For the second time, iconic Filipino fashion designer Albert Figueras will usher in the celebration of “Obra Maestra” runway parade on March 24, 2022 at the newly reinstalled Manila Metropolitan Theater in Lawton.
“Obra Maestra” (literally translated as Master Piece), the socio-cultural event exemplifying the intermix of art masterpieces and their creators with the eventual periods in native history and the sartorial development in the country, is a spinoff and a continuation of the advocacy project started by arts and culture chronicler Zardo Austria four years ago.
In 2018, Zardo, together with actress and arts patroness Lorli Villanueva staged at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) “Marawing Salamat,” a musical fashion show which combined couture and classical music to benefit the children of the devastated Marawi City, a paradise besieged and destroyed by warring Islamic militants.
It was a success that Austria thought of following it up with another event to highlight the affinity between Philippine heritage and fashion.
In February 2020, a coffee table book was published and launched in yet another Filipiniana fashion show to pay tribute to the significant contributions of Filipino designers who participated and inspired the Marawi civic act.
At Shangrila-Plaza, a homage of the evolution of Filipiniana wear was on the floor.
It was Figueras who opened the show with his indigenous dressing up models of indigenous cuts and materials to trace the source of Asian sartorial influences specifically the Majapahit culture.
This time, it’s Albert once again in the forefront as he tackles the Yakan tribe’s garments very influential in the cultural matrix of local as well as international fashion spearheaded by no less than the Filipino designers.
Yakan so-called hand loomed fabrics with bold colors and geometric patterns is a traditional art of weaving which originated from Yakan homeland of Lamitan, Basilan in Mindanao.
The Figueras’ Yakan Filipiniana attire makeover is a tribute to Apuh Ambalang Ausalin, the country’s recipient of the National Treasures Award.
At the moment, Figueras is on his finishing touches of the beautiful and ethnic designs of Yakan fashion to be worn on the ramp, not only by three or four, but six mannequins.
Yakan hand loomed fabrics with bold colors and geometric patterns is a traditional art of weaving which originated from the Yakan homeland of Lamitan, Basilan in Mindanao.
“Albert will open the show with his creations using Yakan clothing and style to be followed by the rest of the designers,” informed Zardo in Figueras’ atelier.
Austria was referring to his new concept born out of his imaginative and creative muses as the brainchild of “Obra Maestra,” a fusion of fashion and the allied arts like culling from opuses of National Artists for Visual Arts and the assigned designers.
Figueras’ opening the spectacle was a challenge for the expert in haute couture—as everyone’s eye on him—as no one, as observed by his colleagues, was volunteering on the special presentation, instead, but mostly on the interpretation of the various National Artists’ works.