Kibitzers hoping to finally see some fashion flair from the women close to President Rodrigo Duterte should be pleased: Daughter Sara Duterte-Carpio and his sons’ partners all wore Cary Santiago, the prominent Cebu designer, to the President’s third State of the Nation Address (Sona) — though they skipped the red carpet.
The President’s former wife, Elizabeth Zimmerman, was also shown in a red Santiago terno.
His partner, Honeylet Avanceña, and their daughter Kitty were also photographed with the President before the Sona. Avanceña was in a green printed terno while his youngest child was in a crimson terno with a high-low hem.
Santiago posted on Instagram photos of his clients, with Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio wearing a royal blue terno with simple side draping.
January, wife of Paolo Duterte, chose a champagne terno with Santiago’s signature origami folds on the bodice.
Baste Duterte’s partner, Kate, had on a cream colored terno with white laser-cut accents, another Santiago signature.
If the skirt-length theory is indicative of the direction the stock market is going, then the rather lackluster red carpet showing at the Sona should be alarming.
The usual pomp seen in past Sona red carpets was missing this year, as if guests just weren’t quite inspired to dress up.
Blending with carpet
Then of course, there were the likes of Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos, who arrived in a somewhat convoluted Rocky Gathercole dress that blended with the red carpet, with tone-on-tone floral sculptural accents on its stylized maria clara sleeves, neckline and backside.
Sen. Loren Legarda wore an empire-waist, ecru-and-black modern Filipiniana with an off-shoulder embroidered top, a variation of the vintage Paul Cabral dress she wore in the morning session.
Off-shoulder was a running theme, with Joy Zapanta, wife of Makati Rep. Monsour del Rosario, also donning a midnight blue dress with a tonal lace top.
Cindy, wife of Sen. JV Ejercito, was in a white tube midi dress, unadorned save for its sleeveless, sheer lace overlay.
Heart Evangelista, wife of Sen. Chiz Escudero, wore an all-white Mark Bumgarner pantsuit with a sweetheart neckline, and a short topper with butterfly sleeves. She wore her hair in a neat bun.
In the morning, Evangelista wore a more feminine, cocktail-length terno with a ball skirt, also in all white. Ciara, daughter of Senate President Vicente Sotto III, wore a similar silhouette with a pink skirt and striped top.
The statuesque Rep. Yedda Romualdez went in all pink, a full-length silk chiffon terno, her hair swept up in a chignon. In the morning, she wore a dove-gray Cary Santiago dress with a folded-bow detail on the bodice.
Another red carpet favorite, Rep. Lucy Torres, also opted for pastel, a lavender modern Filipiniana with floral appliques, by her go-to designer, Randy Ortiz. Another Ortiz client, Sen. Nancy Binay, chose a pale blue terno.
Rep. Geraldine Roman wore the national dress, a cobalt peplum number with a fishtail skirt.
Audrey, wife of Sen. Miguel Zubiri, was in a narrow, champagne midi dress, a modern Filipiniana with embroidered overlay.
Rep. Pia Cayetano paired a batik-print wrap skirt with a black top with frill sleeves.