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Journey of the Barong Tagalog, 20th Century Philippines, Part 19: 1970’s Op Art Barongs

Much of the groovy, patterned, geometric and op art (short for optical art) styles of 1970’s dress shirts eventually found their way onto the Barong Tagalog during that period in the Philippines. Frankie Evaristo, owner of the boutique Collectiones New York, chose to forego conventional barong embroidery designs for more contemporary shirt designs of that time to fit the taste and style of the youth. Since young people did want to wear the Barong Tagalog, Evaristo wanted to provide an alternative that reflected the look of that period.

Frankie Evaristo wears a Barong Tagalog with a non-traditional geometric pattern.

Frankie Evaristo wears a Barong Tagalog with a non-traditional geometric pattern. Aside from the barong being worn untucked, it didn’t differ much, in terms of features, from popular shirt styles of that time.

Evaristo wears a Barong Tagalog with an op art pattern going across the top part of the torso

Evaristo wears a Barong Tagalog with an op art pattern going across the top part of the torso. This barong is almost indistinguishable from common dress shirt styles of that period.

Evaristo in one of his more traditional Barong Tagalog offerings from his Collectiones New York boutique.

Evaristo in one of his more traditional Barong Tagalog offerings from his Collectiones New York boutique. His barong’s front embroidery is in a more conventional pechera formation with calado-like perforations.

All photos from Visitacion R. de la Torre’s 1986 book The Barong Tagalog: The Philippines’ National Wear and are likely to be from the 1970’s.