At the turn of the century with the Spanish and Spanish American war, Filipinos asserted themselves through crystallizing their identity with costume. Through the four hundred years of colonization, Filipinas wore plain wrap-around skirts (saya) fashioned out of opaque plaid or striped cotton and sinamay varieties, while the baro (blouse) was fashioned out of sheer lace fabrics. Since the baro was also made of fine material, a piece of cloth of the same fabric as the saya was worn over the baro to cover the breasts. This piece of cloth (which doubled as a veil) later evolved into the pañuelo. According to historians, the use of the pañuelo was an imposition of the Spanish missionaries on the ‘Indian’ women who resisted undergarments. In the American colonial era (1902-1946), sleeves evolved from the bell-shape to the butterfly sleeves design associated with the terno today.
The Traje de Mestiza as featured here is an early offspring of the Maria Clara, a creation of delicate lace bell sleeves and detailed embroidered skirts. The gown became the star of the zarsuelas with all the glittering glamour of a beauty queen.
Be a fin de siecle belle of the ball with the Traje de Mestiza terno now available at the Casa Del Shai Deco.