World Costume Festival

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Dancers in Vigan City during the Binatbatan Festival of the Arts.
Street dancers in April in Vigan.

The World Costume Festival is an international fashion festival held every two years in the Philippines city of Vigan City in Ilocos Sur.[1][2][3][4] The event showcases indigenous and modern costumes[5] geared towards live performances, such as drama, festivals, events, as well as multimedia presentations.[6] It emphasizes apparel for special ritual occasions or theater performance work as opposed to regular fashion apparel. Its organizers aim to promote tourism as well as encourage native loom-weaving and fabrics.[7] There is an emphasis on fabric materials and Philippine weaving methods such as batik, abel, and piña, from different parts of the Philippines.[6] A festival was held in Vigan City in the last week of April in 2013.[8] The dominant view is that the 2013 festival in Vigan was the first world costume festival, although there is a report of a similar costume festival that was held in Davao City in the southern Philippine island of Mindanao in 2001.[9] There are reports of the event either becoming an annual event or being held every two years. The event coincides with fashion festivals held in different cities in the Philippines.[10] The event was described as a preview for the World Stage Design Festival in Cardiff, Wales.[10] The primary focus of the event is a costume competition. The highest award at the festival is the Golden Kneeling Carabao Trophy, the carabao is a Philippine water buffalo sometimes found in swamps.[5] In addition to the costume competition, the event has workshops, classes by designers, conferences, as well as lectures from international experts. There is a costume parade down the cobblestone streets of Vigan.[11] The event has "jubilant colors" as well as a body-painting competition.[7] The Manila Standard described the event as "kaleidoscopic" with people wearing costumes from the historic past.[10]


  1. ^ "Philippines hosts World Costume Festival 2013 | Inquirer Lifestyle". Retrieved 2014-04-15.
  2. ^ "World Costume Festival 2013 draws int'l designers | The Manila Times Online". Retrieved 2014-04-15.
  3. ^ "PIA | Vigan is home to first world costume festival". Retrieved 2014-04-15.
  4. ^ 28 March 2013, Georgia News, Medea Dressing at World Costume Festival, Accessed July 10, 2014, "...World Costume Festival will take place in Philippines from April 27 till May 2. ..."
  5. ^ a b Philippine Daily Inquirer, 13-04-2013, via Asia News Network, "Costumes galore". Archived from the original on 2013-06-01. Retrieved 10 July 2014.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link), " of indigenous and modern costumes ..."
  6. ^ a b Walter Ang, Philippine Daily Inquirer, March 23rd, 2013, Philippines hosts World Costume Festival 2013, Accessed July 10, 2014, "...Preparations are under way for the World Costume Festival (WCF) 2013.."
  7. ^ a b ERNEST GONZAGA, FilAm Star, Vigan’s Binatbatan Festival of Arts, Accessed July 10, 2014, "...jubilant colors ... indigenous loom-weaving and tourism industry. ..body-painting competition,...."
  8. ^ Efren S. Ramos Jr. with Yhandie Tacuban, The Ilocos Times, 2013, World Costume Festival 2013 held at the Heritage City: GMA Network as official media partner, Accessed July 10, 2014, " costume designs for live performances on festivals, events, theatre and multimedia...."
  9. ^ Glen Santillan, Escape Manila, Day 28 of PHL50, Accessed July 10, 2014
  10. ^ a b c MST Lifestyle, May. 18, 2013, Manila Standard Today, The Philippines IN costume, Accessed July 10, 2014, "...cobblestone avenues ... people donning costumes from the country’s historic past....kaleidoscopic event ... curtain-raiser to the World Stage Design Festival to be held in September in Cardiff, Wales."
  11. ^ April 29, 2013, Ilocos Daily, World Costume Festival Grand Parade - Vigan, Accessed July 10, 2014, "..2013 Grand Parade was successfully held yesterday. It was attended by more than 20 international delegates...."

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