Prepare to embark on a mesmerizing journey through time via exquisite haute couture featured in the first-ever KULTURA MANILA. This spectacular runway show happening in October will unveil an artistic tapestry of couture creations, seamlessly weaving together the rich threads of the country’s sartorial history, from the pre-Hispanic era to the modern day.
According to stage performer and fashion designer Norman Penaflorida, KULTURA MANILA is not just a fashion showcase; it is a tribute to the evolution of Filipino identity, culture, and style. This highly ambitious one-of-a-kind event brings together a collective of visionary Filipino designers who have poured their creativity and passion into meticulously crafting pieces that transcend time and celebrate the nation’s diverse heritage.
From the graceful drapes and intricate weaves inspired by the ancient Filipinos’ indigenous attire to the opulent embroidery and regal silhouettes reminiscent of the colonial period, the runway will transport attendees through pivotal moments in Philippine history. Each ensemble serves as a living canvas, narrating stories of resilience, innovation, and the innate connection between the past and the present.
As the show progresses, the collection seamlessly transitions to the modern era, seamlessly blending traditional elements with contemporary aesthetics. The runway lights up with avant-garde designs, innovative cuts, and unexpected materials, reflecting the ever-evolving spirit of Filipino fashion in a globalized world.
One of the highlights of KULTURA MANILA is a fashion show that will be held at the historic and iconic Jones Bridge of the City of Manila.
Jones Bridge spans the Pasig River and connects the districts of Binondo and Ermita in Manila. The bridge was originally constructed during the American colonial period and was completed in 1920. It was named after William Atkinson Jones, a United States Congressman who authored the Philippine Autonomy Act of 1916, which eventually led to the establishment of the Philippine Commonwealth.
The Jones Bridge has gone through several reconstructions and renovations over the years to accommodate increasing traffic and to address structural concerns. It has served as a vital transportation link in Manila, connecting the bustling commercial area of Binondo with the government and cultural institutions located in the Ermita area.
The bridge is not only significant for its utilitarian purpose but also for its historical and architectural value. It has been a witness to various events in Philippine history and has been featured in numerous photographs and artworks. The bridge’s design showcases influences from the Beaux-Arts architectural style, which was popular during the early 20th century.
Jones Bridge remains an iconic landmark in Manila and is often included in cultural and heritage tours of the city due to its historical significance and architectural beauty.
In November of 2019, then Manila City Mayor Isko Moreno led the formal lighting ceremony of the newly renovated bridge. People gathered at the Jones Bridge in Manila during the event, it was a Sunday. Mayor Isko also inaugurated the restored La Madre Filipina sculptures on the Ermita side of the bridge.
KULTURA MANILA is not just about the clothes; it’s about the emotions, narratives, and memories woven into every stitch.
The designers’ reverence for their roots shines through in every creation, inviting the audience to immerse themselves in the beauty of a nation’s history reimagined through the lens of haute couture.
Beyond the runway, KULTURA MANILA serves as a reminder of the cultural wealth that the Philippines possesses. It honors the legacy of indigenous craftsmanship and pays homage to the designers’ unwavering commitment to preserving and promoting Filipino heritage. Which will also be showcased during the Manila International Dance Festival.
With KULTURA MANILA, the fashion landscape transforms into a living canvas, where the past and the present converge in a harmonious celebration of identity, artistry, and heritage. This extraordinary showcase not only elevates the stature of Filipino fashion on the global stage but also serves as an embodiment of pride for a nation that wears its history with style.
KULTURA MANILA is part of the upcoming arts and culture projects spearheaded by the office of Manila Vice Mayor Yul Servo Nieto such as the Manila International Dance Festival, Mr. Manila Pageant and the Manila Police District League.
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