Pinoy designers slam Barraza, Araneta over MJ Lastimosa’s ‘cake’ dress

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FILIPINO fashion designers have joined in the clamor for local artists to dress the country’s beauty queens competing internationally under the Bb. Pilipinas Charities, Inc. (BPCI).

This came following the merciless criticisms generated by what many considered as “cake-inspired” national costume of MJ Lastimosa, the country’s representative to the Ms. Universe 2014 pageant.

At the preliminary competition of the Ms. Universe 2014 pageant on January 21, MJ Lastimosa wore a creation of Colombian designer Alfredo Barraza.

Cathy Binag, stylist and chief executive officer of Style and Design Acamedy, issued a searing statement that challenged BPCI founder and chair Stella Araneta to allow Filipino designers to do the job instead of Barraza.

“It is painful to see the country’s representative to the 2014 Ms Universe Pageant at the receiving end of ridicule for wearing what is seen by many as a ghastly National Costume that said nothing about the Philippines’ beautiful culture,” said Binag in a statement posted on Facebook.

Before this, Cebu-based internationally renowned designer Cary Santiago also expressed his disgust over this matter.

“Seeing MJ competing for the title makes me feel proud,” Santiago said on Facebook. “But my sentiment is this — anyone sent for global competition wearing a Philippine sash should also wear a Filipino designer. Where is our pride when what we see on stage is totally not a Filipino costume?”

Santiago said the Philippines has a “lot of insanely talented Filipino designers who can do way better than what Barazza can do.”

Binag, who styled various celebrities, said the local fashion industry and the Filipino creative workers must act against “a malevolent truth — an institutional disregard of and bias against Filipino talents” by the BPCI-led by Araneta, herself a Colombian beauty queen.

“What is it in Barraza that Filipino designers do not have is not even supposed to be a question here because Filipino designers are far better than him,” Binag noted. “Instead, why is it that BPCI appears to be deliberately giving no opportunity to and deliberately taking no notice of Filipino designers – many are even internationally renowned for their exquisite creations?”

Marc Rancy, in response to Binag’s post, said: “I agree. My eyes vomited after seeing that ridiculous dress. Ang daming magagaling na Filipino designers. mag rollcall na ba ko?”

Binag said this bias against Filipino designers by Araneta must end.

“MJ will not be the last victim of this as she’s not the first,” she said.  “Last year, Ariella Arida wore another gown that drew attention for all the wrong reasons. Apparently, this should have not happened if only BPCI had the decency and the respect for Filipino talents.”

She said Filipina candidates to international beauty pageants are”beautiful and intelligent women who deserve only the best and they can only get this from our local talents.”

“And to echo Cary Santiago, these contestants are, after all, representatives of the Philippines – not Colombia,” she said.

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