The public had the rare opportunity to see how international designers link patrimony, tradition, heritage, and contemporary art in their collections at the Festival Internationale des Textiles Extra Ordinaires (FITE) fashion presentation held at SM Aura Premier.
FITE creates a unique platform that promotes textile as a representation of culture and heritage on the international stage. The idea is to gather craftsmen, textile designers, fashion designers, weavers, artists, collections, decorators, and the general public across all continents to show the human, economic, and ecological challenges inherent in extraordinary textiles.
Launched by the HS Projets Association and co-organized by the city of Clermont-Ferrand and the Bargoin Museum in 2012, FITE travels through five continents. Every even year, it takes place in Clermont-Ferrand in France. Every odd year, the event is held outside France. Through a rich and diverse program, FITE becomes the venue for artists, stylists, and designers to discuss the craft of textiles and gain a different perspective in the world.
A joint project of the Embassy of France in the Philippines, the Metropolitan Museum of Manila, HAB: The Philippine Textile Council, and SM Aura Premier, the event is part of the ongoing Renaissance Exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Manila. Under the patronage of UNESCO, the exhibit presents a series of textiles that juxtapose diverse heritage pieces and contemporary collections.
During the event, Dr. Kinor Jiang, Fanyu Tsang, Shu Sun, and Guoxiang Yuan from Hong Kong, Diane Sparks from the United States, Carmen Rion from Mexico, and the Philippines’ very own Patis Tesoro showcased collections that promote textiles as a representation of culture and heritage.
Dr. Kinor Jiang, from Hong Kong, is a former faculty at the Central Academy of Arts and Design and Tsinghua University who specializes in textile design and fashion art, the history and culture of traditional materials and processes, and the utilization of textile to combine aesthetics and functional properties.
Fanyu Tsang, also from Hong Kong, is a Fashion and Textiles Design student in the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Fanyu was the finalist of the 2015 Hong Kong Young Designers’ Contest in Contemporary Day-Wear Group, and the winner of Best Accessories Design Award with his menswear collection—yon. After competition, Fanyu set-up his own fashion brand: “Tsang Fan Yu” to develop menswear ready-to-wear series and accessories goods.
Diane Sparks is a professor in the Department of Design & Merchandising at Colorado State University. Her research includes study of ethnographic textiles, Cross-Cultural Apparel Design, Wearable Art Design and her studio work integrates Asian surface design techniques.
Guoxiang Yuan is currently a Research Associate in Institute of Textiles and Clothing at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. His research focuses on the textile surface treatment in textile and fashion design, and brand management.
Shu Sun is currently a Research Associate at the Institute of Textiles and Clothing, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Her research deals protective clothing and intelligent sportswear with innovative design effects.
Carmen Rion, a fashion designer from Mexico works closely with indigenous Mexican women, engaging them in the fashion business and in developing designs.
Patis Tesoro is known as the “Grand Dame of Philippine Fashion” because of her creative and classic designs using indigenous Filipino materials such as abaca, Mindanao silk, and pina. Tesoro participated in previous editions of the FITE, most notably at the fashion show at the Hué Museum of Culture in Vietnam.