How Inclusivity and Androgynous Fashion Helped Barong for Women | Tygie

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How Inclusivity and Androgynous Fashion Helped Barong for Women

by AyamAugust 13, 2019

The Barong Tagalog is one of the most iconic pieces of fashion in the Philippines. It is one of the country’s national attires along with the Baro’t Saya. Over the years, it has become the primary symbol of Filipino Men’s fashion, being used for formal events such as weddings, celebrations, international events, and even during graduations. While it has become standard formalwear for Filipino men, inclusivity has helped push Filipino fashion toward a more progressive direction with the introduction of modern Filipiniana styles such as the barong for women.

It has also been worn by some of the country’s most influential and important figures and international personalities, which include Philippine Presidents, foreign politicians that visited the country during international events, some of the biggest and most recognizable names in Filipino television and cinema, accomplished athletes,  and foreign celebrities that have embraced the warmth and hospitality of Filipino culture.

Filipino fashion has long been focused on enhancing traditional aspects and designs and only recently has pushed towards creating a new modern identity that promotes an inclusive environment. With the country pushing towards integrating modern concepts into traditional culture, styles like barong for women represent the steps that have been taken towards diversity.

Barong for Women: A New Wave in Filipiniana Fashion

When it comes to Filipiniania fashion, it has always long been constrained by traditional gender roles which have influenced the direction of how most designs are created. This led to designers initially focusing on enhancing the traditional design without pushing the envelope towards progressiveness. While traditional Filipiniana fashion has been praised across the world for its ingenuity, clean form, and elaborate designs, inclusivity has remained an issue that was not addressed until only recently.

Barong design has remained mostly the same over the years, with most of the alterations to the standard style being introduced during the late 19th and early 20th

century. Since then, the barong has constantly changed with the times, incorporating more colors and new designs that enhanced the traditional style to incorporate it into the modern context. Despite some changes, the classic Barong Tagalog design has remained mostly similar to what was introduced during the Spanish Colonial Period. 

The 21st century became a crucial turning point for the Barong Tagalog, as designers across the country created fresh new Barong Tagalog designs that women are able to wear. This new wave of Filipiniana fashion revolutionized how designers approach traditional Filipino dresses, influencing younger designers and companies to push the envelope and establish a new norm in modern Filipiniana fashion that promotes expression and diversity. 

One of the factors that has helped push Filipino fashion towards a more inclusive environment was the creation of barong for women. It helped challenge the gender norms that are present in Filipiniana fashion and went beyond the traditional set of Filipina clothing like the Baro’t Saya. Long considered to be clothing that is exclusive for men, the modern barong has evolved into formal wear that women can wear as well. 

Modern designs of the barong for women also embraced designs that challenge the classic Filipino conservativeness and introduced design philosophies that are less restrictive and are a more ideal representation of the modern Filipina woman. Another aim of revolutionizing the traditional Filipino Barong Tagalog is to make wearing it more popular again. 

While it is still common to see the Barong Tagalog used in a wide variety of formal events and national celebrations, its use beyond those places remains seldom at best. While it is still the foremost form of formalwear in the country, seeing barong for women being used in places like work will only help make it a more viable clothing option. As global fashion trends continue to influence what people wear, it has become more challenging to promote Filipiniana to a younger generation. 

This is why modernizing traditional Filipino fashion will not only help improve its appeal to a wider audience but also help it remain relevant for many years to come while still retaining some of the core concepts and elements that define the best of Filipiniana fashion. The barong for women is truly a step forward towards making this a possibility, as it creates a fashion-forward approach that knows its roots. This provides a strong foundation for growth and continued innovation in style and design. 

Androgyny in Fashion

One of the major factors that helped push both Filipiniana and modern fashion into a new direction is the introduction of androgynous fashion, which became one of the biggest and most important fashion movements during the 20th century. The movement can be considered as a response to the need to segregate men’s and women’s fashion to restrictive norms. While the history of androgyny might have originated even before the 20th century, the contemporary period helped popularize the movement, becoming a mainstream trend that was led and influenced by some of the most influential designers, artists, musicians, and celebrities of the time.

From the likes of Coco Chanel setting the trend of women wearing pants, the Peacock revolution taking the United Kingdom by storm, to grunge fashion defying gender conformity, androgyny in fashion has remained present and evolving throughout the world and continues to challenge the gender norms that have remained in culture and society. 

The movement aims to eliminate these norms and allow men and women to wear different clothes and styles as they please without prejudice and challenge the traditional norms of the ideal male and female form. This also helped push for more innovative and ingenious designs as well, as more designers are focused on experimenting with what can and can’t work instead of having to conform to established concepts and philosophies. 

