Philippine Style 2000
Students from the world-renowned Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) and award-winning Filipino designers share the stage in a completely new exhibition at the Asia Society at Midtown. Philippine Style 2000 presents fantastical and imaginative contemporary apparel, ornamentation and accessories using traditional Philippine fabrics and techniques, including piña (pineapple-leaf fiber), abaca (banana-leaf fiber), ikat, silks and cottons. The exhibition remains on view from April 11 through June 10 at the Asia Society at Midtown (the Society's interim location while its headquarters at 725 Park Avenue is undergoing renovations). Asia Society at Midtown is located at 502 Park Avenue (at 59th Street), and is open Monday through Saturday, 10:00 A.M. - 6:00 P.M., with free gallery talks at 12:30 P.M.
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Among the stunning outfits on view are a two-piece dress with a bodice of black and white striped abaca and a very long skirt of deep pink with a transparent pale pink top over it, by Chi-yu-li from FIT's Fashion Design-Apparel Department, and a four-piece outfit consisting of a vest in orange heavy fabric with a pale yellow long-sleeved piña blouse and medium brown pants with a wrapped striped short overskirt by Janet Li, also from FIT's Fashion Design-Apparel Department. These are displayed alongside gowns and ensembles by designers such as Jojie Lloren and Dong Omaga Diaz, who work in the Philippines and have won top prizes in Paris as well as other international competitions. Shoes and bags, equally exciting in design, are included, as are "surface design" items comprising suggestions for window treatments, for example, and samples of other interior design treatments. According to Vishakha N. Desai, Senior Vice President of the Asia Society and Director of Galleries and Cultural Programs, "The purpose is not to re-create traditional designs, but rather to produce truly contemporary styles out of traditional Philippine fabrics. Philippine Style 2000 is the contemporary complement to our exhibition Sheer Realities: Clothing and Power in Nineteenth-Century Philippines on display at the Grey Art Gallery at New York University that opened in February and will be up through April 22. Together, the exhibitions give people the opportunity to see a little-known tradition and how it survives and evolves in contemporary times."
The Republic of the Philippines is an archipelago of more than 7,000 islands and 300 cultural communities. Over the centuries as a trading entrepot, the Philippines has developed a diverse and distinctive aesthetic style that can also be seen in the region's architecture, literary and performing arts, and is clearly recognizable in its textile and fashion arts. In this exhibition of cutting-edge design, one can see influences from indigenous cultural communities as well as Muslim, Chinese and European trading partners and settlers. Working under the guidance of FIT faculty and Asia Society Trustee Josie Natori, CEO of The Natori Company, the students learned about traditional Philippine design, style and fabrics and were given free reign to interpret them in a wholly contemporary manner. A juried competition among the classes resulted in the award-winning designs on view.
Philippine Style 2000 and Sheer Realities: Clothing and Power in Nineteenth Century Philippines are part of a larger Celebration of Philippine Culture project that includes films, lectures, performances and symposia.
The Asia Society is America's leading institution dedicated to fostering understanding of Asia and communication between Americans and the peoples of Asia and the Pacific. A nonprofit, nonpartisan educational institution, the Asia Society presents a wide range of programs including major art exhibitions, performances, media programs, international conferences and lectures, and initiatives to improve elementary and secondary education about Asia. The Asia Society is headquartered in New York City, with regional centers in Washington, D.C., Houston, Los Angeles, Hong Kong and Melbourne, Australia, and representative offices in San Francisco, Seattle, Manila and Shanghai.
A State University of New York College of art and design, business and technology, FIT is a world leader in professional career-oriented education. Expanding beyond its original mission of fashion-related education, FIT has grown into a multi-faceted college serving 12,000 students from all 50 states and 64 countries. The college offers 30 majors leading to associate, bachelor's, and master's degrees.
Philippine Style 2000 is generously supported in part by Garments and Textile Export Board, Philippines and Johnny Air Cargo, and Philippine Parcel Service. The Sheer Realities: A Celebration of Philippine Culture project is generously supported by The Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company, The Starr Foundation, Ernest E. Stempel, the Wallace-Reader's Digest Funds, the National Endowment for the Arts, San Miguel Corporation, Ayala Foundation, Inc., First Philippine Holdings, International Container Terminal Services, Inc., and Metrobank Foundation, Inc. At the Grey Art Gallery, support for the exhibition has been provided by the Mrs. Iris Barrel Apfel, Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, and the Abby Weed Grey Trust. Special thanks to Doris Magsaysay Ho and Josie Cruz Natori.
Additional support is provided by TLC Beatrice International Holdings, Inc., New York State Council on the Arts, Dole Asia Ltd., Equitable PCI Bank Corp., GMA Network Films, Inc., Lisina Hoch, National Commission on Culture & Arts, Shoe Mart, Washington SyCip, and others.
Asia Society at Midtown, located at Park Avenue at 59th Street in New York City, is open Monday through Saturday, 10:00 A.M. - 6:00 P.M. Gallery admission is $4 (adults); $2 (students / senior citizens); free to members and children under 12 accompanied by a parent or guardian. Free admission is offered every Monday through Friday from Noon to 2:00 P.M., with a free gallery talk beginning at 12:30 P.M.
The Asia Society Store is also located at Asia Society at Midtown and is also open Monday through Saturday, 10:00 A.M. - 6:00 P.M.