LAOAG CITY, July 23 — The authenticity and uniqueness of the local fabric known as ‘Abel’ Iluko was projected in the limelight by Amor Albano, an Ilocos Norte-based designer, during a national television competition for young designers.
“I want to prove that our ‘Abel’ can be used for high-societal clothes” Albano said.
Since he used the ‘Kapurpurawan Rock Formation’, one of Ilocos Norte’s top tourist spots, as his inspiration, Albano said the ‘Abel’ compliments the roughness and the curves of the rocks that can perfectly flaunt the aesthetic of his design.
Rajo Laurel, a known fashion designer for celebrity and one of the board of judges in ‘Runway Philippines’ complimented Albano in using ‘Abel’ for his final collection.
“I know ‘Abel’ is one of the hardest fabrics to manipulate when it comes to designing. I admire you for using your local fabric in showcasing your design, and I compliment you for that”, Laurel said.
Albano said, he was challenged to use the ‘ Abel Iluko’ for his final collection during the competition because he wants to prove that fabric can be made into a high-class night gowns, party dresses and classy wear not just for ordinary “basahan” (rags) and “tuwalya” (hand towels).
“When I visited Paoay (Ilocos Norte), I saw there that our ‘Abel’ was only used to make rags and hand towels, so I thought it for my designs and show people that our ‘Abel Iluko’ can also be used for glamorous designing”, Albano said.
However, Albano said, the local fabric must be developed into more appealing and manipulative way for designing. He noted that the local fabric lacks appeal to designers due to its coarseness and stiff texture.
“It must be develop into more usable fabric so that designers, like me can use it more often. It can be added with silk over its runs, or with other fabric to make the ‘Abel’ softer”, he said.
Abel is a famous handwoven Ilocano fabric. Abel-weaving involves the use of a wooden handloom and cotton yarn (sagut) made from local cotton plants.
Abel Iloco products include blankets, bed linens, bath towels and robes, hand towels, place mats, table napkins, runners and fabric for clothing material.
During the final runway competition, the four finalists from different provinces displayed their talents in designing, however, only Amor Albano used a local fabric for his designs.
Albano placed 4th among the contenders namely Milka Quin Redoble from Pasig City, Cheetah Rivera of Manila, and Nel Claveria Jr. from Camarines Sur.
The ‘Project Runway Philippines’ is the Philippine adaptation of the ‘Project Runway’ aired in America. It was aired on national television for more than three months showing that local Filipino talents can create designs with class and glamour. (ANL/CDG-PIA 1 Ilocos Norte)