History of Philippine Fashion

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Introduction
For several centuries, during the colonial period, the Philippines has been severely immersed in foreign influences particularly by Spain, Japan and America. Consequently their culture, lifestyle, customs and fashion sense has been mainly defined by influences from these countries as well. However, before the colonization, Philippines has yet to establish its own identity; thus what became the Philippines’ foundation for instituting their nationalistic character was basically colonially inspired. Through the teachings and traditions shared by the colonizers to the country, the Philippines grew to be a very “foreign” country. The Filipino people however did try to determine their own Filipino character but not without incorporating the foreign characteristics they have acquired during the hundreds and hundreds of years they experienced with foreign powers. The Spanish Colonial Era was the longest colonization the Philippines was subjected under. Naturally, the country has picked up a lot of the Spaniard influences. Three hundred years under Spain’s rule brought about alterations and innovations to the Filipino way of life. Before the Spaniards came, the Filipino fashion style of the sixteenth century was mainly simple yet functional. During the Pre-Spanish colonization, the Filipino people were dressed up only with collarless shirts called “canga” and wraps known as “bahag” for their bottoms. However once the Spaniards came to the country, modifications were made on the Filipino fashion sense. What is now known as the Barong Tagalog is the result of the evolution of the “canga”. Laces, trimmings and adornments and collars were added to the simple collarless shirt. Embroidery and buttons also became apparent on the “canga”. While the “bahag” was then replaced with trousers. This is also the same for the female costume counterpart of the Barong Tagalog, the Baro’t Saya. The Spanish influence on the Baro’t Saya are seen in the designs and patterns of inticate embroidery. The Spanish colonial Era also introduced the use of hats and shoes as fashion staples in the Filipino style during the 1500’s to the 1800’s. After the Spaniards, the Americans were the next most influential factor in the evolution of the true Filipino style. Since the Barong Tagalog and Baro’t Saya were not practical to wear on a tropical country like the Philippines. The Filipino people opted to follow the American style of comfort. Thus, departing from the glamorous and voluminous silhouette of the Spanish. Layers and embroidery were lessened and the kinds of fabrics used were more comfortable like pure cotton. (Te, 2007). Because of these colonizations, the true Filipino fashion style ceased to exist. Now, at present the Filipino people are still struggling to establish their own fashion identity. There is no distinct Filipino fashion style since we are mainly dictated by foreign influences that dominates the fashion world; similarly the pioneers of Philippine fashion industry are also subjected to the same international influence. Thesis Statement

There is no distinct Filipino fashion style since we are mainly dictated by foreign influences that dominates the fashion world; similarly the pioneers of Philippine fashion industry are also subjected to the same international influence. Defining the Filipino Style

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...
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