New York fashion show hails works of autistic artists

/ 03:07 AM October 10, 2015

Hand-painted art works by autistic artists fashioned into eveningwear by designer Anthony Cruz Legarda highlight the creative side of autism. CONTRIBUTED PHOTOS

NEW YORK CITY—Filipino fashion design showcased the work of autistic artists at the Gallery Lobby of the Philippine Center in New York last September 29 as part of celebrations for World Autism Day.

Autism Speaks presented the Fashion Arts Autism Benefit Fashion Show (FAAB) in cooperation with the Philippine Consulate General, Philippine Mission to the United Nations and Autism Hearts Foundation.


Consul General Mario De Leon hailed the program partners in their work that uplifts the lives of persons diagnosed with autism and to increase the public understanding of the condition.

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Detail of a cape pinya (left) with Malang-inspired hand-painted art work by an autistic artist; Eleanor and Consul General Mario De Leon and Lynda Borromeo of Autism Hearts Foundation talk about FAAB plans before the program.

Deputy Permanent Representative of the Philippine Mission to the UN spoke in behalf of Ambassador Lorie Yparraguirre and relayed their preparations for the United Nations World Focus on Autism.


Lynda Borromeo, founder and president of Autism Hearts Foundation Philippines, Inc., a community-based center engaged in the development of support services for children and adults with autism, related the background of FAAB. Kara Reagon of Autism Speaks shared the organization’s accomplishments, achieved through advocacy and community outreach.

Art works hand-painted by autistic children into pinya fabrics fashioned into shawls, wraps, skirts and evening wear by designer Anthony Cruz Legarda were the highlight of the show.

Masterpieces by Filipino National Artists Jose Joya, Vicente Manansala and Mauro Malang, among others served as inspiration for the creations of the autistic artists.

After a tour in Manila, San Francisco, New York and Geneva, the gowns will be put on international auction in April 2016, in time for the celebration of the next World Autism Awareness Day.

The yearlong fashion tour will come full circle in April 2017, with the gowns given to the winning bidders in Manila. According to organizers, the proceeds of the auction will help the participating artists save up for their future.

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TAGS: Anthony Cruz Legarda, Autism Speaks, Consul General Mario de Leon, Fashion Arts Autism Benefit Fashion Show (FAAB), fashion show works of autistic artists, Lynda Borromeo of Autism Hearts Foundation, Philippine Mission to the UN Ambassador Lorie Yparraguirre, United Nations World Focus on Autism, World Autism Day
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