Baro at Sayá celebrates Filipino culture through fashion

Baro at Sayá celebrates Filipino culture through fashion

Baro at Sayá is a fashion show that highlights local designers who will present their collections to introduce Filipino wear to a younger generation.

Filipino fashion comes to the fore with Awit at Laro’s follow-up to its successful campaign proudly promoting Filipino culture through OPM music and traditional street games. Baro at Sayá by Awit at Laro is a fashion show that highlights local designers who will present their collections to introduce Filipino wear to a younger generation, in order to start them young in wearing and being proud of their culture and heritage.

The show, which will be held at the Grand Hyatt Manila in BGC on September 22, is headlined by Len Cabili, Ito Curata, Rhett Eala, Zarah Juan, Marga Nograles’ Kaayo, Anne Marie Saguil, Paloma Zobel’s PioPio, and led by Rajo Laurel who also serves as overall Fashion Consultant for the project. 

Proudly Filipino

Baro at Sayá is the follow up to Awit at Laro, which was spearheaded by UNICEF Ambassador Gary Valenciano and Tukod Foundation’s Bambi Mañosa-Tanjutco. It was launched last October 2018 as UNICEF fundraiser for its anniversary and as a campaign to promote Filipino culture and celebrate the spirit of play by reintroducing traditional games to the youth through music and the arts. Events included the Awit at Laro album launch and concerts in 22 of the Ayala Malls around the country, as well as Art Exhibits at Greenbelt 5 and Alabang Town Center.

This year, the campaign brings innately Filipino elements to the catwalk, where the top designers draw inspiration from the Awit at Laro songs to create modern outfits using ethnic designs and weavings set against the backdrop of Filipino traditional games and Original Pilipino Music. 

What makes it even more exciting is that as the models walk through the runway, they will be accompanied by the Awit at Laro album’s song that inspired the designer’s collection.Guest artists for the night include Gary Valenciano, the Awit at Laro album producer, Darren Espanto, and the TNT Boys. Also participating in the show is Sofia Zobel Elizalde’s STEPS dance project with choreography by James Laforteza.

“You can expect to see fun, playful and beautiful creations that go across generations. We are working with extremely talented designers whose inspiration runs deep. They create not only for themselves but to help inspire and uplift the Filipino people in more ways than one. We are also working with families to be our Ambassadors to help represent what the BARO AT SAYÁ fashion show represents. Families that also want to give back to our communities and to our children, shares Kat Mañosa, Project Head of Baro at Sayá.

baro at sayá

Standing: Marga Nograles, Overall Fashion Consultant for Baro at Sayá Rajo Laurel, Paloma Zobel, Co – Creator of Awit at Laro Gary Valenciano, Anne Marie Saguil and Zarah Juan Kneeling: Co – Creator of Awit at Laro Gary Valenciano and Creator of Awit at Laro and Creative head of Baro at Sayá Bambi Mañosa-Tanjutco, Chairman of the Board of Museo Pambata Nina Yuson and Project Head of Baro at Sayá Kat Mañosa.

Design influences 

Each artist took inspiration from the Awit at Laro song that was assigned to them.

Rajo Laurel who will be one of the designers for the show, aside from being its fashion consultant, shares, “I have always believed in the foundation from day one.  I love what it stands for and I am always inspired by organisations that foster the same values and morals as I was brought up with. So it was really a natural progression. I am so privileged to be part of such a special and worthwhile endeavour.”

His collection has an element of play, he adds. “I actually made my own fabric for the collection and asked my nephews and nieces to help.  One weekend I brought some fabric and paint and we just had a blast. I wanted to truly incorporate the sense of play in the collection and what better way to do this by literally playing with my nieces and nephews. It was fun!”

His fellow designers who are participating in the event are equally as excited to showcase Filipino culture through fashion and play. Len Cabili will highlight her children’s line, saying that the revival of games we grew up with is something close to her heart. “The theme is really unique and fun, we focused on our core competencies and found a way to relate it to the whole thrust of the project”, she shares. 

For Ito Curata, the project brought back childhood memories and the moments he spends playing with his son. “It brought out so many emotions in me, and I was challenged because designing with a Filipino game in mind brought me out of my design comfort zone. I am also very excited because the project is extremely worthwhile.”

Rhett Eala will show off the stately side of Filipiniana.  “Our pieces combine several fabrics and techniques of embroidery to highlight our mixed cultures, making you stand out. Each piece was made to reflect the rich culture that we represent made wearable and relatable for the modern woman,” he explains. 

Zarah Juan likewise experienced the joy of play, as she turned to playing piko with her team for inspiration. “This collaboration is a celebration of who we are as Filipinos. It is deeply rooted to our culture and heritage which makes it inspiring and exciting.”

Marga Nograles will highlight the traditional weaves in her work. “We took inspiration and put together our favorite weaves that represented Filipino song and play. Then we mixed some hand beading and embroidery by the indigenous tribes that we work with and topped it off with fun Filipino accessories. Each piece we will present will tell a fun and unique story,” she promised. 

It’s embroidered wearable art that Anne Marie Saguil of Amarie will set out on the runway, she says, as her part in empowering the Filipino people through art, craftsmanship, culture and sustainability. “The design process for the collection was quite different and a lot of fun for me because childhood, fun and play was the central theme for the clothes’ colors and silhouettes. As a result, the collection took on a younger playful vibe but still always suitable for the adult modern Filipina.”

For Paloma Zobel’s PioPio, the collection is all about the Filipino family. “We thought it would be fun to include the Mañosas, our brand ambassadors, in all stages of this project. Awit at Laro is all about family, generations and going back to this holistic child-like mentality where we showcase the importance of playing and our traditions. By allowing our brand ambassadors to help in the designing process, from picking fabrics to designing their dream outfits, we carried through this theme of getting back in touch with our roots and using art and creativity to help bond families and friends.”


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