Young artist and Iloilo -born fashion designer G Magalona has recently gone viral, thanks to her very own collection of Filipiniana-themed hand-painted bayongs, or native hand-woven totes.
She debuted her first official luxury wear ensemble at the Iloilo Designers Week. Soon after, she likewise launched her designer label G Magalona Couture, which customized gowns and attires for her patrons.
However, the pandemic has sadly turned the world upside down and her endeavors were likewise affected, mainly due to the sudden shift from flamboyant affairs to intimate home get-togethers.
She immediately explored other possible projects during the lockdown. She found herself surrounded with bayongs, which her mother bought one, the road from the municipality of San Marcelino.
“My mom, who is also a designer and artist, encouraged me to try painting on the bayong, since she knew that I really loved doing it ever since I was a child,” the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde alumna recalled. “It felt like I was rediscovering old talents to create new opportunities.”
And so, she delicately hand-painted each tote with elements reminiscent of the country’s Spanish colonial past, to include images of the traditional Filipina ala Maria Clara in her elegant traje de mestiza, vibrant landscapes highlighting the bahay na bato and Baroque churches. She likewise reimagined 18th century Rococo romantic paintings.
Much to her surprise, the first five pieces she posted on social media were instantly sold out. All of a sudden, commissions and requests for various personalized designs started to pour in!
Through her collection, she wishes to elevate the existing craftsmanship of the bayong and use it as a canvas to further showcase the rich Philippine tradition. “It promotes native handicrafts and eco-friendly fashion. But more importantly, it echoes the statement Mahalin Ang SarilingAtin,” the Fashion Design and Merchandising Program graduate added.
“I want to emphasize that it is a beautiful piece made with so much love and effort. I don’t want it to be just another souvenir from our country. It is something we could use and more importantly, be proud of.”
Now currently based in Subic Bay Freeport Zone in Zambales, G is eyeing on expanding her arsenal with new designs that will contribute in making the local tote a quintessential piece.
She continues to accept custom artworks and specialized couture pieces under her label.
She has likewise completely immersed herself in her love for painting as she found her way back to canvasses.
Discover more of her works under the tag #gmagalonaart or visit her Facebook (G Paris Magalona) and Instagram (@gistheheiress and @g.magalona.couture).