The story behind the outfits of Billy, Coleen in Ethiopia

MANILA – The photo shoot of celebrity couple Billy Crawford and
Coleen Garcia in Ethiopia drew flak over the weekend for two
things – one for allegedly being “racist,” and the other for
their use of upholstery fabric for their outfits.

Crawford and Garcia have already
addressed
the former, saying that their photos with locals
were “taken out of context.”

The couple’s stylist, Adrianne Concepcion, has opted to respond
to the latter.

In an interview with the entertainment website
Pep
, Concepcion shared that they have collaborated with
Filipino designers to create Crawford and Garcia’s outfits.

Reacting to a side-by-side comparison of Crawford’s suit and a
large shopping tote owned by a netizen’s mother has gone viral
online, Concepcion said: “Given that we do not have specific
African prints which are native to their region, our local
designers had the creative liberty to render their own
interpretations.” 

“I gave designer Ryan Uson a short brief on the commissioned
suit. I said I wanted it to have earthy green tones in bold
prints to compliment that of Coleen’s, and I think he delivered
well,” she added.

 

Concepcion said Uson “used upholstery fabric, bought from a
very famous fabric shop that most, if not all designers,
frequent for fabric textiles.”

“As I have learned in recent days, the same fabric allegedly
has been used to make a modest-looking bag. I see no fault in
this as the chances of having multiple designers or sewing
enthusiasts use the same fabric here in the country are high,”
she stressed. 

“I personally see it as a show of realized potential of things.
That fabric may very well have been sewn into anything. We saw
its beauty, used it to make a suit, and it turned out great.”

A photo of Garcia’s outfit, meanwhile, has been posted
side-by-side with a reversible placemat bearing the same
design.

To those who made fun of the celebrity couple’s outfits,
Concepcion had this to say: “Instead of celebrating ingenuity
and talent, this news has been used as a vessel for bullying
and hatred.”

“I hope people see the good and even the humor in it.”

BILLY REACTS

Meanwhile, Crawford seems to be unaffected by the issue and
even reposted some of the photos of comparisons to their
outfits on his Instagram page.

In one of the posts, the “It’s Showtime” host said: “All around
pala ang telang ito.”

In another, he addressed the netizens who were able to observe
the similar prints of their designer outfits and ordinary
furniture.

“Seriously, sa lahat ng gumawa nito, salamat binuhay niyo [ang]
katawang lupa namin pero pinatay niyo ang stylist namin!” he
said in jest.

Crawford and Garcia are set to tie the knot this
April
.

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