by Jonquil Dun
His social media profiles may not be as sound as other designers of his caliber, but the often shy and resolved Mac chose to explode his talent in a different reception every time he lands on a project. Yes, he was just the designer of viral wedding engagement photoshoots of high-profile Muslim nobilities one after another.
The first one was with Congresswoman of the Province of Sultan Kudarat, Princess Raihan Mangudadatu Sakaluran, in September of 2020 whose “Crash Landing on You” themed pre-engagement photoshoot drove the internet head- over- heels for. Mac designed one of the attires she wore at their traditional engagement ceremony.
Three months later, Mac was assigned a task to design another couple of noble lineages between Shari Ampatuan and Datu Pax Mangudadatu. Owing to their Chinese origins, the red gown embroidered with an eagle (see above photo), decorated with thousands of Swarovski crystals, and blue and green foliage set a promising tone to become an iconic work of the designer. The idea of the gown was a collaboration with the bride whose wish is to honor the mother of her groom- Bai Mariam Mangudadatu– whom they called “The Eagle of Mindanao” who is also Mac’s most avid client.
If you go to the designer’s Instagram account, you can easily recognize the muse of his creations. The fashion connection between him and the Governor started the day he made her gown for the 2019 SONA of the Philippine President. Both found a bond in advocating Maguindanaoan culture and art and helping the local weavers gain more markets across the country. The Inaul gown that she wore instantly endeared the press and her colleagues. After that, the Governor is seen mostly dressed in Mac Taug’s.
And that is not the only time that Mac’s design is seen worn by prominent figures. Gloria Diaz, the first Filipina who won Miss Universe also donned a modern Inaul Filipiniana gown by him. He had designed beauty pageant National Costumes as well on several occasions, most often for Miss Earth Philippines.
“I use Inaul because it represents me,” says Mac Taug, during his interview with Aviana Hermawan in Modest Fashion Manila’s “Connected” pre-event sessions.
The Inaul textile is the pride of Maguindanao and the Moro people as a whole. It is the backdrop of their culture and Mac as a Maguindanao himself parades his people’s signature at every chance he gets.
Born as Mohammad Ali Taug started his namesake brand in 2009. Mac got his fashion design training from the Fashion Institute of the Philippines, in Manila. In 2019, he rocked Indonesian runways several times. His designs awed one of the scouts of European fashion agencies and got shortlisted for a fashion program in France last year, but the trip got postponed due to Covid.