Ilonggo Designer Innovates Traditional Filipiña and Barong Tagalog Into Modern Fashion
Lory Joyce Andagan | June 11, 2020
As we celebrate Philippine Independence, there are a lot of ways to show how proud we are as Filipinos. Some Pinoys choose to show their pride through the clothes that they are wearing. An Ilonggo designer made pieces that help in promoting our culture with a modern twist.
Jor- El Espina started his business of fashion in 2007 and ventured into a reimagined Filipiñana wear for the modern Filipino, coming up with unique pieces such as their signature bomberong, bomberong terno, tagpi bomber, and teespina. Bomberong came from the word bomber jacket and barong. It is made of piña or jusi barong embroidered in Lumban. His Teespinas are t-shirts made of hablon from their local partner in a community in Miago- ao and Oton Iloilo patched as one of a kind patterns. “Creativity is the bedrock of fashion and at this time and age, we need to innovate. I took inspiration from the materials that I have,” says Jor- El.
Inspired by the story of tradition in the Philippines, these modern barongs and filipiñanas already reached the other parts of the world. They have orders in Europe and Singapore comprised of limited pieces handpicked by the curator. These pieces were already worn by different celebrities, politicians, even Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray.
As this pandemic raged on, he also made Maskarong Tagalog from the words mask and barong Tagalog. These masks are made of barong material with unique and intricate embroideries. “It Is important to innovate things at this unique time of uncertainty and be relevant without the suffering of quality,” says Jor- El. He plans to launch other brands that focus on streetwear and curated home decors.