Benilde’s ‘Sinulid’ explores inclusivity, sustainability and diversity in fashion | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

Celine Mallari and Jao San Pedro design Garbo, a brand aimed at senior citizens. —PHOTOS BY FRANCIS DAIT
Celine Mallari and Jao San Pedro design Garbo, a brand aimed at senior citizens. —PHOTOS BY FRANCIS DAIT

The De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde’s Fashion Design and Merchandising (FDM) program recently launched “Sinulid,” the annual graduating students’ show and presentation. This year’s event includes a prologue, the event proper, and an epilogue.


“Sinulid Prologue” is currently on show at Benilde’s School of Arts and Design Campus.


“We wanted to have a trilogy because fashion also has environmental and other social concerns,” said FDM program chair Christine Benet. “We wanted to showcase the different markets and avenues that our students, may they be designers or business owners in the future, can tap into. So, for this year, there are three main themes: inclusivity, sustainability and diversity.”


There’s a wide range of brands in this exhibit, all with their own themes.


For kids with autism


Spectrum, a clothing line for kids with autism, makes clothes with puffy and textural objects on them, for autistic kids to hold onto.


“We specialized in clothes for children with autism to help them learn how to wear their clothes,” said the brand’s designers. “The tendency is, they’re slow when putting on clothes, so we used a lot of fabric manipulation to aid them.”


The makers of the brand Isa focused on odorless and antibacterial clothes. The clothes, made of fabrics like ramie linen, dry right away, and are all dyed with natural materials. The orange clothing is dyed with achuete, the green with mint and ferrous sulfate, and the brown fabrics with tea and coffee.

Student-designers incorporate plastic in their creations. —FRANCIS DAIT

Plus size


Confiado is a lingerie brand for plus-sized women. The designers and brand marketers are mostly plus-sized themselves, and understand the perils of buying underwear for their size.


“Confiado is Spanish for confident,” said its designers. “Our brand caters to busty and plus-sized women. We usually end up buying underwear from international brands because we can’t find anything from the local labels.”


The most fashion-forward of the bunch in terms of design is the label Garbo, which is aimed at senior citizens. Reminiscent of Comme des Garçons, it has anti-body-con shapes and large pieces of hanging fabric that can be worn in various ways.


“The clothes feature adaptive aspects, meaning, they adapt to the needs of the wearer,” according to the designers. “We interviewed women ages 55 to 70 and, essentially, they all want things that are easy to put on. The armholes and necklines are wider, and we put on snaps instead of buttons. When you age, you develop problems like arthritis or limited range of motion, so we took those into consideration.”


Little people


The brand Ceremony is a brilliant idea of clothes for “adult little people.”


“Little people we interviewed said they often shop in the children’s section,” said Ceremony’s brand manager. “For special occasions, they often have one custom-made. My group thought, what if we designed a ready-made version?”


The brand’s aesthetic is based on the four elements of the zodiac. The designer gave it a Filipiniana touch with terno-inspired sleeves.


“‘Sinulid’ is also exploratory in the sense of materials, because we recently signed a memorandum of agreement with the Philippine Textile Research Institute (PTRI). The PTRI has its own advocacy in terms of research initiative and we support it fully,” said Benet.


“In the Philippines, people see fashion in a shallow way. But having events like ‘Sinulid’ can at least create awareness that fashion is not all about walking on the runway. It’s also about understanding and thinking of the customer’s needs, and caring for the environment. That’s pretty deep and we’re trying to scratch the surface of those issues.” —CONTRIBUTED