When the Oscars wear Filipino

Garimon Roferos for Lady Gaga ALEX FLINT and Monique Lhuillier for Rachel Weisz MONIQUELHUILLIER.COM

I’m still gagging over the finale of Rupaul’s Drag Race All Stars 4. (Manila Luzon was robbed! And so was Katya in All Stars 2!) It’s like RuPaul didn’t want it to be a “blond and white Hall of Fame” (with previous winners Chad Michaels, Alaska Thunderfuck and Trixie Mattel) so the drag legend crowned both the blond and white Trinity the Tuck and black sponge queen Monet X Change as Season 4 winners. #diversity

A regular Season 11 is about to start, so I might forget about this All-Stars “shenanigans, tomfoolery and buffoonery.” What I’m heavily invested on next is the 2019 Academy Awards this weekend. So far, it seems that my sentimental favorite to win Best Actress, Glenn Close (The Wife), is on track to winning Hollywood’s top plum. She won Best Actress in a Drama at the Globes, tied with Lady Gaga (A Star is Born) at the Critics’ Choice, and won the Screen Actors Guild prize. Olivia Colman (The Favourite) won at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (Bafta), as well as the Globe for comedy actress.

Glenn was nominated for an Oscar for Dangerous Liaisons (1988), where she traipsed around in pre-Revolution Paris as the scheming Marquise Isabelle de Merteuil. As a high-society doyenne, she was dressed in the finest clothes. James Acheson won an Oscar for Best Costume Design for the film.

Cary Santiago for Regina King ARIEL SALUPAN; Francis Libiran for Emma Stone; and Rajo Laurel for Olivia Colman BRUCE CASANOVA

Glenn is safe with her fashion choices at award shows, usually wearing sedate Armani pieces. This year as she receives her long overdue statuette, I wish she gives a throwback to the Marquise and wears something like a Michael Cinco couture creation, still with Glenn’s favored collar but more grandiose.

Gaga is a fashion editorial in motion. She has eschewed her outlandish costumes at the awards circuit, however, and opted to be glamorous like her predecessor Judy Garland. But the fashion rebel in her can’t be contained, so a Garimon Roferos acrylic film embroidered ball gown is order. She can saunter onstage in this volume when she receives the Oscar for Best Song for “Shallow.” The best accessory would be her collaborator, Bradley Cooper.

Olivia, as Queen Anne of Great Britain, played the insecure monarch in dowdy garbs. But Oscar night can be her chance to be regal and radiant, by wearing a Rajo Laurel cape gown encrusted with circular details.

It’s the Best Supporting Actress race that’s becoming the most unpredictable. Regina King (If Beale Street Could Talk) won at the Globes and Critics’ Choice, Emily Blunt (A Quiet Place) won at the Screen Actors Guild Awards and Rachel Weisz (The Favourite) won at the Bafta.

Regina, as a suffering mother, should take the Oscar. Just as her career is soaring, she should wear a Cary Santiago sculptural dress from his “Aviary” collection. Emily isn’t nominated for her show-stopping turn as Mary Poppins, the 1964 original of which won Julie Andrews the Oscar.

Rachel, perhaps tired of the cumbersome corseted gowns she poured herself into for her role as Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough, will select a pared-down piece such as Monique Lhuillier’s strapless number. Laidback but luxurious, something that a real-life princess like Lee Radziwill would wear.

Emma, nominated as the ambitious Abigail Masham, or Baroness Masham, should come as a contrast to her court rival, in something more attention-grabbing like a lethal Francis Libiran cocktail creation intricately embroidered for a royal soiree.

Filipino designers have dominated the stage at Miss Universe and other pageants. Their designs have also been worn at the Globes, Grammys, Emmys and Cannes. But the Oscars—and The Met Gala—remain elusive to our word-class talents. Here’s hoping that someday soon, if not this year, a Filipino-made gown (like Rita Moreno’s Pitoy Moreno) will conquer the biggest red carpet of all.


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