Just when you think that Filipinas do not know how to strut on the catwalk, Filipinas do not just have the passion to wear designed clothes; Filipinas are natural fashionistas.
Tracing its origins, Filipinos had long since been very innovative and creative in the kind of clothes that they wear. The early settlers wore bahag, a loincloth commonly used by Filipino men before the European colonizers arrived. This is mostly used by indigenous tribes in the mountains, and until now, is still used in the Cordilllera Mountain. But this is not being looked down upon as a lowly garment as it is made of well-chosen materials, woven in intricate designs that are unique with each individual wearing it.
The Barong Tagalog and Baro’t Saya are the country’s national costume. The barong is made of a variety of fabrics like the piña fabric, jusi, and banana fabric. This is worn by men during official and special personal occasions. Nowadays, the barong has now been modernized with the polo barong, “gusot-mayaman” (“gusot” means “wrinkled” and “mayaman” means “wealthy”), linen barongs and shirt-jack barongs.
The baro’t saya is the national dress and is worn by women. This is characterized by having a huge pañuelo or shawl around the shoulders, and the terno, having the butterfly sleeves popularized by former First Lady Imelda Marcos.
As the years passed, the influence of the West and the influence of the East on local fashion has made Filipino fashion an ecclectic one. Some of the popular Filipino fashion designers we have today include Mich Dulce, Rafe Totengco, and Monique Lhuillier.