MANILA — Filipino designer and National Ambassador for Peace Arnold Galang showcased his advocacy for promoting peace by lifting inspiration from symbols of peace and the Filipino culture in his recent Spring Summer 2015 collection for the Philippine Fashion Week showcased at the SMX Convention Center.
“Peace is of a national concern. So I decided to be inspired by our baro’t saya and camisa de chino. I was also inspired by the dove and olive branch that signify peace,” Galang said.
The clothes flaunted bold, playful prints and hues. Galang shares that the colors in his collection are inspired by the vintas to infuse his admiration for Mindanao.
Most of his pieces are made of neoprene—the fabric of the season—which makes the clothes look structured, but free and leisurely at the same time.
Speaking about his designs, Galang said that “this is my one way of sharing my advocacy of peace.”
“I decided to put [the concept] in fashion show [during Fashion Week] so that it’ll have a bigger scope, bigger media mileage, bigger market—so that everybody would get to understand what we are talking about as far as peace is concerned,” he added.
Philippine Fashion Week, dubbed as the “Olympics of Fashion,” is a biannual event in Manila which serves as a platform to feature our local designers’ talent and creativity. The holiday collections are showcased in May while spring-summer collections are showcased in October.
Peace through fashion
As a national ambassador for peace under the ‘I AM FOR PEACE’ campaign, Galang has previously collaborated with the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process for a holiday collection also for Philippine Fashion Week back in 2012 meant to promote peace through fashion as well.
“Having peace around,” Galang explains, “you come up with the best ideas, best concepts — that whatever you put together, you come up with something really beautiful.”
The “I AM FOR PEACE” campaign seeks to mobilize public support for peace through the involvement and engagement of the general public—later on, empowering basic sectors, such as youth, women, labor, civil society organizations and media, to name a few, to be advocates for peace and development.
Through his craft, Galang explains that “even in my own small way, I can make the regular Filipino understand that you don’t have to do something big to be able to contribute to peace.”
The celebrated designer has also taken steps to convince other designers to take on peace as an advocacy, but admits that it has been “hard and very challenging.”
“The fashion world is not politically inclined, or as nationalistically inclined as other sectors of society. So I try to infuse peace in the events that I do, through the things I do, the way I package my things,” Galang shared.
When asked what is next for him, he said that he wants to mount more peace-oriented events in the future that are not necessarily fashion shows.
As a peace ambassador, Galang stressed that he is “trying harder to bring in more people into the advocacy.”