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6 Brands That Highlight Local Craftsmanship At ArteFino

Courtesy of Debbie Co

With a spotlight on Filipino-made craftsmanship, these brands caught our eye at the 2022 festival.

With a vast array of clothing, fine jewelry, homeware, and accessories—ArteFino Festival 2022 does not disappoint. From intricate barongs embroidered with schools of fish to gilded sculptural clutches, this year’s fair is bringing a unique perspective to Filipino craftsmanship. From August 28 until September 28 at Power Plant Mall, over a hundred Filipino-made brands, each carefully curated by the fair’s founders, will be showcased and available for purchase.

“Since we launched in 2017, ArteFino has taken on a life of its own,” founders Cedie Vagas and Marimel Francisco said on ArteFino’s official site. This year, the festival will introduce 44 new designers and brands with a focus on purpose, meaningful storytelling, and sustainable living. Below are six brands to watch out for at this year’s ArteFino festival.

A Modern Take On Barongs: Kelvin Morales

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A post shared by Kelvin Morales (@kelvinmmorales)

Referencing the surrealist world of Gustav Klimt, Kelvin Morales‘ modern barong capsule collection is a selection you ought not to miss. With a focus on artistic narratives and bespoke details, every piece tells a Filipino story while simultaneously bringing craftsmanship to the forefront. Featuring embroideries of taho vendors or fishermen with fresh catch, Morales highlights local stories and vignettes on the back of short-sleeved barongs.

A Foray Into Denim: Edited Limited

The reworked denim trend is here to stay, especially with Edited Limited‘s one-of-a-kind denim pieces. With visible stitching, rugged barongs, kimonos with rositas, and mini boro totes, designers Leo Bartolome and Adante Leyesa make a case for eco-friendly fashion. Through the lens of the designers, these classic denim styles take on captivating silhouettes with eye-catching details in the form of paint splatters, intricate pleats, and stitched flowers.

A Tropical Escape: Amarie

Nowadays, the island aesthetic is all the rage with bold florals, open-weave knits, and vibrant coords, especially in the Philippines, where resort wear isn’t relegated to the summer. For those who enjoy loose silhouettes and lightweight fabrics, Amarie presents a myriad of tropical-dress styles in dopamine-inducing colors—all featuring indigenous hand-woven embroideries. With small batches of artisanal collections, from mini dresses with delicate floral patterns to loungy kaftans with tassel details, the label’s hand-embroidered signature puts a spin on traditional resort wear.

A Sense of Drama: Debbie Co

Courtesy of Debbie Co
Courtesy of Debbie Co
Courtesy of Debbie Co

Sophistication and femininity are two adjectives that encapsulate Debbie Co‘s couture creations. With a meticulous eye for ornate designs, Co’s intricate dresses are voluminous yet romantic with plumage-like textures, bold prints, floral appliqués, and billowy sleeves. Drawing from the designer’s experiences (her travels and favorite pieces of art and architecture), each artful garment from the eponymous label evokes nostalgia.

A Garment With Purpose: Maison Métisse

Courtesy of Maison Métisse

Métisse is the French word for a woman of mixed ancestry, and designer Adrienne Charuel of Maison Métisse embodies the concept by expressing her discoveries and experiences through her craft. Rooted in their heritage, artisanship, and community, the brand launches a capsule collection of four pieces at ArteFino. Purely handwoven by Filipinas who were victims of human trafficking in Japan, each piece in the new collection tells a story of a woman’s journey to freedom.

Not only that but with every purchase, the label plants one tree to revive the forest ecosystems in the Philippines. An advocate for ethical fashion and mindful living, Maison Métisse’s meaningful storytelling empowers both its wearers and the local communities the label works with.

A Bespoke Touch: STEPHVERANO

Courtesy of Steph Verano
Courtesy of Steph Verano
Courtesy of Steph Verano

An interplay of textures reminiscent of childhood shapes and quirky silhouettes compose STEPHVERANO’s lineup of eccentric quilted pieces. Polka dot prints, patchwork garments, and jigsaw pieces run rampant throughout designer Stephany Verano’s collections of textile art. With handmade attire made from fabric remnants, repurposed neckties, and leftover piña fabric, each creation sheds light on the versatility and contemporary edge reworked items can bring.

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