French textile exhibit at the Met Museum

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France’s Festival International des Textiles Extra Ordinaires (International Festival of Extraordinary Textiles or FITE) officially opened on July 7 at the Metropolitan Museum of Manila, led by French Ambassador Gilles Garachon.

He said, “Usually, we read about the history and culture of people through books, or documentaries, or museums. The FITE is unique because it presents clothing as means to know and understand others. Each textile, each article of clothing, has its own story to tell about a group’s way of life, about their surroundings.”

Joining the ambassador at the event were National Commission on Culture and the Arts Chairman Felipe de Leon, Metropolitan Musem of Manila President Tina Colayco, HABI Chairperson Maribel Ongpin, officials from the French city of Clermont-Ferrand, French curators Christine Athenor and Christine Bouilloc, and participating artists Patis Tesoro, Carmen Rion and Kinor Jiang.

“Grand Dame of Philippine Fashion” Patis Tesoro also the graced the inauguration of FITE through a fashion show of her creations.


International artists from different parts of the world also flew in to participate in the FITE in Manila. Sponsored workshops and talks were led by Japan’s contemporary bamboo sculptor Ueno Masao, Mexico’s Carmen Rion, French designer Armel Barraud. With them are contemporary artist Ryan Villamel and Carmen Rion of Mexico, Hong Kong’s Dr. Kinor Jiang whose works were made inc collaboration with Diane Sparks, Shu Sun, Tsang Fan Yu and Guoxian Yuan.

Other public events under the banner of FITE include an interaction with indigenous weavers from all over the country invited by the National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA)on July 11 at the NCCA Lobby and the Metropolitan Museum of Manila Open House on July 12. The Museum Shop of Textile Creations will offer visitors various textile products from the participating foreign designers and from the members of HABI: The Philippine Textile Council.

The public is also invited to continue the quilting project entitled “Grandmother’s Flower Garden” running simultaneously with the FITE. It began in France in 2014.

For more information on FITE, visit www.facebook.com/FrenchEmbassyManila or www.the-fite.com.

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