Filipino fashion designers

Mentioned in our Meet the Bloggers post, Julie and I are both Filipino, and luckily, we live in a city with enough of a community that we can find our favorite foods. There are also a few organizations in the area that practice culture aspects as well as put together events.


Pink Black Floral Richard Papa Dress

I was able to attend a fashion show called Estilo Filipino (Filipino Style) featuring three of the Philippines’s top designers: Richard Papa, Edgar Madamba, and Edgar San Diego. The first designs modeled were by Richard Papa, who offered a variety of styles including modern dresses, swimwear, bridal and traditional Filipino gowns. Papa describes his style of “simple and clean.”


Edgar Madamba origami dress

Edgar Madamba was kind of the median between Papa and San Diego. “[My clothes] are not profound like poetry but then again, I also go off-beat once in awhile…” he says. While he demonstrated a willingness to experiment, most of his designs were on classic terno gowns. Madamba’s originality also ventured to American vintage-inspired dresses.


Edgar San Diego red dress

The most unique designer of the night was Edgar San Diego. Perhaps one of, if not, the most discernible pieces of traditional Philippine attire are the puffed sleeves of a terno dress, sometimes called butterfly sleeves. As a kid, I thought these weren’t particularly fashionable, so I’m ecstatic San Diego doubled down on them!

While it’s exciting to see Filipino fashion designers such as Michael Cinco and Kemit Tesoro gain international acclaim, it’s just as fulfilling to see one’s culture gain appreciation and respect as well. With languages and other pieces of ethnic groups dying out, expression through fashion can take a whole new meaning.

So I’m actually German-ish, too. Do you know of any designers from around there, Hungary, Austria or Romania? Let me know your favorite looks that incorporate your heritage!







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