plazas with all the pageantry. Fashion designers of note then were Salvacion Lim Higgins (SLIMS) and Ramon Valera.
Grand children of Linda Lizares Cano, Mariana Cano Sarrosa in a terno and Bessie Cano wore authentic Slims designs. Martha Lizares Gonzaga likewise wore a red Slims original belonging to Teresita Lizares Andaya. Amanda Lizares Gustilo wore another classic Slims terno in all black.
Isabel Cano Sarrosa walked statuesquely in a Ramon Valera fully sequined terno with down the hip dark purple sash.
Hollywood has always been the trendsetter of design and fashion. In the 60’s, I don’t believe any man did not have the wildest dream of being James Bond; the legend goes on until today.
Wearing his grandfather’s Rodolfo T. Lizares Sr., tuxedo is Andre Lizares Yunque who had his 10 seconds of glory as 007. Every Bond movie has its gorgeous looking girls and Bella and Paula Lizares Jaeger looked fantastic in their Lola Nena Villasor Lizares’ clothes.
Furthermore down history lane, fashion designers have risen to the ranks. There’s the czar Pitoy Moreno, Pedrito Legaspi, Christian Espiritu and the king of beads, Aureo Alonso. Today, we have Rajo Laurel hugging the limelight with Marianna Lizares donning his creation specially designed for Mercedes McKenzie (Tita Edie).
Treasures unearthed from bauls give us a more in-depth connection with our ancestors. Antique or vintage as wine, they are of high quality, characterized by excellence, maturity and enduring appeal. They are representative of and most typical; of lasting interest and importance; venerable; classic.
Perhaps, these clothes our forebears wore can give us that glimpse of history and from there channel our destinies so that, many generations from now, when we become what is antique or vintage, they can likewise recall a time that their ancestors were venerable and classic not merely in clothes but in spirit.
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on January 06, 2013.