In an open letter to Filipinxs in the diaspora, VINTA Gallery founder Caroline Mangosing urged the Filipinx community to do the work of decolonizing and digging deeper to know ourselves. In the context of fashion and design, decolonization could mean many things to many people and brands. For VINTA, it means centring Filipinx voices, stories and their work, in an effort to reclaim our own culture. Designer, educator and member of the research group Decolonising Design said it best: “Decolonizing is about shattering the familiar.”
In a previous article, we outlined the rich and interesting history of the Barong Tagalog in all its embroidered glory. If you ask us, the barong is one of the most elegant pieces of artwork one can wear — and should be a staple in all Filipino men’s wardrobes. At the same time, the barong carries with it a long history of trauma and discrimination. In the past, it was believed that Spanish colonizers forced native Filipinos to keep their transparent barongs untucked and without pockets to distinguish them from the ruling class and to prove that the wearer was not stealing or carrying a weapon. Meant to police the native “Indios,” it served as a constant and painful reminder that they will always be oppressed.
A NOTE FROM OUR FOUNDER AND DESIGNER
Does anyone feel like time has gone super fast since quarantine began? It seems like only yesterday we sent out our last VINTA Update in March — and now we’re already halfway through the year. (Sidenote: We literally had to Google if this was a thing, the whole concept of time speeding up during the pandemic, and it is — apparently psychologists say it happens when a routine changes drastically, our worlds and lifestyles shrinking to the bare minimum and all of us trying to multitask more. It’s a common phenomenon. Just an FYI. We’re all still in this together.)
But I digress.
At VINTA Gallery, things haven’t slowed down. Here’s what’s been going down.
Since then, VINTA has created bespoke wedding dresses, terno tops with a variety of different styles and patterns, terno dresses with traditional butterfly sleeves (perfect for wedding guests), women’s barongs and barong dresses, one-of-a-kind terno jumpsuits, Filipiniana streetwear, modern camisas and more. But no other kind of Filipiniana clothing from VINTA has ever been as popular as our Ifugao pieces.
A NOTE FROM OUR FOUNDER AND DESIGNER
We’re not even a full quarter into the year yet, and 2020 has already been a wild year.
Recently, we caught wind of the news about Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte announcing the full lockdown of the Metro Manila region — an area that holds over 12 million people — for an entire month, from March 15th to April 14th, due to the coronavirus. This means shutting down any government work, suspending all domestic travel to and from Metro Manila and restricting entry of travellers from foreign countries, especially those known to be directly exposed to the COVID-19 virus.
“Astrology is a reflection of you and your life. The whole thing can be seen through the lens of what makes you beautiful and what makes this life of yours beautiful.” — Chani Nicholas
We’ve mentioned this a few times before, but here at VINTA, we’re all about horoscopes, astrology and all that birth chart business. So when our woman crush/astrologer Chani Nicholas launched her first book, You Were Born For This: Astrology for Radical Acceptance, we got inspired to write up our own little star sign-related fashion guide. (Btw, if you don’t already know who Chani Nicolas is, check her out ASAP. She weaves progressive politics, social justice, queer identity — not to mention amazing Spotify Cosmic Playlists — into her work. We’re obsessed.)
But back to VINTA — it’s a new year, and 2020 is the year for us to begin a new cycle, a new journey of creativity, exploration and discovery. Of hard resets. Of being the boss of our own lives. Of expressing ourselves. Of feeling good. Of rocking a sweet new look.
So we’ve put together these VINTA outfit ideas for every star sign to hopefully inspire your wardrobe for the exciting year ahead!
Last month, we held our first ever Private Shopping Experience Contest on Instagram — the selected winner and tagged friend would receive an exclusive styling and shopping day with our founder and designer, Caroline Mangosing, plus a $100 Gift Card each to spend.
Just in time for NYE 2020, our two winners, Yasmine Perez-Achig and her mom Princess, visited the VINTA HQ in Toronto the Saturday before ringing in the New Year. Yasmine shared what it was like to spend the day with Caroline and what the experience meant to her and her mom.
We all know the holidays can be a stressful time. Not only are you trying to find the perfect holiday gift for your family members, friends, significant other, kids/nieces/nephews and co-workers, but you’re also prepping for parties, finding that one amazing New Year’s Eve outfit and scrambling to finish work stuff, all the while mapping out your #2020goals. Phew.
Good news is VINTA has your back.
We’ve put together the ultimate holiday gift guide 2019 packed with gift ideas for the Filipina and/or Filipino in your life. Lezz goooo.
A Note from Our Founder and Designer
It’s been a helluva few months since our last VINTA update in August... and we’ve been busy! Since then we’ve completely redone our sizing (adding in XL, +XL and XXL sizes in women’s and XS in men’s), we’ve expanded our team to include bright and talented new designers and pattern makers, and we’ve launched a new line of hot-selling terno tops and camisas, plus one-of-a-kind, head-turning new Ifugao items.
With only a few weeks left until 2020 (wtf, crazy!), we’re getting ready to LEVEL UP and give you the best that VINTA Gallery has to offer, to both our new and returning customers alike.
Lots happening at the VINTA HQ, but here are just a few updates we thought you’d like to know.
VINTA Wedding Diaries is a new series that takes us behind the scenes of a custom VINTA Filipiniana wedding.
Diandre and Noel first met at Diandre’s childhood friend’s surprise birthday party in their home state of California. Diandre recalls not knowing many people at the party and she was sitting in the corner by herself. In a flash, Noel slid right next to her and said, “Hey girl, I heard you went to art school.” And the rest was history.
Made from delicate piña fabric (pineapple leaf) or jusi material (banana silk) and ubiquitous in the Philippines (and within Filipino diasporic communities), it seems like a very unassuming shirt often worn on special occasions — lightweight and so far from the stuffiness of a basic black tuxedo or suit normally associated with formalwear. But if you ask us, the Barong Tagalog can be one of the most stunning, elegant pieces of artwork one could ever wear, incredibly rich with history and pride. Like, it’s been through a lot.