By Diane Small
The Filipina photographer, artist, businesswoman and designer Joyce Pilarsky left her native country many years ago, to marry the German love of her life.
Whilst living in Germany, she found it difficult to find clothing that reflected her homeland’s fanciful, colourful approach to women’s wear, and so she began designing her own clothing and accessories.
After many compliments on her creations and much encouragement from friends, she opened her eponymous boutique, stocked with cocktail dresses, bridal gowns, accessories and daywear, all with a distinctively Filipina touch.
But there is German influence, too. The EU country with the strictest environmental policies has inspired Joyce to take an eco-approach to her couture: she uses Inabel Iloco, and abaca fibre, from the Ilocos region of the Philippines, as well as pineapple fabric, combined with silks for her collections.
Her accessories are made of eco-friendly pearls, capiz (the outer shell of a mollusk found in the Philippines) and mother of pearl, amongst other natural materials. Most of her work is assembled in the Philippines in ateliers where Joyce helps provide women from her country with training and a regular income.
She may be a former beauty queen, but Pilarsky’s insistence on using ‘green’ materials in her glam creations, and her desire to help improve the lives of women in the Philippines means she’s beautiful inside and out.