Crochet elevated to art in Cebu fashion powwow | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

“Love and Passementerie” was a fashion show of bridal gowns designed and crocheted by Jojo Martinez.


Production was in partnership with the Zonta Club of Cebu II to raise funds for its livelihood projects for women.


Venue was the ballroom of the Marco Polo Plaza Hotel, filled with elegantly attired ladies and an army of photographers to record the 15 works of art.


The art of crochet, which Martinez is aiming to raise to the level of lace, was exemplified by this stunning collection. Passementerie is a French term meaning “trimming.” Jojo trimmed the wedding gowns with varied ways of making crochet.


The invitations said 7 p.m, but it started at 8, “It is not an Arts Council event,” we told Petite Garcia, who was at the door to welcome the stream of viewers.


Petite was telling us about the tour she made for 21 Zontians of her club in June and July, covering Spain and France. The idea was to be in Nice first week of July to attend the Zonta international convention.


Angelina Escaño was with them accompanied by her personal doctor, her son Clint Escaño, who exclaimed they covered more than 40 cities in 30 days.


Mariter Klepp recalled their stay in Zaragoza (Spain) to visit the Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar. She brought a bag of “Fruitas de Aragon,” chunks of glaced fruits covered with chocolate.


But it did not matter, waiting an hour for the show to start as they had excellent mood music, subtly piped through the sound system—Cole Porter, George Gershwin, Irving Berlin, and the like. Right when Eartha Kitt was doing “C’est si bon,” the program began.


It was hosted by Jojo’s daughter Chiara Martinez who spoke about how her mother had been championing the cause of crochet for 35 years. “It started with my grandma, who passed it on to her, and now me, “she said.


A video was shown on the intricacies of crochet, and its application to high fashion. Most importantly, now in Cebu, it has become the source of livelihood for a good number of women. That’s where the Zonta Club of Cebu II comes in.


There were words of encouragement from Maria Elena Arbon from the Department of Trade and Industry. Mary Kim Martinez, Jojo’s niece, regaled the audience with the song, “Think of Me,” from “The Phantom of the Opera.”




Fifteen beautiful models glided about in all-white ensembles with crochet appliques, some of them like brocade incrustations for many, the best one was the gown inspired by Maria Clara lines.


At the end of the show, Jojo Martinez, terribly shy, was persuaded to emerge from backstage and receive a bouquet of flowers, as everyone applauded enthusiastically. With her stood Dr. Flor Miel, from the Cebu Zonta II, cochair of the event.


Recognized for the support given was the Marco Polo Plaza Hotel, and taking a bow were general manager Julie Najar, sales and marketing director Lara Constantino Scarrow, communications director Manna Alcaraz and public relations officer Yvonne Silva.


Maebelle Varron of Dreamboat Events was congratulated for coordinating the event.


Present were Marilou Cañizares with her mother Carmen Mejia Rodriguez, David and Betty Young seated with Daisy Kokseng and Jane Young Llaban, Gema and Benny Sala, Margot Larrañaga, Filna Espina, and Debbie Limchiu, who reminded us that Operation Smile in Cebu would have a big celebration next year when it would turn 35.


More: Myrna Cruz, Helen Yap, Bernie Aboitiz, Tessie Javier, Queenie Ammann, Marietta Malinao, Terry Manguerra, Chinggay Utzurrum, Jo Ocubillo, and president of Cebu Zonta I Isabel Garcia with former presidents Tina Ebrada and Nellie Chiu.


The evening concluded with a raffle. Susan Martinez got the trip to Palawan on AirAsia, and Sarah Javier got whichever of the 15 bridal gowns she most liked.


Officers of the Cebu Zonta II, recently inducted by Vice Governor Agnes Magpale, were president Dr. Vivien Alix Seno, who succeeded Marietta Malinao, and the following:


Vice presidents Marilou Cañizares (internal) and Odette Jereza (external); secretary Ma. Christina Garcia; treasurers Daisy Kokseng and Margie Sy; and public relations officer Mariter Klepp.


President elect for 2018-2020 is Grace Paras, while the board of directors is composed of past president Elena Young, Rosario Utzurrum and Dr. Deborah Limchiu.