IT'S fashion mixed with a touch of advocacy as seen in fashion designer Dexter Alazas’ resort inspired line called Amano using the fabric hablon, also known as hinablon, a hand-woven fabric from the municipality of Argao.
The name Amano comes from the Spanish term mano, meaning “done by hand.” This line showcases handcrafted products from ready-to-wear dresses for women as well as garments for men and accessories made with hablon.
His fascination with hablon started in 2007 when he was in search of a cloth for a fashion show.
“As a Cebuano designer, I’ve participated in Philippine fashion week in Manila and I’ve always wanted to present local fabrics for my collection but never had the chance to do so,” he shared. “I’ve experimented on natural fabrics like Thai silk when I visited Thailand before and some Malaysian fabrics with their intricate embroidered weaves, until I was finally able to visit Argao and found the fabrics,” he added.
First he used the fabric for a local pageant in Argao until eventually, he started creating pieces for clients using what the weavers produced and started from there.
Since then, he has been adamant in incorporating the fabric at the same time armed with the determination to share to the people the beauty of this fabric and tell the story of the weavers’ livelihood by using the fabric for his designs, some of which were seen in numerous events including a show in Las Vegas last year and at the Miss Cebu 2016 video shoot among others.
The Amano line is one of his ways of showing the local fabric’s beauty by incorporating hablon in today’s fashion scene, especially when the weaving gives one options to choose the exact colors for a certain line; a factor which he also loves.
“I’ve mixed it with macrame details and created casual to resort evening designs,” he said. “Hablon weaving in Cebu has been left out for a long time. As a Cebuano fashion designer, it’s our responsibility to search for new innovations and techniques of fashion.”
To Dexter, this line is more than just fashion but an advocacy in support of reviving hablon weaving.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 05, 2016.
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