Culture And Fashion

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Monica Verallo is a well-loved television host of UNTV’s Good Morning Kuya. She loves travelling and exploring new places, trying out new things, and living a life beyond boundaries.

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Culture And Fashion 2

A Modern Take on Ethnic Style

The recently concluded second State of the Nation Address or SONA of President Rodrigo Duterte made news all over the country. Different opinions and insights were heard, some in favor of the administration while some were not. But if there’s one thing that would probably get a unanimous vote from both sides, it’s the fact that this SONA was one of the most unique and ethnical in theme in Philippine history.

A Comfortable Life For All

As announced by the President himself, the theme for this year’s SONA was “A Comfortable Life For All”. While the theme pertained to the speech of the President, this was also applied to the dress code of the guests. Departing from tradition and common practice, guests walked the red carpet in simple Barong and Filipiniana. But what really stood out in this year’s SONA was the abundance of ethnic-inspired, Mindanao patterned outfits among the dignitaries.

Some of the most noted designs were worn by actress Heart Evangelista-Escudero who traded the white Filipiniana she wore at the Senate Hall to a navy blue/gold suit; Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo who wore a pink ethnic-patterned off-shoulder Filipiniana; Senator Loren Legarda who wore Maranao outfits to convey support for Marawi; and Leyte Representative Lucy Torres-Gomez who wore matchy neck pieces with her daughter Juliana. These women, alongside the others who were present during the SONA, showed the whole nation that culture and fashion could be combined and the result would be amazing.

Fusion of culture and fashion

This year’s SONA is a testament on how culture and fashion can be merged without looking offensive or overboard. With the ever evolving trends in the country, it might be a great idea to get a few tips from the event and incorporate some ethnic pieces to your style. Not only does it promote nationality and help our tribes that produce these pieces, but it also gives your personal style a unique touch. Below are some tips on how you can wear ethnic items even on a normal day.

Tops/Blazers – Heart Evangelista-Escudero nailed this one last SONA. She paired an ethnic-patterned blazer with matching solid-colored trousers to avoid being too bold. If you prefer to wear a skirt, a pencil-cut would look great. If you prefer to wear it over a dress, just make sure that the dress is plain. Just remember: patterned top/blazer + plain bottom = amazing look.

Skirt/Sarong – This one may be a little tricky as there are certain ethnic skirts/sarongs that may not be appropriate for all occasions. On the other hand, there are also ethnic skirts/sarongs that can make a great fashion statement if worn properly. The key, again, is to balance the whole look. If the print on the skirt is already too loud, opt for a plain top and preferably a neutral color (black, white,grey). Also, avoid wearing skin-tone/nude tops as it may give a different illusion.

Statement Necklaces/Accessories – Unlike the first two items, statement ethnic necklaces/accessories are more commonly seen among fashion enthusiasts. You can be more playful and adventurous when wearing these but make sure that it’s best to just have one statement piece per outfit to avoid looking like a walking jewelry store.

The richness of our culture and the modernity of fashion can indeed co-exist with the right combination and most importantly, the right attitude.