NSW—‘Language of the Eye’, the latest collection by Sydney-based designer Alberto Barros, won the FOMA Designer of the Year Award, after launching at the Fashions of Multicultural Australia (FOMA) inaugural runway event on 10 March at NANDA\HOBBS Contemporary Art Gallery.
FOMA is the first-ever national initiative that integrates cultures and fosters social cohesion through the universally-binding industry that is fashion. The event saw huge participation from foreign embassies, with ambassadors and consul generals, industry guests, and media all in attendance. Thirteen designers from around the world featured a total of 120 looks showcasing a mix of contemporary and traditional collections.
Barros presented eight pieces that elicited subtle moments of gasps and astonishment throughout, with an applause from the moment the audience cast their sights on the finale gown as it appeared on the runway. “Being witness to Alberto’s runway collection at FOMA was like being in space. The collection left you in a state of awe and gasping for air as each piece entered the runway,” said Mark of Style stylist Fernando Kularatne.
Each garment is ornate with sheike fleurettes, opulent details, luxurious lace and incorporates a subtle element of versatility. This ethereal bridal collection is described by Barros as one that is “based on the idea of inspiring women to celebrate love and being loved, reminding their soul that they are elegant, modest and powerful, and that beauty can also be unspoken”. A Barros Bride walks down the aisle often surpassing expression, sending her audience into a reverie of admiration and speaking to them through the language of the eye.
After being announced as the inaugural FOMA Designer of the Year, Barros remarked, “Winning the award is a blessing to the Alberto Barros team of creative people. It is my gift to every person who supported and prayed for me. To know that God trusted me with this talent is my real reward.”
Alberto Barros was selected by the Philippine Embassy of Australia to represent his home country, the Philippines at the event. “I am very proud of Alberto because he is able to showcase his creativity using the native textiles of the Philippines using natural fibres, such as pineapple, banana and sinamay fibres. He represents the hope of the dwindling number of weavers in the Philippines who work painstakingly with their hands in the hope that their craft will continue to live on, even amidst modernisation and technology,” said Consul General Nina Cainglet of the Philippine Embassy in Canberra.
Alberto Barros offers bespoke garments with a focus on design, quality and versatility. Growing up in a traditional Filipino household, Alberto was surrounded by traditional mastery and the art of handmade crafts, inspiring his couture designs. His focus is on quality and the value of making garments not just as art but also as an heirloom.