Fashion

Paloma Zobel's 'Piopio' Chic Line Makes Indigenous Fabrics Sexy

These designs will completely change the way you look at traditional inabel blankets.
IMAGE Shaira Luna
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We’ve always known the Zobel de Ayala clan to be an inspiring lot, having played crucial roles in our country’s development throughout generations. The family’s tradition of giving back cascades to the present batch of Zobels. It’s an admirable act they hope to pass on to their children.

In her recent Philippine Star column, Paloma Zobel writes that she is home for good after spending most her life studying in the United States and Europe. Whenever Paloma was home in the Philippines for a visit however, her mother, Bea Jr. made sure that Paloma visited various provinces and interacted with their locals. Bea Jr. has always been a promoter of handicrafts and it was during a trip to Ilocos that Paloma first encountered the inabel.

A photo posted by PIOPIO (@piopio_ph) on

Some of the textiles used in Piopio creations

The handwoven textile, traditionally used as a blanket and usually brightly colored with playful patterns, has been a form of livelihood for Ilocano village weavers since the Spanish times. Today Paloma gives the inabel new life in her Piopio clothing line. Piopio, derived from the Spanish ‘tweet tweet,’ features indigenous Filipino fabrics such as the inabel from Ilocos, as well as accessories such as handwoven bracelets from the Mangyan tribes of Puerto Galera, in her casual wear. Her goal is to integrate uncommon fabrics into everyday life, and has come up with a vibrant assembly of flowy caftans, off-shoulder blouses, tunics and robes, all with an indigenous touch. Working with the current bohemian trend, Paloma also modernizes handwoven textiles by using them as patchwork in denim jackets and jeans.

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Check out a preview of Piopio at a pop-up at the Designer’s Holiday Bazaar on the third floor of Greenbelt 5 until December 15.

Soon, the Spanish bird and her clothing line will be flying to El Nido, which appropriately translates to ‘The Nest.’ According to another recent Philippine Star report, Paloma plans to make El Nido, specifically the Ayala development Seda Lio, the permanent home for her budding brand.

A photo posted by PIOPIO (@piopio_ph) on

A photo posted by PIOPIO (@piopio_ph) on


A photo posted by PIOPIO (@piopio_ph) on

A photo posted by PIOPIO (@piopio_ph) on


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About The Author
Hannah Lazatin
Senior Staff Writer
Hannah is a communications graduate from Ateneo de Manila University. She’s originally from Pampanga and from a big, close-knit family who likes to find a reason to get together at the dinner table. Experiences inspire her. “Once, at a restaurant, I received an interpretation of my second name ‘Celina,’ and it meant 'someone who tries everything once' and that is me through and through,” she says. As for the job, she wants her “readers to be inspired by the stories of the people we feature and to move them to reach for greater things.”
View Other Articles From Hannah
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