Student designers from the Iloilo Science and Technology University, Technological University of the Philippines-Manila, and Fashion Institute of the Philippines emerged as the top three winners of a national streetwear competition during the 2023 National Youth Science, Technology, and Innovation Festival (NYSTIF).
Feril Izakiah and Seth Amuel B. Abellano of Iloilo Science and Technology University led the winners as they placed first in the Stitch-Off competition with their streetwear collection “Threads of Heritage,” which they showcased during the Stitch-Off Tech-Know Fashion Show organized by the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Textile Research Institute (DOST-PTRI) held on 26 October 2023 at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) Forum Tent in Pasay City.
“Magbagong-tatag” by John Michael B. Bouillon and Jali Rye S. Orquilla of Technological University of the Philippines-Manila; and “Nilikhay” by Anton Van R. Herrera and Rover B. Osias form Fashion Institute of the Philippines placed 2nd and 3rd, respectively.
The Stitch-Off is a competition initiated by the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Textile Research Institute (DOST-PTRI), aiming to cultivate a deeper understanding and appreciation of Philippine textiles and its scientific component while providing a platform to showcase their artistry in textile designs with the use of sustainable and locally produced fabrics.
Mix of tradition and innovation
Pangasinan Representative Christopher “Toff” de Venecia, House Special Committee on Creative Industries chairperson, urged the student designers to preserve Philippine heritage in producing their creative works.
“While we’re soaring towards the future; we need to remember where we came from. We don’t create in a vacuum. We stand on the shoulders of those that came before us. That’s where Philippine textiles come in—carrying the stories and artistry of generations before us,” De Venecia said in his message of support.
He also emphasized the importance of the event, saying it does not only feature the designs and fashion but the future of a sustainable textile industry.
“They’re not just making clothes but they’re weaving stories and narratives and love for our culture. They’re preserving tradition and they’re mixing it with innovation, the representative said.
“To our fantastic young talents, you got our cheers, our support, and all the good vibes that we can send your way this afternoon. Every stitch you make and every idea you explore is taking us a step closer to a brighter future for Philippine textiles and, of course, our creative future of being the number one creative economy in all of ASEAN by the year of 2030,” he added.
The Top 12 finalists, hailing from Benguet State University, SoFA Design Institute, De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde, University of the Philippines, Technological University of the Philippines, Iloilo Science and Technology University, Pangasinan State University, and Fashion Institute of the Philippines-Ortigas Main, participated in the on-the-spot Streetwear National Competition held from 20-24 October 2023 at the DOST Compound where they brought to life their one-of-a-kind designs.
Their collections were showcased in the Tech-know Fashion Show held at the Philippine International Convention Center as part of the 1st National Youth Science, Technology, and Innovation Festival, also attended by esteemed designers and textile-garment producers. (By Kristine Erika L. Agustin, DOST-STII)