“The designer is an Ilonggo, who values his roots, who gives opportunities to the hardworking weavers of our province and who creates beautiful and unique pieces from our local hablon,” she wrote.
With his eye-catching and exquisite designs, Espina indeed has paid tribute to the heritage industry of hablon or weaving.
The designer celebrates the local traditions from Luzon to Mindanao, finding fabrics in Ifugao in northern Luzon down to Basilan in Mindanao, as reported in Metro Style. Along the way, he learns more about their culture, he told Cosmopolitan.
Besides the bomber jackets, he has made the barong into streetwear for women and men, transforming them into chic blouses and jumpers.
For those interested in copping their own contemporary artisan weaves, his atelier is in Iloilo City. His pieces will also be in Manila at the ArteFino fair from Aug. 30 to Sept. 2 at 8 Rockwell in Makati. /ra