Leo John Caligan is a fashion and textile designer from Manchester, offering alternative androgynous designs by exploring the westernisation and domestication of the Philippines though traditional crafts along side modern hand rendered textiles and graphic silhouettes as well as manipulation of unconventional materials, inducing them into wearable garments. Creating his own personal prints, using screen and digital print alongside embroidery. Experimenting with dissimilar materials and merging them together creating unique ideas, to produce contemporary and innovative designs. Born in the Philippines and raised in the UK, Leo John Caligan's work has a heavy influence of his filipino heritage combined with his upbringing as an asian immigrant in UK. He graduated from Manchester School Of Art BA Fashion Design course in 2019.
"Las Sala De Filipinas" researches the evolution of where the Filipino culture has come from. The Spanish Colonisation of the Philippines, looking at how the Spaniards had influenced the Filipino culture for 300 years. Questioning the identity of the Philippines by exploring the westernisation and domestication through the Spanish influence.
Investigating the interiors and exteriors of houses post-Spanish colony because the homes of the Filipinos where the culture truly sits. Leo John wanted to give his collection a fun flare, looking into furnitures and using the shapes from chairs and sofas to influence the silhouettes for his collection. Creative pattern cutting based on sofa covers, combined with generic garments of military wear and the national costumes of the Philippines generated the shapes for Leo John Caligan's collection.
Keeping to the theme of furniture he wanted to use a mixture of natural materials, delving into using old and damaged upholstery leather that would end up in landfills combined with abaca (banana fibre) and piña (pineapple fibre) which are handwoven materials traditionally used to make the national costume of the Philippines.
Basing his hand printed textiles from basket weaving that fruits and vegetables are exported in and using the nursery rhyme ‘Bahay Kubo' (nipa huts) for the graphic fonts which are based around the traditional straw huts that farmers would live in the Philippines and what vegetables they grew in their farm.