Society and Identity
In June 1964, in connection with their participation in the New York World’s Fair, the Philippines launched what Mayor Lindsay characterized as a “welcome cultural invasion” of New York City. And at the forefront of that invasion were the elegant, exotic fashions created by a group of Filipino designers constituting a collective known as “Karilagan,” or loveliness. This paper will consider the transnational circulation of these designs to audiences at fashion shows in the U.S., and examine the ways in which the designs integrated Parisian elegance with a Filipianana ethos while reflecting postcolonial Hispanic influences and neo-ethnic designs. The relatively restrained and harmonious fashions of this era materialize Filipino modernity as it projected itself onto the global stage in the pre-Marcos era.