Ever since he took his oath into office, President Rodrigo Duterte has been taking his promise of making change happen very seriously, and this will also be largely felt in his first State of the Nation Address (SoNA). For the first time ever, there will be a strict implementation of a dress code, and a way simpler one than we're all used to seeing at that. As guests are now required to come in strictly business attire, we bid adieu to the pabonggahan Filipiniana interpretations and the red carpet. Vice President Leni Robredo couldn't have put it better: What’s more important is the speech itself and not the red carpet.
But for now, let's take a look back at all the fasyon SoNa Red Carpet moments in the last few years (will you miss these, or will you not?):
Clockwise from top: Sen. Grace Poe with Brian Llamanzares and Neil Llamanzares, Bayan Muna Representatives Neri Colmenares and Carlos Zarate, ACT Partylist Rep. Antonio Tinio, and Sen. Nancy Binay
Then-Bayan Muna Partylist Rep. Neri Colmenares, Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate, and ACT Partylist Rep. Antonio Tinio sported statement barongs, which contained details and graphics pertaining to their advocacies. Their attire are all both a fashion and political statement, proof that they one can literally wear their advocacies on their sleeves.
Neophyte senators were fashionable in their first SoNA: Sen. Grace Poe decked in a white Rajo Laurel terno updated with an eye-catching gold embroidery detail by Kristel Yulo, while Sen. Nancy Binay went for a teal Randy Ortiz terno with embroidered details. Leyte Rep. Lucy Torres-Gomez, who consistently lands on the best-dressed list, impressed everyone with her dove gray Randy Ortiz terno that complemented her porcelain skin.
Clockwise from top: Heart Evangelista, Kris Aquino, Leyte Rep. Lucy Torres-Gomez with Richard Gomez, and Sen. Nancy Binay
The 2014 SoNA red carpet was probably best remembered in two outfits: Sen. Nancy Binay’s senate session outfit, a Randy Ortiz-designed white barong and patterned bubble hem dress, and Heart Evangelista’s Joey Samson white caged terno. Nancy’s outfit spawned memes over the internet, mocking her overall look. Even if Nancy wore a different Randy Ortiz terno during the SoNA proper, it was her bubble hem dress that are stuck on people’s minds even up to this day.
Heart, on the other hand, caught everyone's attention because of how effortlessly beautiful she looked sporting a modern interpretation of the terno, designed by Joey Samson. Heart’s consistent use of white for her SoNA gowns has placed her among the all-time best dressed on the SoNA red carpet.
Those from the Makabayan bloc, meanwhile, chose to wear peach as their statement in wanting then-President Noynoy Aquino to be impeached. The group decided to walk out prior to PNoy’s SoNA.
Clockwise from top: Heart Evangelista, Tootsy Angara, Sen. Nancy Binay with Jose Benjamin Angeles, and Dawn Zulueta with then-Davao del Norte Rep. Anton Lagdameo Jr.
Learning her lesson from 2014's fashion faux pas, Nancy opted for the more traditional route with an understated royal blue Randy Ortiz terno. Despite this, memes of her terno found their way to the internet; yet, Nancy was flattered for being called Mystique and Maleficent because of her gown. Heart chose a simpler-looking terno that year, and it was Dawn Zulueta’s white Cary Santiago gown that took the spotlight. The winning detail? The oversized, flower-like sleeves, which couldn't have been more perfect for her and former Davao del Norte Rep. Anton Lagmadeo Jr., attended last SoNA appearance.
Kris Aquino also won in the style department, decked in a turquoise blue Filipiniana gown by young designer Michael Leyva, adorned by an heirloom brooch from her mother, former pres. Corazon Aquino. On the other hand, then-Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo chose to skip the red carpet, just like in 2013 and 2014, earning praises from netizens for her decision.
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Artwork by Gio Vibar. Photographs from ABS-CBN News