MANILA - Patis Pamintuan-Tesoro is a force to reckon with, a gregarious woman who weaved her dreams through the years with Filipiniana wear for a discerning clientele.
Known as the "Doyenne of Philippine Fashion," the bespectacled and stylish Patis had a hearty chat with her audience in the recently held "Disenyo at Talento Talks at Tesoros," a thought leadership series that champions Filipino creativity and ingenuity.
The event ignited the beginning of a fruitful collaboration between Tesoros, an artisanal shop showcasing the best of homegrown indigenous arts and crafts, and Patis, who launched her latest collection.
As Patis is based in San Pablo, it is only apt that the evening began with Laguna-inspired nibbles, from vibrant-colored rice cakes to balut in a shot glass.
Tesoros Stores President Maria Isabel "Beng" Tesoro got the ball rolling with a witty yet poignant tribute to her sister-in-law. Beng commended Patis for being focused on her love for design and art, something that her late brother, Tito, has always supported.
She also described Patis as a designer with a purpose beyond the bottomline, promoting the use of local weaves and native art forms.
WEARABLE ART, TRADITION
Patis started out from painting on jars to making embroidery on voile blouses that became all the rage in the 1970s.
She eventually made clothes similar to the baro't saya, getting inspiration from photos of her mother as well as from her mother-in-law Salud, co-founder of the enduring Tesoros chain of stores.
During the event, Patis showed one of her pieces, an abandoned abaca cloth in Kalibo brought to life by her creative hands. The resulting piece now has intricate patterns filled with color and life.
"Anything done by hand, you must keep," she reminded the audience.
A true artist, Patis makes sure that no material is wasted, with the designer turning even batik tablecloth into kaftans, a process she said could take years.
She is a believer of making tradition contemporary to make it wearable. Patis has adapted some of her creations to the taste of the modern woman, short skirts and all.
"These are for young people and for women who've kept their figure," she quipped.
Patis has indeed gone a long way, making her own mark in the fashion industry with her innovative designs using indigenous materials.
But she has yet to sell her pieces abroad, saying that she wants to serve Filipinos first.
While based in San Pablo where she has a bed and breakfast for tourists and her workshop participants, Patis is available to meet customers at the Tesoros flagship store at 1016 Arnaiz Avenue in Makati City.
For more details, call (02) 887-5550 or 887-6285.