In the Philippines, androgynous fashion has recently become more popular, with some of the country’s best designers breaking the traditional mold and creating fresh and new designs that incorporate inclusivity and diversity while also infusing traditional Filipino patterns, symbolism, and colors. Recent fashion events in the country have also become a platform for promoting androgynous fashion. From male models donning womenswear to women wearing men’s clothes and Barong Tagalog, androgyny has constantly pushed towards mainstream media and culture in the country. 

The clash between modern and traditional design philosophies in fashion has long been a source of debate, and with more designers pushing towards innovation and experimentation, modern Filipiniana has nowhere to go but up.

How Inclusivity Changed Fashion in the Philippines

Inclusivity has long been one of the main points of concern over the past few decades, especially with the push towards women’s rights and gender equality changing the world’s perspective to create an environment that promotes healthier relationships and an improved understanding of the diversity that has long been present across the world. 

Promoting inclusivity is not without its challenges, as discrimination and stereotyping have long been some of the biggest obstacles towards creating that understanding environment. It is important to provide people with the necessary tools and platforms that will allow them to express their identity, and one of the best forms of expression is through fashion. 

Fashion has long been a way for societies and cultures to express themselves, developing into an art form that not only promotes human expression but also their cultural identity and their overall identity as a person. Fashion is meant to represent the person wearing it, which is why inclusivity has become a very important element towards helping more people embrace their identity. For women in the Philippines, inclusivity and defying established gender norms has long been a challenge, as prejudice, stereotyping, and discrimination remain widespread. 

This can be even more evident through clothing, as conservatism is the accepted norm, further limiting women’s fashion to only a select type of style and design. This makes the overall fashion feel very restrictive, leaving little to no room to fully express themselves without facing harsh criticism. This led designers to create fashion that would not only help women express themselves and promote inclusivity but would also help them feel comfortable in their own skin. 

This change in perspective allowed more people to take positive steps toward changing the established norm that has been prevalent in Filipina fashion. Inclusivity has not only empowered women into giving them more ways to express themselves through their clothing but has also helped change how women’s fashion is viewed in Filipino society. 

With an increasingly diverse set of styles and designs to choose from, modern Filipina fashion has evolved from simply conforming to traditional norms to becoming more liberating and progressive. While the steps towards inclusivity still have a good amount of challenges remaining ahead, the innovations and accomplishments that have been done so far will only bode well for the years to come. 

Modern Filipiniana and Barong for Women by Tygie

Filipiniana fashion has come a long way over the past few years, from enhancing and innovating existing traditional styles to pushing the envelope by creating designs that promote diversity, inclusivity, and freedom of expression. This has led to modern Filipiniana styles that exude the best balance between comfort and design. 

For the modern Filipina, Tygie offers the best and widest selection of Filipiniana clothing that provides a great blend between classic sensibilities and modern innovations and ingenuity. From barong for women to a modernized take on traditional Filipina dresses such as the Baro’t Saya, Tygie provides the best in formalwear that is not only great for a wide variety of events and celebrations but is also great for wearing in places like work or even when going out. 

Founded by Teodora Gonzales, Tygie aims to elevate the Filipiniana outfit to more than just being a national costume and become something that can be both fashionable and functional for work and day-to-day events. Tygie Filipiniana-wear can be worn in combination with a variety of modern styles, allowing you to create your own unique modern Filipina look that proves how traditional Filipiniana can be an outfit that is still fashionable in the modern age. The goal is to promote Filipina fashion and clothing that make women feel empowered and comfortable. For Tygie, Filpiniana gives dignity and respect to the wearer, regardless of your gender, social standing, race, religion, or age. 

Led by a team of talented designers who delicately craft and style each dress down to the smallest detail, Tygie makes use of natural materials to hand-craft their dresses and produce intricate beadwork, floral design, and classic Filipino embroidery techniques. These materials and techniques adhere to Filipiniana fashion sensibilities while also supporting local producers and artisans as well as their respective communities. With valuable time invested in crafting each dress to the highest quality, you will be assured that you are getting the best value and style available. 

Tygie is home to a wide selection of affordable and luxury outfits. These products can be classified into two categories: Heirloom and Filipina Wear. Heirloom is a series of outfits that hearkens back to the classic Terno fashion and is an outfit that can be passed onto future generations. Filipina Wear, on the other hand, offers a series of outfits that the modern Filipina would be able to mix and match with both casual and formal wear, giving you a wide selection of options that will surely help you stand out and feel more empowered. 

The modern Filipina is one who is strong-willed, confident, and knows how to get the most out of life. Tygie aims to support the modern Filipina by giving them clothes that allow them to express themselves and help them become the ideal woman that they want to be. By choosing Tygie, you are supporting a brand that is committed to providing the best for the Filipina and pushing Filipiniana fashion in a new and more progressive direction. 

Whether it’s a Filipiniana barong or a Filipiniana gown, Tygie offers a wide selection of clothing for the modern Filipina. If you want to take a look at some of our quality hand-crafted and well-designed products, you can check out our products page or contact us for inquiries on our services. Click here to get started!

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