The difference between “Best Dressed” and “Best Dress”: SONA 2013 red carpet saga continues

THE way they wore in last Monday's SONA: Rep. Lenny Robredo, Gel Tupas and Julia Abad. (www.inquirer.net)

THE way they wore in last Monday’s SONA: Rep. Lenny Robredo, Gel Tupas and Julia Abad. (www.inquirer.net)

IT must be cultural, or simply a failure in the way we were taught a second language like English. When we Filipinos hear the words “best dressed,” not a few of us automatically equate the title with “best dress.”

In case you don’t know, there’s a big difference between the two. While the latter refers mainly to the dress or outfit per se, the former involves everything: from the outfit to the wearer, and how she carries it, to the event or occasion the said outfit is worn to.

When in doubt, ask yourself these questions next time. No matter how expensive, beautiful and well made the dress is, does the wearer carry or give justice to it? Or is it a case of the dress “carrying,” even covering up for or eclipsing the wearer?

Implied factors

Not stated, but implied are such factors as the dress’ fit, color, style and propriety (there’s that word, again) in relation to its wearer. Like the look may be all the rage, but is it age-appropriate for her?

Is she wearing the right accessories with it? Is she styled and made up properly to look the part? If red is the new black, is it proper for her to wear it, say, to a funeral where black will always be black?

Style arbiters abroad even go through great lengths to review what their candidates wore within a given period of time to discern whether or not they’re consistent enough to deserve a coveted spot in the best-dressed list.

Again, I go back to the Philippine setting wherein wearers, including some of the country’s acknowledged fashion plates, and their supporters think that it all boils down to a single dress or two, and not the individual’s total sense of style for one to earn a spot in the best-dressed list.

That’s why making up lists, including this one, on the strength of one occasion may be unfair because the women involved are being judged based on a single outfit they wore.

Innate qualities

Unfortunately, a decision has to be made. And if you’re really as stylish as you believe you are, then you should carry those qualities and considerations with you wherever you go.

THE still lovely Dawn Zulueta, wife of Rep. Anton Lagdameo. on the day of the SONA. (see credits above)

THE still lovely Dawn Zulueta, wife of Rep. Anton Lagdameo. on the day of the SONA. (see credits above)

Where’s Dawn?

By the way, a fan of Dawn Zulueta, wife of Rep. Anton Lagdameo, short of saying that the actress deserves a spot on my best-dressed list, is crazy about her look. Perhaps, she should be recognized.

The problem is, I didn’t see her personally nor did any of our photographers capture her in a decent photo while she was seated in the gallery.

If she didn’t deign fashion watchers like us worthy of her presence, how can we deem her worthy of a spot in our best-dressed list? After all, there’s a reason why it’s called the SONA red carpet.

I may be mistaken, but for some reason, she seems to be deliberately avoiding the red carpet come SONA time. Next time, don’t be KJ naman, Mrs. Lagdameo. I’m pretty sure that the place is big enough for you and Rep. Lucy Torres-Gomez. 🙂

You can always do an Erap and an FPJ. Kay Lucy ang north wing, kay Dawn ang south. 😀

Conclusion

Below, as promised, is the conclusion of my best-dressed list.

ACTRESS Heart Evangelista, with power accessory Sen. Chiz Escudero, opts for the simple and formal.

ACTRESS Heart Evangelista, with power accessory Sen. Chiz Escudero, opts for the simple and formal.

O Heart Evangelista – Like Gomez, Evangelista could have gone bling-happy by opting for something shiny, shimmery, splendid. But she wisely toned down these showbiz fallbacks by opting for a simple pleated white terno by Ivarluski Aseron.

Apart from her beautiful face, she came hand in hand with the best accessory there was: one of the most powerful men in the country today in the person of Sen. Chiz Escudero. Power, like money, has a way of making the plain-looking person attractive.

TOOTSY Angara, with husband Sen. Sonny Angara, goes for the off-kilter. (Alanah Torralba)

TOOTSY Angara, with husband Sen. Sonny Angara, goes for the off-kilter. (Alanah Torralba)

O Tootsy Angara – The wife of Sen. Sonny Angara parlayed her preference for off-kilter details to her advantage in a gunmetal gray gazar terno by Randy Ortiz.

Even the terno’s neckline, which was off-shoulder, and rather small sleeves were a bit unusual. But for some unexplained reason the look, including the pleated and ruched details on the gown’s bodice and bustline, worked. Indeed, some women can get away in almost anything.

BETTINA Osmeña, wife of Sen. Serge Osmeña, shows how mature women can do it regally.

BETTINA Osmeña, wife of Sen. Serge Osmeña, shows how mature women can do it regally on Filipiana afternoon. (Alanah Torralba)

O Bettina Osmeña – I now understand why not a few women in the recent SONA were avoiding the beaded-and-embroidered ecru terno route. Although a staple in every Filipiniana-themed event, the look reeks of age and ninang (godmother) fashion.

Well, Osmeña, wife of Sen. Serge Osmeña, has news for them, especially for mature women like her. It need not be that way as she showed everyone in a two-piece piña ensemble in ecru consisting of an embroidered top with a Sabrina neckline and flowing skirt.

The look artfully concealed almost every thing, from those supposedly problem arms to that middle-aged waistline. But like a terno, it showed off Osmeña’s neck and part of her shoulders—usually two of the last body parts, they say, to go.

FORMER Sen. Nikki Coseteng, the queen of DIY fashion is still very much around. (Alanah Torralba)

FORMER Sen. Nikki Coseteng, the queen of DIY fashion is still very much around. (Alanah Torralba)

O Nikki Coseteng – They say there’s nothing Filipiniana with the Indian sari-inspired outfit former Sen. Nikki Coseteng wore to the SONA. Well, so what?

If wearing Filipiniana was compulsory, then the likes of Assunta de Rossi-Ledesma and Sen. Pia Cayetano should have been banned from attending, too.

After all these years, Coseteng, the queen of DIY looks, hasn’t lost her touch in an emerald green and teal silk number she claimed to have designed and combined together herself. If all women were as fashion-savvy as her, then designers, except for the really good ones, would soon find themselves out of business.

(The “bad” ones are next. Get ready for the dessert.) 😛

4 thoughts on “The difference between “Best Dressed” and “Best Dress”: SONA 2013 red carpet saga continues

  1. Thank you Alex for the nice review and comments. Next time i will wear make up to complete the look.

  2. My personal guideline is if you notice how beautiful the woman wearing the dress is, the Woman WINS! But if you notice how fabulous the dress is: Dress-1, Woman-0!

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