This August, The Peninsula Manila plays host to the 9th edition of MaArte Fair, a three-day bazaar of arts and crafts held to raise funds for the National Museum of the Philippines. With 31 makers displaying their wares, it’s a must for creative types and stylish shoppers alike.
Alongside the showcase, the event will host MaArTEA Talks, a series of conversations with select exhibitors, including master craftsman Al Valenciano, founder of fashion social enterprise Filip+Inna Len Cabili, and jewellery designer Natalya Lagdameo, accompanied by the The Pen’s exquisite Afternoon Tea. Ahead of the fair, which runs 11-13 August, we profile three of the talents who will be talking.
A native of Laoag City in the north of the Philippines, craftsman Al Valenciano is a committed advocate of his region’s traditional, handwoven textiles. Called Inabel, these richly coloured, boldly designed fabrics have been hand-woven on traditional looms in Ilocano since the 16th century. Through his Balay ni Atong
(House of Atong) enterprise, Valenciano enables local artisans to continue their craft and helps new generations learn or hone their skills at the study centre. His recently published a book ‘Inabel: Philippine Textile from the Ilocos Region’ celebrates the 600-year-old custom.
Lenora Luisa Cabili
It was the richly coloured malongs (tube skirts) worn by local indigenous women on the culturally diverse island of Mindanao, along with a love for folk dancing that inspired designer Len Cabili to leave the family retail business and set up Filip+Inna
in 2010. This fashion-forward line of womenswear and accessories, handmade by ethnic groups from across the Philippines now has global reach with online sales and several stores in the US. The stylish, brightly hued collection combines modish cuts and silhouettes with traditional printed, woven, beaded and embroidered fabrics – they’ll take you effortlessly from beach to city.
has collected antique, colonial Philippine jewellery since she was a teen, and you can see its influence in her beautiful collection of ear, neck and arm candy. An interior designer by training, Lagdameo combines her eye for geometric precision with a passion for traditional craftsmanship; the brass, bronze, silver and gold pieces contain colonial components such as tamburin beads, crosses and chain patterns alongside the more organic mother of pearl wood and bone. It’s a range that harks to the past yet is strikingly modern.
The Peninsula will serve the special MaArtTEA Afternoon Tea during the month of August.
MaArte Fair / The Gallery / The Peninsula Manila / 10am-8pm / 11-13 Aug / facebook.com