Leo John Caligan's collection 'Las Sala De Filipinas' researches the evolution of where the Filipino culture has come from, questioning the identity of the Philippines by exploring the westernisation and domestication through the Spanish colonisation of 300 years. Investigating the interiors and exteriors of houses post-Spanish colony. Juxtaposed to a historic theme Leo John gives his collection a fun flare by taking inspiration from furniture, which generated the silhouettes for his collection.
Working in a traditional pen to paper is not the approach Leo John takes when designing. He generates his designs by doing stand work first and creating designs from them rather than doing it the other way round. He finds this way of working more effectively for him as he can be expressive, creative and technical at the same time. Each piece in the collection comes with different recombinations of unconventional pattern cutting and finishings. As such creative pattern cutting taken from sofa covers and the national costume of the Philippines, combined with household fastenings.
Looking into traditional crafts of the Philippines, such as basket weaving and using natural materials like piña and abaca, whilst using leather by-products from discarded upholstery leather. Colour blocking and textiles manipulation take centre stage in the collection. Many variations of textiles techniques take inspiration from basket weaving using leather and plastic cables and pleating details from nipa hut roofs. Hand-printed textiles inspired by a Filipino nursery rhyme ‘Bahay Kubo’ for graphic fonts, with hand-carved and hand-stitched leather pieces.
Leo John’s heritage plays a massive role in his work. Wanting to know more of his Filipino history and culture, has informed many of his projects. This is why it was important for him to convey this collection to represent the Philippines creatively whilst still trying to be sustainably conscious of the materials used within his work. The expressive colour blocking was inspired by the Philippine's vibrant culture and its colorful history.