by Gretzel Lantican
A woman’s beauty is not seen by the clothes she wears but by the personality she has. One good example is a fashion designer who advocates for the embroidery industry and supports local artisans, Anne Marie Saguil. As the Creative Director of Amarie, she has redefined fashion with her signature line of barong-inspired resort wear.
Embroidered with sewn-in details, the Barong Tagalog was Anne Marie’s inspiration to start her brand. “My goodness! It is such beautiful embroidery,” she exclaims.
The designer had a unique take on the country’s national dress. Her own version is not the typical Barong worn in social gatherings and prestigious events, but ones with Filipiniana flair—feminine, casual, and trendy.
On top of reliving a traditional craft, Anne Marie also supports stay-at-home moms, who happen to be the artisans behind Amarie’s embroidered pieces on different fabrics: cotton, organza, and linen.
Abra Handwoven Short Set
Barong Embroidery on Organza
Barong Embroidery on Linen
The best-seller, Embroidered Long Kaftan on Cotton
In Taal, Batangas and Lumban, Quezon, she was able to put together a community of embroiderers. In Taal, she has to climb mountains to meet the mothers who make her pieces. “Basically, I work with them, [so] they can stay at home and take care of their children [while] earning a living,” she says.
All she wants is to preserve Filipino culture through these moms and to pass on the art of embroidery to the next generation.
Anne Marie with the embroiderers from Taal
It takes a month for the barong-inspired pieces to be created, because they require intensive detailing in the production. On top of that, most mothers have a hard time using fabrics in silk and dark colors. But these stay-at-home moms surpass such tough moments by being driven by persistence and dedication.
Every woman has her own story to tell. An entrepreneur and a fashion designer to look up to, Anne Marie contributes to local fashion with Amarie, a local brand that promotes the embroidery community and supports artisans—stay-at-home moms— with their livelihood.
She mesmerized everyone with her version of the barong by adding Filipiniana flair to it. In her own words, a successful woman must think differently to stand out.