Renan Pacson : Babaylan : International Fashion Showcase 2015

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Fashion Philippines: Jaggy Glarino, John Herrera, Tony Evan, Ken Samudio, Michelline Syjuco, Renan Pacson

 

 

.::Babaylan::.Of all the fearsome creatures in Philippine folklore, none is more infamous than the aswang — a cruel creature, which steals corpses and, most fearsomely, eats children directly from their mothers’ womb. Few, however, know the true origin of the creature, which is what Renan Pacson explores in his new collection for the International Fashion Showcase. The Aswang is a direct result of a propaganda campaign by the colonial Spanish, who wanted to demonize (literally) the indigenous Filipino shamans, called Babaylan. Renan Pacson, with the brand’s trademark social consciousness, revisits this history with a critical eye. The main components are Piña (Pineapple fiber) and PET fiber (mineral water bottles). Normally quite coarse, here Renan Pacson’s alchemy has transformed it into subtle knitwear, barely distinguishable from fleece to the touch. 

Renan Pacson‘s signature androgynous cuts pay homage to the Babaylan’s androgynous nature; indeed, pre-colonial Philippine societies were remarkably gender-egalitarian. The dark colors, however, recall the scapegoating of the Babaylan by the spanish: they were ostracized as “demons”, “witches”, and “satanic”. The real animal bones, here used as embellishments by Renan Pacson, originate in a tradition of healing, but are now molded into a grotesque parody. The industrial-chic bolts further reinforce the dehumanization of the wearer into a hybrid being — neither human nor demon. Yet Renan Pacson’s collection calls the viewer into understanding the inherent humanity of the wearer — to reject colonial propaganda, and see the inherent beauty in the pre-colonial Filipino.

www.renanpacson.com/blog

International Fashion Showcase
19-24 February 2015
Brewer Street Car Park
W1F 0LA Soho, London

Photography: Rxandy Capinpin
Styling: Ryuji Shiomitsu
Hair: Analie Pabilar
Make-up: Victor Loong
Model: Krystal Espiritu

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Long sleeveless robe made of PET fabric; knitted piña hood with real animal bones

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