The most distinctive stamps of Dries Van Noten clothes are his modernized prints, so much so that they are instantly recognizable as coming from the designer. (Bagobo tribe)
For his recent collections, Van Noten is reported to have sourced or gotten inspiration for his fabrics from 6 continents. No wonder his clothes are so unique, possessing that same unplaceable quality that world music has.
What Dries Van Noten has done is a celebration of different cultures. In a way, he has raised their value by pushing indigenous textiles into use by current times, by showing that the fabrics, like any product, can have a global audience.
(Itneg cloth, Northern Philippines)
Of course, there is always worry that locals could be exploited in the mass production or co option of what for so long has been restricted to self sustainable communities. But if this is remedied, and with due respect and reverence, one can look at this use of indigenous fabrics as a way to extend the life of a culture and its communities.
This brings me to my main topic of Philippines Fabrics. Personally, I would like to wear some of the intricate and beautiful patterns by the many tribes of the country as tailored shorts, shirts, pants, even as a kilt (replacing the tartan) or skirt shorts hybrid.
Just imagine the possibilities of indigenous fabrics mixed (in outfits or in thread) with the textiles from other countries. It just takes a new perspective.
Many of these fantastic patterns are considered dying arts in the Philippines. The newer generations are less keen to carry on traditions. I feel that in this regard, modernization can help indigenous communities, from any country, to help themselves in their self determination. In the process, the national culture can also benefit by becoming richer and truer to itself.