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Jojie Lloren: Poetic ode to mother & motherland

By MARBBIE TAGABUCBA, The Philippine Star Published Jun 21, 2024 5:00 am

I had to squint when Maine Mendoza came down the “TernoCon: Kasarinlan, Kultura, Kasuotan” runway in the new Museo de Galeon for Jojie Lloren’s “A Lullaby for My Mother.” Is she wearing katsa?

The lowly muslin, which the designer always uses for his toiles, as well as twigs, fallen leaves, and stray bird feathers, typically discarded as compost, become sublime in the hands of Lloren. And so is his grief upon his mother’s recent passing.

Jojie Lloren

Lloren grew up admiring his mother while she got ready to go on with her day and accompanied her and his titas during their weekly trips to the modista for their Sunday best. “My mother was a disciplinarian, but she had a very good sense of humor,” he shares. “She made a very comfortable nest for her family. I come from a modest household, but we were never needy of our basic needs.”

Sa Ugoy ng Duyan plays on as he pays tribute to his mother’s life. Progressing from darkness to light, opening with a crow perched on a headdress of black twigs from his garden assembled by Ricky Vicencio, Lloren uses a palette of grays to experiment on the form of the terno by interpreting the butterfly sleeve as a raglan. By using the subtraction pattern method, the sleeve is worn off-the-shoulder on one side in one look and spread-out-fluttering in another. The silhouettes are both 1940s couture yet still modern and totally wearable today.

TV personality Maine Mendoza dons a Jojie Lloren design

Stylist Noel Manapat says, “To witness Jojie Lloren’s work process is like a masterclass in intelligent design and tailored precision. He can dream in abstract terms because he has the technical skills to bring concepts such as jagged pain into amorphous pointed peplums and the afterlife into a cascade of actual feathers interfaced between two fabrics.”

This collection also sees Lloren hand-painting on fabric for the first time. Some markings are also fused with feathers, while some pieces get their texture from patches sewn together in the chenille technique.

Jojie Lloren brings a personal touch to his collection, “A Lullaby for my Mother,” that honors both his mother and the motherland

Jojie Lloren brings a personal touch to his collection, “A Lullaby for my Mother,” that honors both his mother and the motherland


“This show happened through a most tragic time, but the designer, like a true artist, was able to transform his personal sorrow into a thing of beauty,” adds Manapat, who accessorized the looks in gold, pearl, copper and shell-craft by Arnel Papa and lagang by Richoy Colina. “It was intended, like the clothes, to show beauty in the ordinary, even in things that lived through time.”