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The Modern Filipiniana Decoded

Wearing culture and craft day to day

11 May 2023
The Modern Filipiniana Decoded

We often think of the classic Filipiniana as a fixture of our past, a thing meant for the Filipinas of our history books–But in our journey to discover more of our artful heritage, we’ve come to see how this centuries-old garment matches the everyday woman as fittingly today as it did years ago. With its unique silhouette, tropical materiality, and refined style, we’d argue that the Filipiniana (in any iteration) has a rightful spot in any modern woman’s closet.

The anatomy of a classic Filipiniana features the ever-recognizable butterfly-sleeved top called the “baro,” with a scarf draped on top called the “panuelo,” a long skirt called “saya,” with a cloth on top called “tapiz.” Despite the layers, the Filipiniana stayed breathable as it was traditionally made with piña fabric, a lightweight material generated from our country’s abundant supply of pineapples.

For our newly-opened Bayo Atelier, the Filipiniana is referenced in our silhouettes which echo the classic in all its grace, femininity, and regalness. You’ll find a contemporary version of the dress in a short empire-cut silhouette, a one-shoulder iteration designed to be a going-out top, or a gentler nod to done through puffed sleeves and an overlap detail. You can choose to have a design made with our thoughtful selection of textiles which include locally harvested and handcrafted fabrics.

Price Upon Request, Bayo Atelier, Greenbelt 5

Because the Filipiniana is such a timeless garment, its shape lends itself well to textiles beyond piña fiber. We’ve experimented with cotton and linen blended fabrics to create more casual iterations, and even upcycled, handmade weaves to incorporate more of our crafting heritage into the design. The results are colorful and contemporary garments that hold a charming sense of old-meets-new.

Below, see our recommendations for Filipiniana-inspired pieces that belong to your wardrobe. Scroll through to shop, or visit the Bayo Atelier for a custom piece.


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