Duterte, ASEAN VIPs to wear Mindanao designs at gala dinner
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The artistry and culture of Mindanao will take centerstage in the attire to be worn by Southeast Asian leaders and their wives during the gala dinner of the 30th ASEAN Summit and Related Meetings.
Palace Social Secretary Analyn Tolentino told Rappler that all these VIPs will be wearing "Mindanao-inspired attire" by top Filipino designers.
President Rodrigo Duterte and the 7 other heads of government will be wearing the traditional barong designed by Rajo Laurel, featuring Mindanao designs and craftsmanship.
Myanmar State Counsellor and Foreign Minister Aung San Suu Kyi and the wives of Southeast Asian heads of government will wear outfits by Filipino designer Rhett Eala.
Chief of Presidential Protocol Ambassador Marciano Paynor Jr confirmed that Duterte's common-law spouse, Honeylet Avanceña, will be attending the summit. She is also the "official hostess" of the leaders' wives.
The Rhett Eala and Rajo Laurel creations will be worn during the gala dinner to be hosted by Duterte at Sofitel.
The ladies' clothes, which Tolentino clarified are not gowns, are already with the staff of the leaders' spouses, said Eala. Suu Kyi's, as her country's representative to the summit, will be wearing a design different from those of the spouses.
It's a tradition in ASEAN Summits that clothes inspired from the culture of the host country will be worn by the leaders and their spouses. This was the case at the summit held last year in Laos.
It's no surprise that Mindanao artistry and culture would receive attention even in clothes to be worn by the ASEAN Summit VIPs. Duterte is the first Philippine President from Mindanao. His common-law spouse Honeylet also lives in Davao City.
Laurel and Eala are both well-known Filipino designers, known for dressing celebrities and officials. Laurel's barong designs are a favorite for officials attending events like the State of the Nation Address.
Eala was recently in news headlines for designing the Mindanao-inspired national costume of Miss Universe Philippines 2016 Maxine Medina.
Medina's glittering gold gown was inspired by a Mindanao boat called a vinta. The headpiece that she wore with it, studded with South Sea pearls, supposedly cost around P1 million.
On Saturday, while the leaders hold meetings in PICC, Honeylet will fulfill her role as hostess of their wives by bringing them to the National Museum for a tour, to be followed by lunch. – Rappler.com