Text by Tricia Aquino | Photos by Peter C. Marquez, InterAksyon.com · Thursday, November 1, 2012 · 10:53 am

TV personality Rovilson Fernandez models a Bergamo shirt at the Burdang Taal show during Philippine Fashion Week, October 27, 2012. Photo by Peter C. Marquez, InterAksyon.com.

Taal embroidery is here to stay.

This was the bold declaration of Batangas Vice-Governor Mark Leviste at the Burdang Taal: Habing Pilipino show on Day Five (October 27) of Philippine Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2013 at the SMX Convention Center.

As 17 designers showed off their creations of gowns, frocks, jackets, barong Tagalog, terno and more, it became more than a convincing piece of oratory; it was a fact.

Bergamo’s collection featured breezy barong paired with beige and gray pants that stopped inches above the ankle, sandals and loafers completing the outfits. No socks allowed! With hats on their heads and carry-ons by their sides, the men looked like they were off to do a bit of light reading beneath a mango tree. Sleeves were rolled up to their elbows, while some barong featured a skirt underneath. Undershirts were rare, to accentuate the embroidery on the piña fabric.

Models wear creations by, from left, Anthony Nocom, Dong Omaga Diaz, Gerry Katigbak and back detail of Katigbak’s dress at the Burdang Taal show, October 27, during Philippine Fashion Week. Photos by Peter C. Marquez, InterAksyon.com.

As string music played, Anthony Nocom’s pieces took center stage. Barong fit for a groom were on display.

Then it was Dong Omaga Diaz’s turn, dressing up the women in beiges, letting the fabric and the cut speak for themselves. A shift dress with an unexpected train, and a mod pairing of silky shirt tucked into a dramatic skirt were paired with platform heels.

Sugod mga kapatid! To Gerry Katigbak’s atelier, where he jazzed up the traditional barong by giving it a different shape, the collar reminiscent of a Katipunero’s uniform. The mestiza was made short and chic for the cosmopolitan woman.

Models at the Burdang Taal show held during Philippine Fashion Week wear creations by (from left) JC Buendia, Randy Ortiz, Barba, and Edgar Madamba. Photos by Peter C. Marquez, InterAksyon.com.

From stuffy to jaunty, cheeky even, JC Buendia accentuated a sleeveless barong for women with a thin ribbon around the neck, slim pants elongating the legs. A bell-sleeved top was paired with mini black shorts, while a sharply folded collar made a black top even more dramatic, as it was complimented by a long Filipiniana skirt.

Blues and purples were the hues for Randy Ortiz. A structured jacket, a cocktail dress, and a gown each had their own adornment, whether it be bell sleeves or flowery folds.

Vic Barba paired his cool, nude-colored masterpieces with flat sandals. A short frock with sheer sleeves had a pañuelo on top, while slim pants were paired with a hoodie made of traditional fabric.

Tulip skirts and pleats were the centerpiece of Edgar Madamba’s designs, putting wearability into embroidery. The panels on the skirts, he revealed to InterAksyon.com, were inspired from the local fruit balimbing. “The panels started with a few, until I decided to do more, making it look playful like the paper balls of our youth,” said Madamba.

Edgar San Diego punctuated his gowns and frocks with sunflower shades, origami folds and headdresses combining the Filipiniana with geisha.

Lito Perez turned the time-honored into the avant-garde with his graphic printed white skirt paired with a lime green bouffant top, and voluminous black pañuelo paired with an embellished long skirt with a green waist.

Silver corset tops and royal purple skirts marked Johnny Abad’s compositions, the coral-like neck- and wrist-pieces evocative of the sea.

To put embroidery in the limelight, Jontie Martinez splashed it on his dresses with pomp and circumstance, flowers trailing down hems and branding flouncy skirts.

Models in creations by (from left) Edgar San Diego, Johnny Abad, Jontie Martinez, and Lito Perez at the Burdang Taal show on October 27 during Philippine Fashion Week. Photos by Peter C. Marququez, InterAksyon.com.

Fanny Serrano was electric on the runway, with neon red, orange, and green making their way into his gowns and harem pants. Towering hair, groovy sleeves, and geometric accents said bright and brazen were the way to go for the season.

Fanny Serrano’s Filipino fiesta-inspired collection for the Burdang Taal show during Philippine Fashion Week, October 27, 2012. Photo by Peter C. Marquez, InterAksyon.com.

Also making heads turn was Ole Morabe, with his peek-a-boo shift dress, breezy top, and terno with a modern color palette consisting of deep fuschia, royal blue, ivory black, and oatmeal. The inspiration, revealed Morabe to InterAksyon.com, struck him on the way to Taal during one of the fam trips organized by Vice Gov. Leviste, “I was attracted by the children playing with plastic balloon and enjoying lollipops,” he said, “I wanted to make my collection playful and bring in bold colors as well such as

Feathery hems and drapes put the seal on Oscar Peralta’s gowns, embroidery dotting the reworked terno.

For his part, Richard Papa took the nude color to town, giving the monochromatic an oomph with his structured cocktail dress cut to reveal the sides and the collarbones. A collared dress got a shock of color as bolts of orange ran up the hem.

Roland Lirio closed the show with gowns and cocktail dresses with criss-crossing seams across the body, all paired with sporty hats and gloves. Horseback riding, anyone?

Models wear creations by, from left, Ole Moribe, Oskar Peralta, Richard Papa, and Roland Lirio at the Burdang Taal show held during Philippine Fashion Week, October 27, 2012. Photos by Peter C. Marquez, InterAksyon.com.

“We have to be on top of the fashion world,” said Mel Meer, the brains behind Bergamo. Yes, his older clients like their barong classic, but while he sticks to the basics, he updates them.

“You have to work with young people. There are a lot of ideas that are new and young.”

From formal to fresh to funky, Taal embroidery, when handled by visionaries, will continue to be a celebrated craft. Vice Governor Mark Leviste revealed that the local government has plans of setting up a museum in the near future where burdang Taal will be one of its main features.

Fashion designers are acknowledged by Batangas Vice-Governor Mark Leviste (in photo, sixth from right) at the Burdang Taal show during Philippine Fashion Week, October 27, 2012. At extreme left is event host, TV producer, and fellow Batangueño Michael Carandang of America’s Next Top Model fame. Photo by Peter C. Marquez, InterAksyon.com.