Oh no she didn’t! (a.k.a. The Tricia Gosingtian NYFW issue)

And there go Filipinos again in an uproar, this time over a supposed dissing of Filipino fashionability by local style icon Tricia Gosingtian during an interview about NYFW and meeting the Nina Garcia.

In the video, Tricia says that people in the Philippines are not really fashion forward, which, of course, has set some Filipino style and fashion mavens abuzz, not to mention ordinary Filipinos who simply love a good controversy to talk about.

One blogger, Cris of MyFashionJuice.com, has expressed understanding of how Tricia might have come to say those “belittling” words, but has also defended Filipinos on that matter. She says,

I believe that Filipinos are fashionable and stylish. I know for a fact that when trends come down the runway and celebrities start wearing them, Filipinos quickly pick up especially now that the internet has become like a household staple. We can see right away what international designers are creating. I see Filipinos all over fashion sites like Chictopia, Lookbook, etc. and they are as trendy, stylish and fashionable as anyone else in the world. And you’d see that they are actually wearing the latest trends too.

I agree. It’s true. Filipinos ARE all over those fashion sites. Well, at least for Lookbook, to which I’m subscribed. Filipinos DO pay attention to the latest styles and trends. The problem is that Tricia didn’t say Filipinos aren’t stylish; she said we aren’t FASHION FORWARD, which for me, personally, means daring to be different from what has been presented as THE trend yet still remaining stylish, put-together, and EXPENSIVE.

Are Filipinos stylish? As much as their limited budget and conservative upbringing will allow, YES. Are Filipinos fashion forward? Generally, no. While you may see people in Greenbelt, Rockwell, and other trendy malls or bars dressed fashionably, you must remember that they are only a handful of people who do so. These places are just first-world pockets in a third-world country and the people in these pockets are the ones who can literally and figuratively afford to be ahead of the fashion pack. The rest of the country can’t afford the type of clothes that Tricia Gosingtian wears and have to make do with department store, Greenhills and Divisoria finds. I’m pretty sure Filipinos WANT to be as fashion forward as the rest of the world, but there’s honestly only so much you can do with a P1000 shopping budget.

I hold no offense against Tricia for saying what she said because what she said in that snippet of an interview was TRUE. While she has mentioned on her blog that she knows how talented Filipinos are when it comes to design, she did say that she “could have made things look better for the Philippines.” Her apology is sincere, so let’s back off, shall we? We’ve got more important matters to attend to if we want to bring this country forward, and not just in the fashion department.


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