Ilustrados: The Enlightened Ones
Westminster BA Grad Collection Photographed by Dominic Whisson.
Ilustrados: The Enlightened Ones.
Exequiel Enajes Graduate BA collection enlightens us with an optimistic vision of what the future can be, not what it is. The designers final collection draws inspiration from The Babaylan, indigenous tribes native to the Philippines and the clothes he's accumulated over the years whilst charity shopping. It’s this tri-combination that allows the designer to look closely at spiritual figures, his roots and clothes he personally wears everyday - granting himself permission to design from an authentic, integral and holistic perspective.
The title “Ilustrados: The Enlightened Ones” refers to - a group of intellectuals, born in the Philippines and studied abroad in Europe, who in the 19th Century left their homelands struggle and found independence from Spain. It is considered Ilustrados, through the use of art works, creative writing and forming a collective organisation for reforms, pioneered the Propaganda Movement which helped national unity and sovereignty from Spanish colonialism. Through them the ideas of nationalism, oneness and individualism were primarily addressed. Here in lies the key ethos of the brands identity: individuals coming together to form a collective that overcomes colonisation of the physical, mental and spiritual state - prevalent in today's society.
“The aim is to use garments as a gateway to transcend people's consciousness. In order to do so, we must change the narrative of wanting to better yourself being stereotypically associated with individuals living a bohemian lifestyle. You can still wear the coolest piece of clothing, have an abundant amount of money and still live at a higher frequency. It’s all about, looking good on the outside, feeling better on the inside.”