Madrid, 10 October 2013 – The Philippine Embassy in Madrid hosted a stunning Gala Show of piña masterpieces by renowned Filipino artist and designer, Ms. Patis Tesoro. Entitled “Piña: From Fabric to Couture,” the affair showcased forty-four elegant and ornate piña gowns and barong tagalogs modeled by professional artists from Madrid. Each ensemble was creatively embellished by intricate embroidery, beading, hand painting and appliqué in attractive colors and unique designs.
The fashion show held on 9 October 2013 at the Hotel InterContinental Madrid gathered more than 320 guests from Spain´s fashion industry, government and private sectors, diplomatic corps, international organizations, as well as Spanish filipinistas and members of the Filipino community. Filipina celebrity, Isabel Preysler, graced the event as Guest of Honor.
In his welcome remarks, Ambassador Carlos C. Salinas, himself wearing an elegant piña barong, highlighted the significant role of Patis Tesoro in the growing presence of the Philippines in the arena of international fashion. He emphasized the cultural importance of piña as a symbol of Philippine artistry and how the efforts and advocacy of Patis have successfully revived the industry. Amid the exquisite creations of Patis and the elegance of the show, it was a proud evening for the Philippines.
The guests were amazed by the elegance and versatility of the fabric and the designs of the gowns. Many of them remarked that the show made them discover and appreciate the beauty of Philippine dresses.
Before the actual fashion show, Patis gave a brief talk on the versatility of the piña fabric and the intricacies of her designs, explaining to the guests the different processes in transforming a leaf into a beautiful and elegant cloth. Patis mentioned that the piña fruit may have actually been brought to the Philippines by Spanish ships, mentioning that piña is part of the rich historical and cultural experience shared by the Philippines and Spain.
The four-segment show was directed by Mr. Raffy Tesoro.
Patis has been an icon of Philippine fashion for the last three decades. She is most popularly known for her exquisitely embroidered and beaded gowns made of piña, a fiber from pineapple plant leaves. Her colorful appliquéd Philippine traditional dresses for women (known as ternos) and her intricate formal garments for men in hand-woven native fabric (Barong Tagalog) are the cornerstones of her collection coined as Filipiniana.
In the early 80’s, when piña grew scarce in the country, Patis worked for the revival of piña-weaving in the Philippine province of Aklan. Having achieved this, she successfully promoted piña as the fabric of choice for classic evening wear and bridal gowns, thus, revolutionizing the local bridal industry. In the course of her career, she was also exposed to the art and fabrics of various Philippine tribes which inspired her to use indigenous material combining weave and embroidery to create elegant ethnic fashion.