Gayak Pambabae

By | March 10, 2021
gayak pambabae
Gayak Pambabae | @intramuros

Gayak Pambabae

The Intramuros Administration Collection on Women’s Fashion

This week’s exhibit features the grooming tools that one may find in a fashionable woman’s dresser. Grooming and glamming-up is a woman’s way of showing the lengths she goes through to take care of herself and keep-up with the trend. More than becoming an object of desire as the desired effect, grooming may be viewed as self-love.

Maria Clara as a Filipina icon is characterized by a conservative fashion sense. She is, however, a product of our colonial past. Before the Spaniards came to the Philippines, women in many islands were bare-breasted. A woman’s gayak (styling) shows society’s conventions and ideals about women in the same way that it shows the statement each woman makes about herself.

In celebration of Women’s Month, Intramuros’ exhibit presents items about women’s fashion from the Intramuros Administration collection, from grooming tools to garments and to the portraits that capture the whole ensemble. They speak about the way a woman in the colonial Philippines presents herself to society, tackling the ideals of beauty and power that come into play

1. Hand Mirror: Sterling silver hand mirror. This is part of a set of grooming tools that bear the letters “A.M and B,” presumably the initials of the owner.

sterling silver hand mirror
Sterling Silver Hand Mirror | @intramuros

2. Lady’s Hairbrush: Sterling silver hairbrush that comes in a set with the hand mirror. The bristles are soft, fine and dense, meant to maimize the natural shine of the hair.

sterling silver hairbrush
Sterling Silver Hairbrush | @intramuros

3. Electric Waver: Manufactured by Fitzgerald Mfg.Co. in Torrington, Connecticut, USA, 115 to 120 volts, 50 watts. Wavy bangs were in fashion during the 1920’s. the second decade of the American colonial period.

electric waver
Electric Waver | @intramuros

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