Simplicity defines Marcos fashion for inaugural  

Female police officers take part in a simulation exercise in front of the National Museum yesterday to prepare for the inauguration of presidentelect Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on June 30.
Krizjohn Rosales

MANILA, Philippines — A very simple barong in jusi with only geometric lines for president-elect Bongbong Marcos. A simply elegant terno with only a whisper of chiffon for first lady Lisa Araneta-Marcos.

These simple designs by Pepito Albert may well be the defining metaphor for the lifestyle of the incoming administration.

“Bongbong and Lisa are so easy to work with because they know what they like,” says Pepito, who was a classmate of Lisa in Business Management at Ateneo University.

After college, Albert would often meet up with the couple in Los Angeles and in New York where Lisa went for law studies.

“Lisa was a fun and smart classmate,” says Pepito, who recalls that Lisa would often tease him for sketching designs for their teachers whenever he was bored.

For the inaugural tomorrow, Albert also designed a piña gown with just a simple drape for presidential sister Irene Marcos Araneta, who has always been a regular client.

It was Albert who did the designs when Irene’s son Luis Araneta married Xandra Rocha.

The well-respected Albert, now hailed as an iconic figure in Philippine fashion, lived abroad for 15 years as he studied fashion in Los Angeles as well as Paris.

His designs have been featured in Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, W and Elle.

He returned to the Philippines in 1991, after which he was part of an ASEAN fashion show in Manila where CNN’s Elsa Klensch gave him a standing ovation.

After a hiatus, cancer warrior Albert is designing again.

’I need to do something positive to fire my creative energy once more,I says the sometimes moody but always ebullient and witty designer.

His wish is “for Philippine fashion to be a legitimate industry again and regain global recognition.”

(Note: As of press time, Lisa Marcos may wear another optional design.)

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