By Maya M. Padillo

DAVAO CITY — The Davao Fashion Design Council (DFDC) has been invited to supply traditional pieces by Mindanao’s indigenous groups to the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) in London, home of one of the largest collections of art and design pieces.

DFDC President Dodjie L. Batu said they were contacted by the British Council about adding to the V&A’s Philippine creations, which include a terno by designer Salvacion Lim “Slim” Higgins.

“Considering that this is the biggest museum in London, we are really grateful that the DFDC will be able to showcase Davao Region,” Mr. Batu said in an interview.

Davao, specifically the regional center Davao City, is home to 11 indigenous peoples (IPs) that come from different parts of Mindanao.

Mr. Batu said the organization is now working with different local government units to identify which tribes will be featured and avoid duplication of designs.

The DFDC is planning to bring the pieces by September, during which it is also hoping to stage a fashion show for the Filipino community in London.

In the meantime, the DFDC is holding the annual Fashion Weekend Davao on May 24 to 26 at the Ayala Abreeza Mall.

This year, corresponding with the National Heritage celebration, FWD will highlight the value of diversity.

“This is one opportunity to connect Davao and appreciate that we have rich products and designs. We have this collaboration with IP communities and designers and this is the best opportunity for Davao to have a glimpse of what we’ve been bringing out from the city,” said Emi Alexander L. Englis, DFDC secretary.

Ruby B. Ochoa, Abreeza Mall marketing manager, said the partnership with DFDC is part of the company’s support for local crafts and culture.

“As a mall in Davao, we would like to give an opportunity to be the venue to make their designs accessible… if you are exposed here it is easier for you to introduce your products,” Ms. Ochoa said.

This year’s FWD will again have the “Stellar: Mindanao Heritage Fashion Designers Competition,” which puts the spotlight on designer-entrepreneur start-ups.

Wilson N. Limon, Jr., the first winner of the Stellar Young Designers Competition in 2016, said the competition continues to serve as a platform for indigenous communities and their artisans, along with the new generation of designers, in rediscovering the potential of mainstreaming their material culture and traditions.

“With Stellar… they will showcase ready-to-wear garments,” Mr. Limon said, adding that winning the competition opened opportunities for him, including participation in the Manila FAME and connecting to the market in the capital.