Miss Universe Catriona Gray looks amazing in Philippine threads. Whether decked in crisp coats tailored from indigenous fabrics or draped in traditional styles made from the Philippines' signature textiles, the queen is able to draw attention to Philippine-made fashion with such allure and grace.
During her courtesy rounds today, Catriona received yet another addition to her growing collection: a piece of textile from the Maranao community of Marawi. The yellow and black malong was a gift presented by Vice President Leni Robredo during her visit to the latter’s office.
“Alam ko na during the pageant, you exhibited many of our textiles... What we'll be presenting to you this morning is one of the products of our communities from Marawi City. It's a malong with Maranao origins,” the Vice President said.
During her courtesy visit, Catriona was wearing a suit by Mindanaoan designer Jearson Demavivas from his Bara-Bangsa Inaul collection. It looked formal yet quirky, traditional yet modern at the same time. She looked awesome!
Both Catriona and VP Leni share common advocacies—the youth and Philippine artistry in fabric. So, it’s only fitting that the Office of the Vice President gifted the queen with something that aligns with this shared passion. Catriona has always been an outspoken advocate of Philippine ingenuity and talent. In fact, she kicked off her admiration for Philippine design and style sensibilities right from the get-go, during the pageant proper.
Catriona has since maintained the same fascination for Phlippine design and fashion even after her win—in fact, more so after her win. She’s using fashion as an effective platform for showcasing Philippine talent to the rest of the world. “Yes, I am a beauty queen and I represent our country and Miss Univese... Sometimes we can feel like in our own lives, in our own careers, in our jobs, in our communities, [we think,] ‘how can we really make a difference for our country or a cause that we believe in?’ Even if I can make a small contribution in wearing [our local fashion/textiles]...for me, I use the facet of fashion and my advocacy [for it],” Catriona explains during her address at the VP’s office.
During Catriona’s many appearances and courtesy visits after winning the title, she continuously showcases her love for local fabrics by constantly wearing indigenous Philippine textiles. She even goes a step further and more than merely wearing the fabrics or modeling the styles, Catriona also goes out of her way to learn more about the local artists and communities behind the fashionable works of art.
Catriona is really owning her role to represent the best of ’Pinas in her own little (or grand) way: “If you look at your life and see...yeah, I can give back in a small way, it matters. Enough small changes or enough small acts of good will or good things can make a difference when put all together,” she said. This statement can support both her passions: be it advocating for children or supporting our artisans.
Vice President Leni thanked Catriona for being such a great representative of the Philippines: “This is our opportunity to tell you how proud you make all of us not only because you won the crown, but also because you presented the best of the Filipino.” We have to agree with her, Catriona IS doing such a fine job of showcasing our best. To think, her reign has only just begun. This means that the world is surely in for a year-long showcase of Philippine talent and style.
Follow Zo on Instagram.