On a trip to Cebu in the Philippines, I was inspired by the indigenous fabrics at Anthill Fabric Gallery. I love the tribal designs and the vibrant colors. I love even more that the textiles are still made by artisans on antique wooden looms. What's even more impressive is that the artisans are Philippine hill tribe mothers supporting their families, while keeping a native tradition alive.
Anthill collaborates with designers to create demand for these fabrics, supporting the artisans, their craftsmanship, and their traditions. It's a cause I believe in and makes me feel proudly Filipino. I never thought I would design a line but here I am, jumping in with both feet.
These fabrics are commonly used for home goods such as table runners and placemats, so I decided to use them unconventionally. I wanted to make clothes out of them. Toddler clothes, to be specific. The fabrics motivated to look back at indigenous Filipinos, and ati-atihan was what came to mind first. Ati-atihan is a festival celebrating the Ati people, who are believed to be one of the earliest settlers in the Philippines. Ati-atihan costumes are dramatic, wild, energetic, and tribal. It's an unusual inspiration for a toddler line, I'll admit, but that's what makes it interesting.