The first dress on the far left is the Singkil dress from the Maranao region. Popularly seen in a Singkil dance that involves bamboo.
The second dress is the Mestiza dress. It is the most modern traditional dress that has high shoulders and a neckline that reveals the colour bones. I decided to have the sleeves as part of an overcoat made of banana fibres, similar to the material commonly used for a barong.
The middle dress is the Maria Clara dress and was popular during the Spanish period. The Maria Clara was named after a Spanish heroine.
The Kimona is a more relaxed formal item of clothing often worn in the Visayan area. The skirt is known as the patadyong.
Inspired by the Igorot, there were so many ways I could have designed this dress, but I decided to incorporate the patterns found in clothing and the tattoos that represent strength and nature, depending on the tribe.
Diao Chan – Said to be so beautiful, the moon would shy away in embarrassment when compared to her (existence uncertain, Three Kingdom period).
Diao Chan brought upon the fall of two allies, tyrant Dong Zhuo and his adopted son Lu Bu. Her adoptive father Minister Wangyun witnessed a brutal beheading at Dong Zhuos palace and was greatly disturbed. Diao Chan had noticed this and offered herself to find a way to eliminate the tyrant. She was presented as a concubine to Dong Zhuo as well as a wife to be to Lu Bu. They both couldn’t agree on how to settle the situation and Diao Chan added fuel to their feud causing great jealous and eventually Lu Bu assassinating Dong Zhuo. Her fate is still unknown, some say she wandered the lands with LuBu, others say she was killed with her father for their manipulation by Dong Zhuos remaining followers. A Brutal ending is also known saying that she was decapitated by the legendary Guan Yu to avoid any further disputes while a contrasting story tells us Guan Yu allowed her to live the rest of her days as a nun.
Because of my visit to the Philippines, I’ve had the opportunity to take in as much of the culture as I can and discovered that because of the Philippines being a melting pot of different cultures from Asia and the west, there have been many influences and changes to various traditional Filipina costumes.
The Maria Clara is probably one of the most recognisable of the Filipina traditional dresses, with the Mestiza being the other. The clothing is composed of four pieces, the camisa (the top) the panuelo (the scarf) the tapis and the saya. My interpretation of the dress is a little more revealing compared to the original which looks layered and almost gown like.
A few weeks ago, a friend of mine named Mary Hoang made this dress and gave me the creative freedom to do whatever I want with it, so I decided to keep it simple and paint faces of the character I created Agape using textile paint. I felt like it looked a little plain with just black line so I added small touches of red on the lips. I painted on both sides of the dress, the first one being the design going across the body and the second design starting from the middle and working its way to the corners of the dress. I had a lot of fun doing this and maybe in the near future I could try out other designs and maybe even customising it using beads. It’s definitely gotten me thinking of the direction I could go with my clothing prints.
Since I’ve been very extreme with the clothing designs of the characters, I decided to do something very simple, especially with my current love for playing with ink. I decided to dress the ladies in black dresses.
Liberty is dressed in a fish tail dress with her right arm draped with thread and beads.
I wanted to play on the idea of being a “tease” with Dreama. With slits and cut outs to reveal a bit of skin.
I wanted Agape to have a “heavenliness” to her so I soften her dress with several brush strokes to give the impression of fur.
Just playing around with ink and using colours to add character to the paintings.