Fashion + Philanthropy at Archipelago charity fashion show

In Davao recently, the spotlight was on Filipino creativity. 

Archipelago, a charity fashion event at the dusitD2 Davao ballroom, gathered designers from across the country: Renee Salud from Luzon, June Escario from the Visayas and Mary Ann Montemayor of Kaayo Modern Mindanao and Emil Sitjar of Emilia Sitjar Jewellery from Mindanao. The designers presented collections that highlighted their personal styles.

Archipelago featured sesigners- Rene Salud, Mary Ann Montemayor for Kaayo Modern Mindanao, Jun Escario & Emil Sitjar of Emilia's Jewelery 

From purple to tangerine to a bride in periwinkle, a stream of colors flowed on the runway with Renee Salud’s collection, with Thai silk as the unifying material. In the typical Salud style, billowing ensembles marked the finale. 

Renee Salud

Eye-catching from Jun Escario’s collection are his minimalist pieces. In tones of cream, black and white, the column dresses and flowing, empire cut gowns, a few numbers with a sprinkling of embellishments, were chic, stylish and elegant. 

Jun Escario

Kaayo Modern Mindanao has successfully injected Mindanao tradition into mainstream fashion. Either blending a mix of weaves in an array of colors to create a look for the modern Filipina or jazzing up contemporary fashion with cultural details, the realized aspirations of Kaayo duo, Mary Ann Montemayor and Marga Montemayor-Nograles, for Mindanao was witnessed on the runway. 

Kaayo Modern Mindanao

Designed by Emil Sitjar and handcrafted by Filipino artisans, the Filipinoiserie Collection of Emilia Sitjar Jewellery was striking and elegant. Each set was specially curated to match the personalities and lifestyle of their muses: the Honorary Consul of Bangladesh to Mindanao, Joji Ilagan-Bian; businesswomen Gemma Velez, Malouchi Gahol, Marissa Tionko, Elizabeth Unlay, Sholai Lim, Shane Lim; former beauty queen Wendy Gonzales; and young Thai nationals, Sophia and Sonia Sitjar. Collaborating with Sitjar was Davao designer Edgar Buyan, who executed a sophisticated gem-toned evening ensemble that perfectly complemented the jeweler’s vision. It was a jewel on jewel concept successfully executed.

Jewely by Emilia Sitjar Jewellery, evening gowns by Edgar Buyan 

Backstage with the muses of Emilia Sitjar Jewellery

By comparison to the first edition of the charity event held in 2023, Dusit Davao modified their approach for this year’s version, “toning down” in all aspects of the event. Archipelago was a cocktail event and row seating as opposed to the formal banquet affair in 2023, but Executive Chef Piya did leave an approving mark on the palate with this year’s bites. There were more show pieces on the ramp last year, and the directorial expertise of Jackie Aquino was sorely missed with his well-paced show, where each well-conceived, visually exciting (and sensible) component expected of a good fashion show production was stitched cohesively. 

However, this year’s ramp show stars did shine, and beyond the bright lights, the cause remains the same—to raise funds for charity. In 2023, the charity gala raised P 300,000 for its beneficiary, the SOS Children’s Village Davao. This year, Dusit Davao will be donating P 100,000 each to the two beneficiaries —the SOS Children’s Village Davao and Field of Dreams Children’s Charity Foundation.

The Archipelago charity show was presented by Dusit Davao and co-presented by Torre de Lorenzo and Emilia Sitjar Jewellery.

Seen at the affair:

Honorary Consul of Hungary in Mindanao, Joji Ilagan Bian with the grand dame of Davao fine jewelry, Emilia Sitjar

Margie Moran Floirendo

Toffee Tionko, Marissa Tionko, Gemma Velez, Pep-c Velez & Jolo Velez

Cecilia Reta, Jes Reta & Nena Hizon-Daluz 

Cristof Kuch, Emil Sitjar & Kenneth Ong

Neneng dela Paz & Vivian Sison, Lena Benedicto & Bebot Estanislao

Donna Rodriguez, Fely Anne Pineda, Mary Ann Montemayor, Dodong Rubillo & Lilian Robillo  

Raffy del Rosario, Honorary Consul of Italy in Davao, with Carmina del Rosario & Bobby Horrigan

The Sitjar family

Wanda Teo & Mike Dakudao. Bea Bautista-Apostol & Bianca Bautista-Navarra

Tess Villanueva & Celina van Dieriendonck. Danney Barnett & Eric Barnett