NEW YORK – One of the Philippines’ leading designers and promoters of the Filipiniana dresses gave the traditional Maria Clara wear a modern twist.
By giving the Pinay wear a westernized upgrade, Cora DJ Manimbo said her collection is more wearable even with the changing season in the US.
“We always have the Panuelo. The usual traditional panuelo has the biggest collar to frame the face of the wearer and I've always believe that the kimona, the Maria Clara sleeve, is very, very elegant and can be adapted to the modern times,” Manimbo said.
The finely crafted kimonos and gowns are meticulously embroidered, beaded and hand-painted in Marikina, Philippines.
Manimbo said she scour the Philippine islands to find indigenous materials for her collections. From red pineapple fibers, banana plant fibers to the T'boli hand-woven fabric called Tinalak.
“I've always believe that every Filipino should have that duty to promote our culture. We are at par to the best of world or even more culturally minded than the rest of the world,” Manimbo said.
Top Philippine government officials, diplomatic officials and socialites love Manimbo’s designs.
With her exhibit at the Philippine Center on 5th Avenue in New York, Manimbo is hoping that her clothes could attract mainstream US costumers as well.
“Just like last night we were outside sa window, maraming tumitigil, all walks of life--puti, itim--and they were really marveling at her designs,” said US costomer Marisse Panlilio.
Her collection known as “Essentially Filipino” is still on display at the Philippine Center in New York as part of the Philippine Independence Day celebration until June 12. Balitang America