Whether it is to heed the call of the Church to be more “sensitive” to the plight of the poor, or the fashion critics’ harsh critique of flashy and inappropriate attire for the daytime State of the Nation Address (SONA), the Batasang Pambansa red carpet saw simpler gowns in this sixth and final report of President Benigno Aquino 3rd to the Filipino people.
The fashion sidelight that has become part and parcel of every SONA noticeably veered away from the usual heavy glam this year that is more fitting of an evening event, dressing the usual crop of head turners in light and fresher looks on what turned out to be a rainy Monday afternoon.
Not to be missed was the President’s sister, TV and movie celebrity Kris Aquino, who even blogged in detail everything about her stunning Michael Leyva Filipiniana gown. Her trumpet gown, in a very distinct greenish blue pastel shade, is made of piña callado fabric from Laguna and accented with white floral appliques.
Looking very much toned down in design was Sen. Nancy Binay’s dark blue terno, which was made by Randy Ortiz, who was also behind the Vice President’s daughter’s infamous “hot air balloon” gown in the 2014 SONA. Cool as ever when it comes to her bashers, the lady senator was first to poke fun at herself, and described her outfit as “boring.”
Sen. Loren Legarda, an avid supporter of local fashion and textile, stuck to her signature design of cultural representation by choosing a piña top first worn by her late mother. It is designed by Marina Antonio.
Turning heads in immaculate white gowns at the red carpet were SONA fashion favorites Heart Evangelista in Inno Sotto, Dawn Zulueta in Cary Santiago, and Sen. Grace Poe in Paul Cabral.
Poe, in an interview with dzMM Radio elaborated on her gown’s design, which took the form of palay-inspired gold and brown beadwork on her butterfly sleeves. The popular senator related it is an homage to the country’s agriculture industry.
Wearing livelier pieces were Sen. Cynthia Villar in a turquoise gown, and Saranggani Vice Gov. Jinkee Pacquiao in a pink Francis Libiran gown with bright green appliqués.
Meanwhile, a very interesting and fashion forward number is Tootsie Angara’s shiny silver terno, with a cropped top that slightly showed her flat belly as she moved. The wife of Senator Sonny Angara thanked Rajo Laurel on Instagram for “modernizing the ethnic produce” of Mindanao through the gown, which she wore to what she called one of her “wife duties.”
The height of elegance stood finally stood out in the intricately beaded black and white terno of Sen. JV Ejercito’s statuesque wife Cindy Ejercito’s designed by Filipiniana favorite Paul Cabral. Despite the generous beadwork, the gown was still an appropriate daytime ensemble as they were mostly done in pearls.
Also seen in sleek black was Sen. Pia Cayetano in a terno by Mia Urquico, and accented with white down the back.
Overall, to see these ever glamorous albeit toned down outfits, it will be very interesting to find out what Senator Miriam Santiago’s reaction will be in the days to come, following her call for a “SONA uniform” to be worn by all in 2013 because of the “thoughtless extravagance” of attendees.