A showcase of Muslim fashion was one of the highlights at the recent Eid’l Fitr Festival at The Block in SM City North Edsa.
The Festival of the Breaking of the Fast is a worldwide celebration that marks the end of the Holy Month of Ramadan. It is an important event that usually falls on the first day of Shawwal, the 10th month of the Islamic calendar. More than that, it is a time of joy, forgiving and thanksgiving among Muslims as they take the occasion to strengthen ties with family and friends, give gifts and alms, and feast together.
The show, “Habi at Hiyas ng mga Dayang Dayang at Bai,” gave mallgoers a rare glimpse of the formal and traditional attire of Muslim nobility. Members of the Sultanates of Sulu-Maguindanao, and Lanao, represented by Bai Aminah Razziah Tamano Lucman, Datu Reza Sinsuat and Dayang Dayang Hadji Rosalyn Rose Bahjin-Swadjaan, wore their resplendent robes designed with intricate embroideries and weaves symbolic to each house.
The fashion show, which featured clothes designed by Amir Sali, Cora Manimbo and Len Cabili, paired with exquisite filigree jewelry by Oskar Atendido, closed the three-day celebration.
Amir Sali Aluk, popularly known as Amir Sali, the Prince of Beads, is the only Filipino in the Middle East Interior Designer’s Association and is a favorite designer and couturier of Middle East princesses.
He worked for 17 years in Egypt and Saudi Arabia where royal family members were his prime clients.
Len Cabili is the founder and creative designer of Filip+Inna. As a child growing up in Iligan City, Mindanao, she would remember visits to her home by Maranaos in all their finery. The impression they made on her is the heart of Filip+Inna, which is inspired by the traditional with the contemporary to create timeless and unique pieces.
Filip+Inna brings into each garment ancient techniques of weaving, embroidery and beadwork from different indigenous groups of the Philippines. Its mission is to create while also reviving endangered ancient traditions.
Cora Manimbo started designing Filipiniana dresses only in 1997, yet she has built a prestigious image with clients from as far as Europe, the Middle East and the US. She has made clothes for Muslim nobility in Mindanao and other Asian countries, as well as gowns for Saudi Arabian princesses.
The three-day event also had an exhibit of Muslim attire by Pitoy Moreno and Patis Tesoro.
Spearheaded by the Magbassa Kita Foundation and SM City North Edsa, together with the Philippine Center for Islam and Democracy, the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, and the National Commission of Muslim Filipinos, the affair was a springboard to build better understanding and appreciation among Filipinos of ethnic, racial and religious diversity in the country.