FL presents Avel Bacudio’s weave and embroidery creations at Goldenberg Mansion

The First Lady once again showed her love and support for Filipino craftsmanship by presenting “AVEL,” the second fashion show under her initiative “Mga Ginang sa Palasyo” the Goldenberg Fashion Series, at the Goldenberg Mansion in the Malacañang compound.

An evening of jazzed up yet comfortable Filipiniana wear highlighted the fashion show presenting the latest creations of iconic Filipino designer, Avel Bacudio, who paid tribute to Filipino artisans, especially weavers and embroiderers based in various parts of the Philippines.

Describing himself as “provinciano at heart who grew up in my hometown of Buhi in Camarines Norte,” Avel took inspiration from “the life stories of our local artisans especially these days when there are so many clothing brands proliferating in the market, so that we have totally forgotten the handmade masterpieces of our countryfolk.”

Avel shared with the Daily Tribune in a garden reception at the Goldenberg Mansion his “realization during the pandemic when we did not even know if we would live the next day. Each day, as I woke up, I thanked the Lord for this wonderful life He gave me, and I came to the realization that I was much luckier than many because I was eating three meals a day and living comfortably in my home.”

“I asked myself what I could do for my fellow Filipinos and I did not have to go far from where I stood. I thought of the embroiderers and weavers, among other indigenous folks, whose crafts have helped me largely in my personal mission to define and enhance contemporary Filipino fashion using our traditional arts.”

“I traveled all over the Philippines after the pandemic, broke bread with our craftsmen and their families and listened to their stories. I have learned about their day-to-day existence as they eked out a living from which they survived, along with the gifts of nature, which is plentiful in the mountains and the shorelines.”

The First Lady met Avel when she asked a common friend if he knew of anyone who could “make simple and comfortable clothes for me. And when I saw his creations, I was impressed by his craftsmanship. It is very refreshing.” Avel, on his part, is all praises to First Lady LAM. “I am very much happy that many designers are making clothes for the First Lady. Everyone has a chance to dress her up and she is open to ideas and suggestions,” he said.

Known for his use of indigenous materials, Avel was invited by the First Lady and her team to join Likha 1, an exhibit of Philippine handicrafts she organized. Recently, though, Avel was too busy to participate in Likha II, “because I was busy putting together this collection.”

Some 45 models — cabinet officials, legislators, spouses, family members and clients of Avel — showed off his black and white creations right at the reception hall of the Goldenberg Mansion, with Robby Carmona directing.

“I made the dresses based on the personalities of the intended wearers. It is important that they are comfortable with what they’re wearing.  These are mostly pants, skirts and dresses.  They’re more casual dresses that can be mixed and matched.”

Among the models were DoT Secretary Cristina Garcia Frasco, DILG Secretary Benhur Abalos Jr. and family, Secretary Amenah Pangandaman, PCO Secretary Cheloy Garafil, Undersecretary Pinky Romualdez, Undersecretary Cathy Cabral, Undersecretary Joeie Domingo, CEZA CEO Katrina Ponce Enrile, Tourism Promotions Board and COO Maria Margarita M. Nograles, Meycauayan Cong. Linabelle Villarica, Camarines Sur Cong. Miguel Luis Villafuerte, PAGCOR director Gilbert Remulla, Emily A. Villar, Ms. Yeye Vivas and actor-model Jerome Ponce.

Present to welcome the guests were Bianca Zobel and Dina Arroyo Tantoco of the Malacañang Office of the Social Secretary.