The holiday season is here and one can feel its magic in the air. People are kinder, children are happier, and everything is just beautiful and full of joy – the joy of Christmas, which cannot be compared to any other.
Last weekend had the honor to be invited to the Filipino-American Association Christmas Extravaganza, meet interesting people, and basically learn a totally new culture with a very interesting history. I am always thrilled to get as much as I can from life and its events, and especially learn everything my brain can retain and then share.
As I was walking and taking pictures in the beautiful ballroom, I noticed a very interesting thing. The Filipino ladies were wearing some beautiful gowns, very exquisite and different. Yet, their attire didn’t send my mind to The Philippines at all, instead, I was taken to the passionate Spain, the Flamingo dancers. I wasn’t quite sure why this was happening (Asian style is a bit different then the European one) until I asked. I enjoyed a short history lesson on the spot. The dresses were indeed the traditional Filipino and they resembled the Spanish ones because, in fact, they were Spanish. Back in 1542 Ruy Lopez de Villalobos named the islands of Leyte and Samar, Felipinas, in the honor of King Philip the 2nd of Spain. The islands were actually discovered by Ferdinand Magellan in 1521 and were proclaimed Spanish islands. After the Spanish-American war, the islands have been ceded to US in 1898 (See The Treaty of Paris) and have been recognized as an independent state only in 1946. A very tumultuous history and rich culture. Of course, after ~300 years of Spanish colonization, one would expect some strong cultural influences. This explains everything about the Spanish feel of the Filipino party.
Let’s talk about Filipino fashion. As I already mentioned, the gown were quite striking because of a very unique detail: the sleeves that look like little wings. That’s a modernization of the Maria Clara dress and is referred as “terno”. In my opinion, this is a very beautiful style that can take your fashion imagination faraway and the “wing” detail is very creative and feminine. Maria Clara gown originated from the “baro’t saya”, which consisted of a loose, long sleeved blouse, worn over a wide, long skirt.
Love to learn about different fashion history and details that outlived the ages. I have to write a post about the history of the shoes. It’s absolutely mind-blowing.
As for me, I chose to wear a modernized fringed dress that reminds me of The Roaring 20s. The dress is very feminine and elegant and the gold threads make it perfect for a Christmas party. Love the movement of the dress when dancing.
Wishing everyone Happy Holidays!
WHAT I WEAR?
SHOES: GIANNI BINI
CLUTCH: J. SIMPSON