Barbie Wears Pinoy Couture

Rajo Laurel, Vittorio Barba, JC Buendia, Tippi Ocampo, James Reyes and Cary Santiago, among others, dress up the iconic doll.

Top Filipino designers have been commissioned by Ballet Philippines to create fashions for the iconic Barbie doll for an auction to benefit 30 scholars of the dance company. Its new chairman, 1973 Miss Universe Margie Moran Floirendo told that the designers were asked to "create what they imagined as ballet costumes for Barbie dolls and for the royal and princess collections."

The event on March 17 at the Peninsula Manila Hotel is "open to collectors and supporters of Ballet Philippines," Floirendo said. " I expect interest in an advanced auction on our website. We hope to raise a million pesos. I have seen some of the creations and they are absolutely stunning." The idea for the auction came from both Floirendo and Myrna Yao of Richwell Trading, the exclusive developer and distributor of Barbie in the Philippines.

Designers were given no other parameters, causing their imagination and creativity to run free. Louis Claparols drew inspiration from old sci-fci movies, James Reyes from the black swan in Swan Lake, JC Buendia from the First Lady, and Tippi Ocampo from the modern ballerina. Vittorio Barba, Cary Santiago and Eric delos Santos dressed Barbie in clothes or versions of pieces from their past and present collections. Dong Omaga-Diaz’s "Inday Barbies" wore "real and wearable clothes." There were multi-themed pieces as well: Len Nepomuceno Guiao did Opera, Disco, Cocktail, Red Carpet and Grecian, while Rajo Laurel did Fire, Wind, Water and Earth. Jojie Lloren, who was among the designers who treated the project like a sculpture, collaborated with painters, artists and sculptors to create art pieces. Jewelry designer Hans Brumann created pieces for six Barbies.


Vittorio Barba dressed Barbie in pieces from his past and present collections.

Some of the designers are members of the Fashion Development Council of the Philippines and the Young Designers Guild of the Philippines, while others were chosen based on Floirendo’s personal relationships with them. The participating designers include:
Pepito Albert
Aureo Alonso
Jerome Ang
Ivarluski Aseron
Avel Bacudio
Vittorio Barba
Alex Bitong
JC Buendia
Mitzi Quilendrino-Bustos
Louis Claparols
Auggie Cordero
Dong Omaga Diaz
Patrice Ramos Diaz
Rhett Eala
Joel Escober
Ramon Esteban
Veejay Floresca
Tan-Gan by Solenn Heussaff
Cesar Gaupo
Katrina Goulborn
Len Nepomuceno-Guiao
Sassa Jimenez
Gerry Katigbak
Rajo Laurel
Brian Leyva
Jojie Lloren
Jerome Lorico
Dennis Lustico
Pitoy Moreno
New Yorker by Tina Lirag
Tippi Ocampo
Randy Ortiz
Frederick Peralta
Eric Pineda
Puey Quinones
Barge Ramos
James Reyes
Mike de la Rosa
Joey Samson
Cary Santiago
Eric delos Santos

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Photographs courtesy of the designers. Rajo Laurel’s photos from

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