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DAVAO CITY, Philippines (UPDATED) – It’s a day before the country swears in a new administration into office, and it seems that the incoming President already has his eyes on a final choice for his inaugural barong tagalog.
Duterte’s partner Honeylet Avanceña earlier said that the VIP for Thursday’s (June 30) big day will probably pick his outfit the night before the inauguration.
In total, the President-elect has 12 barongs to choose from. Seven of these designs came from Chardin, a 42-year-old high-end fashion house located in the heart of Davao City.
On Tuesday afternoon, June 28, Duterte had a “final fitting” of a barong designed by Boni Adaza of Chardin.
Adaza said the fabric used for this barong was piña jusi.
“Jusi it’s a synthetic fiber. President Duterte chose this one because he is comfortable wearing this cloth, “ Adaza said in a mix of English and Filipino.
The color base of the barong will be the usual ecru while the details will be in light brown and beige to emphasize the embroidery. Adaza said the embroidery depicts the pattern iconic of the Manobo tribe.
He said he wanted to incorporate the Mindanao minority in the design to represent the other 11 tribes in their region. Adaza said that of all the tribal prints, the Manobo’s are the least intricate, which perfectly depicts Duterte’s knack for simplicity.
Duterte, Avanceña and their daughter Kitty have been one of their most loyal clients. Adaza disclosed that they sometimes make the long-time Davao City mayor’s iconic plaid polo shirts.
Gowns for Honeylet, Kitty
Avanceña’s and Kitty’s gowns were both made by Chardin’s Aries Escarilla. Both were also ordered in rush as Escarilla said Avanceña only ordered for her gown last weekend and Kitty’s just this Monday.
Avanceña already has a Filipiniana made, also by Chardin, after Duterte’s proclamation, while Kitty was eyeing to wear a simple white dress. Escarilla said he does not know the reason behind the rush order for Kitty’s dress. (READ: Kitty Duterte to hold Bible of Duterte’s mother for oath-taking)
Escarilla made a blue green semi-serpentine gown with a yellow lace top for Avanceña. The floor-length dress has no bead works because she wants to keep it simple like Duterte.
Her gown comes with a clutch, locally made in Davao.
Meanwhile, for the 12-year-old presidential daughter, he made a dress with a sweetheart neckline in champagne color. The dress’ skirt is in pencil cut caped with an A-line skirt at the back.
He said the design intends to reflect Kitty’s coming-of-age.
Elizabeth Zimmerman and Inday Sara’s gowns
The Filipiniana-inspired gowns of Duterte’s estranged wife, Elizabeth Zimmerman and their daughter, incoming Davao City Mayor Inday Sara Duterte were made by another Davao-based designer, Silverio Anglacer Jr.
Zimmerman’s gown in pastel pink has a detailed kimona, while Sara’s royal blue gown has an origami-like detail on top.
Anglacer said the mother and daughter are his loyal clients. He said he has designed several gowns for them in the past, especially for Sara, who had already served as Davao City mayor before.
Anglacer also designed the inauguration outfits of Sara’s husband and kids, and and for Baste’s daughter.
Meanwhile, Duterte is set to fit another barong Wednesday, June 29, one brought to Davao from Cebu, according to Honeylet.
All eyes are on Duterte’s barong, not only because it’s for his inauguration, but because he so rarely wears one. Duterte has complained in several speeches about the tendency of barong fabric to feel “itchy” on his skin.
People are now also wondering if he will be rolling up the sleeves of his barong, as he often does with his other long-sleeved tops.
At the second presidential debate, for example, he rolled up his barong sleeves and wore jeans.
For many, Duterte’s barong is not only a wardrobe choice but a sign that he is ready to take on some of the traditions that come with the presidency. – With reports from Pia Ranada/Rappler.com