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A ‘10-year-old barong,’ ‘Cordillera tribute,’ lots of Michael Leyva

  • August 1, 2023
Sona 2023 red carpet fashion: A ‘10-year-old barong,’ ‘Cordillera tribute,’ lots of designer gowns

Koko Pimentel, Imee Marcos, Heart Evangelista, Arlene Brosas. | Images: HANNAH MALLORCA/INQUIRER.net, Facebook/Senator Imee Marcos, Facebook/Gabriela partylist

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s second State of the Nation Address (Sona) was a special event for lawmakers and distinguished guests, but it was also a venue for them to showcase their fashion statements.

This year’s Sona marked the return of more striking garbs following several years of staid and somewhat austere fashion due to the economic crunch that followed the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. Most of the ensembles were Filipino made, while some guests took pains to upcycle old gowns for the environment.

International couturier Michael Leyva is probably this year’s most sought-after designer as most of the female guests’ Filipiniana terno were made by him. Among his clientele were Senator’s Nancy Binay, Grace Poe and actress-fashionista Heart Evangelista, wife of Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero.

Designer looks

Binay went for a classic, yet understated white organza Filipiniana, her mother’s jewelry, and a white Cebu-made clutch bag. Meanwhile, Grace Poe chose to go for a black-and-white traditional ensemble.

Senator Nancy Binay. Image: Courtesy of Senator Nancy Binay's office

Senator Nancy Binay. Image: Courtesy of Senator Nancy Binay’s office

Senator Grace Poe. Image: Courtesy of Senator Grace Poe's office

Senator Grace Poe. Image: Courtesy of Senator Grace Poe’s office

Fresh from the GMA Gala last July 22, Evangelista’s intricate ensemble is a seeming 180-degree turnaround from her Maison Schiaparelli avant-garde outfit from the night before. This time, she wore an ivory-white jumpsuit by designer Ivarluski Aseron when she accompanied her husband for the reopening of the Senate session on Monday morning. Escudero, meanwhile, kept it simple and sleek in his Paul Cabral barong.

(Rightmost) Senator Francis "Chiz" Escudero with his wife, actress-socialite Heart Evangelista. Image: Courtesy of the Office of Senator Francis Escudero.

(Rightmost) Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero with his wife, actress-socialite Heart Evangelista. Image: Courtesy of the Office of Senator Francis Escudero.

Evangelista changed into a gown of a similar color when she and Escudero walked the Batasan red carpet. This time,

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