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In photos: Politicians, celebrities don Pinoy designers, fabrics on SONA 2023 red carpet |

Fashion and Beauty

In photos: Politicians, celebrities don Pinoy designers, fabrics on SONA 2023 red carpet

Kristofer Purnell -
In photos: Politicians, celebrities don Pinoy designers, fabrics on SONA 2023 red carpet
From left: Celebrity couple Heart Evangelista and Sen. Chiz Escudero; Congressman Richard Gomez and his wife, Ormoc Mayor Lucy Torres-Gomez
Chiz Escudero via Instagram; / Kristofer Purnell

MANILA, Philippines — Michael Leyva designs take center stage as politicians and celebrities walked the red carpet for President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.'s State of the Nation Address (SONA) 2023.

But while the Filipino designer was a favorite among personalities this year, many of the attendees also came in ensembles by Filipino craftsmen using indigenous textiles and materials.

For the Senate session and group picture prior to the SONA, Senator and Presidential sister Imee Marcos donned an embroidered modern lilac terno with unusual three-fourths sleeves, contrasted against a pencil mini skirt.

She punctuated her look with a matching handbag and purple pointed stilettos.

Later on, Imee, elder sister of the president, showed off her indigenous attire and traditional tattoos of a snake, dog, and many others, explaining that Filipino tattoos aren’t just decorative but have "to be earned.”

Fellow senator Nancy Binay donned a powder blue handwoven Filipiniana designed by Randy Ortiz.

Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda, a staunch advocate of Filipino textiles and indigenous wear, shared on Instagram the inspiration behind her outfit.

"As we open the 2nd Regular Session of the 19th Congress today, we take pride in wearing our Philippine textiles. I wore an old 20-year-old pinya liniwan hand embroidered top designed by Filipina fashion designer and heritage conservationist Patis Tesoro, hand embroidered by the women of Lumban, Laguna, wore Marikina made shoes by entrepreneur and shoemaker Tish Sevilla, and a colorful bag by young talented designer Carissa Cruz-Evangelista," she shared.

"Wearing local clothing and supporting msme are ways we can celebrate the unique and intricate local fabrics and products carefully crafted by our artisans," she added, breaking the monotony of her all-neutral, Bohemian Filipiniana with a coloful box bag.

Senator Risa Hontiveros vouched to "support local" in a traditional Filipiniana highlighting Filipino weaving traditions, designed by Joel Acebuche. 

Senator Grace Poe wore a black and white number by Leyva, who she said, is a friend of her child.

Leyva also designed:

  • a white Terno for Binay,
  • a white and blue modern Terno for senator Koko Pimentel's wife Kathryna Yu-Pimentel;
  • an Ecru Piña Filipiniana dress with flower cutout details for Senator Allan Peter Cayetano's wife, Mayor Lani Cayetano;
  • a draped Filipiniana gown with floral applique details for Angelica Alita Revilla, Binibining Pilipinas 2016 1st runner-up and Cavite 1st district Representative Jolo Revilla's wife;
  • a french lace white tasseled couture Filipiniana gown for Congresswoman Len Alonte, Representative of Biñan's lone congressional district since 2016; 
  • and a white draped modern Filipiniana for Senator Mark Villar’s wife, Atty. Emmeline Aglipay Villar.






Also wearing Michael Leyva was actress Heart Evangelista, wife of Senator Chiz Escudero.

Related: Heart Evangelista ready for SONA 2023 wearing 'banig' gown

Aglipay-Villar later changed to a Hispanic-era-looking Terno by London-based Filipino designer Lesley Mobo.

Mobo shared his yellow hand-embroidered Piña Terno design for First Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos.


A post shared by Lesley Mobo (@lesleymobo)

Meanwhile, Geraldine Roman wore a Terno set by designer Paul Cabral in orange, the Bataan 1st District Representative's favorite color.

As an ode to the upcoming Christmas season, actress and TV host KaladKaren wore a “puto bumbong-inspired” Filipiniana designed by Martin Bautista. 

Among the last people on the red carpet were Sen. Raffy Tulfo, his wife Cong. Jocelyn Tulfo, their son Cong. Ralph Tulfo, Congressman Richard Gomez and his wife, Ormoc Mayor Lucy Torres-Gomez, and host-comedienne KaladKaren.

From left: Actress Karla Estrada with KaladKaren Purnell

Also making a statement were ACT Teachers Rep. France Castro, who wore an attire calling for significant salary increases for teachers, nurses, government employees and other workers. Her Filipiniana Terno was designed and hand-painted by artist Michael Joselo and an arts teacher from Manila.

Assistant House Minority Leader and Gabriela Women Rep. Arlene Brosas described her Filipiniana outfit as the public’s opposition to the controversial Maharlika Investment Fund.

— Reports from Deni Rose M. Afinidad-Bernardo

RELATED: LIVE: Marcos' State of the Nation Address 2023

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