The traditional Filipino malong – fiercely colorful and a cultural pride – frontlined local fabrics that were featured at the recently revived New York Fashion Week.
Designer products using Philippine textiles – with focus on the malong – got their first runway collection feature during the resumption of fashion week at the Big Apple.
Featured were collections from Daily Malong, a Filipina-owned fashion brand centered around empowering indigenous artists and weavers in the Philippines.
Lydia Querian, founder and chief creative officer of Daily Malong, said, “In my collection, I used a lot of malong fabrics, so inaul. Inaul is a type of malong that was used by royalties back in the day. But now they have revived the designs.”
She said she wants to build awareness of “uncommon” Filipino textiles in a more prominent platform like New York Fashion Week.
From cardigans, jackets, dresses, and accessories, pieces were created from materials that originate from multiple regions in the Northern and Southern parts of the Philippines. “What I wanted to show on this collection is [that] this old primitive thing that people perceive in the past is something that you can use in high fashion and wear either in daily life or you can wear it on a cocktail,” Querian shared.
The show’s theme was ‘Indigenous is the Future,’ taking on a modern spin on traditional clothing while embodying its mission to empower indigenous artists and weavers in the Philippines.
“If there was a bigger value provided and given to living traditions, it’ll help them feel better and feel good about practicing [and] continuing it. So when they see that people in the West have a deeper and a greater appreciation of it, I’m hoping that that encourages the younger generation to learn weaving,” Querian said.
The Hawaii-based Daily Malong will be five years old next year. It wants to level up its inventory including different size options, adding more wearable products as well as coming up with a new collection in time for Filipino American History Month in October.