Malacañang has tapped designers Albert Andrada, Rajo Laurel and Randy Ortiz to create Filipino-inspired outfits for Southeast Asian visiting heads of state, dialogue partners and spouses who will attend the special gala celebration tonight hosted by President Duterte.
Andrada, known for dressing Dubai royalty, designed barong made of piña cocoon that would be worn by all male world leaders attending the 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Summit and Related Summits.
The shirts, he said, will also have buttons that carry the Asean logo.
One interesting detail is how the designer christened each barong with a Filipino quality to match the personality of the leader who would wear it.
US President Donald Trump, for example, will wear a barong dubbed “Matipuno (robust)” while Mr. Duterte’s piece is called “Maharlika (nobility).” Russian President Vladimir Putin’s barong is called “Marangal (honorable).”
Though each barong carries a unique embroidered design, Andrada told Lifestyle all the shirts followed the traditional button-down silhouette of the barong Tagalog “but with a little darker shade” compared to the classic off-white hue.
“I didn’t make use of a more modern (design), I stayed (true) to the typical Filipino barong because I want the spirit of the Filipino na mas feel,” he said in a phone interview.
The decision to “bestow” his creations with local qualities is Andrada’s attempt to make the rest of the world “more familiar with the terms we use… to describe the Filipino.”
A list provided by Andrada’s staff included the names of the barong provided for all participants: Australia, Makatao; Brunei, Magiting; Cambodia, Magalang; Canada, Mapagkawanggawa; China, Masigasig; European Union, Mapagmasid; India, Maliksi; Indonesia, Mapagbigay; Japan, Mapagkumbaba; Laos, Maamo; Malaysia, Maginoo; South Korea, Magiliw; Singapore, Mahinahon; Thailand, Mapayapa; Timor Leste, Matiwasay; United Nations, Mapagsilbi; and Vietnam, Mahusay.
Andrada also did the floor-length gowns of the First Ladies of Singapore (Mutya) and South Korea (Mahinhin).
Ortiz, in a separate interview, told Lifestyle he was assigned to design outfits for Myanmar President Htin Kyaw and some Southeast Asian First Ladies.
Ortiz offered fashion illustrations showing gowns for the women that were inspired by tropical flowers.
For the First Lady of Malaysia, for example, Ortiz made a red-orange long dress with tailored sleeves and a closed neckline embroidered with a chrysanthemum pattern.
Ortiz gave the First Lady of Myanmar two designs made of teal piña cloth inspired by the sampaguita, while an emerald-green gown with bougainvillea embroidery awaits the First Lady of Indonesia.
Ortiz is also set to hold a special fashion show tomorrow (Monday) at the Champagne Room of the Manila Hotel for the First Ladies accompanying heads of state to the ongoing summit.