MANILA – The photo shoot of celebrity couple Billy Crawford and Coleen Garcia in Ethiopia drew flak over the weekend for two things – one for allegedly being “racist,” and the other for their use of upholstery fabric for their outfits.
Crawford and Garcia have already addressed the former, saying that their photos with locals were “taken out of context.”
The couple’s stylist, Adrianne Concepcion, has opted to respond to the latter.
In an interview with the entertainment website Pep, Concepcion shared that they have collaborated with Filipino designers to create Crawford and Garcia’s outfits.
Reacting to a side-by-side comparison of Crawford’s suit and a large shopping tote owned by a netizen’s mother has gone viral online, Concepcion said: “Given that we do not have specific African prints which are native to their region, our local designers had the creative liberty to render their own interpretations.”
“I gave designer Ryan Uson a short brief on the commissioned suit. I said I wanted it to have earthy green tones in bold prints to compliment that of Coleen’s, and I think he delivered well,” she added.
Concepcion said Uson “used upholstery fabric, bought from a very famous fabric shop that most, if not all designers, frequent for fabric textiles.”
“As I have learned in recent days, the same fabric allegedly has been used to make a modest-looking bag. I see no fault in this as the chances of having multiple designers or sewing enthusiasts use the same fabric here in the country are high,” she stressed.
“I personally see it as a show of realized potential of things. That fabric may very well have been sewn into anything. We saw its beauty, used it to make a suit, and it turned out great.”
A photo of Garcia’s outfit, meanwhile, has been posted side-by-side with a reversible placemat bearing the same design.
To those who made fun of the celebrity couple’s outfits, Concepcion had this to say: “Instead of celebrating ingenuity and talent, this news has been used as a vessel for bullying and hatred.”
“I hope people see the good and even the humor in it.”
Meanwhile, Crawford seems to be unaffected by the issue and even reposted some of the photos of comparisons to their outfits on his Instagram page.
In one of the posts, the “It’s Showtime” host said: “All around pala ang telang ito.”
In another, he addressed the netizens who were able to observe the similar prints of their designer outfits and ordinary furniture.
“Seriously, sa lahat ng gumawa nito, salamat binuhay niyo [ang] katawang lupa namin pero pinatay niyo ang stylist namin!” he said in jest.
Crawford and Garcia are set to tie the knot this April.