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Journey of the Barong Tagalog, 20th Century Philippines Part 23: Renee Salud

Renee Salud is a Filipino fashion designer known as the “Ambassador of Philippine Fashion”. His clothing designs have been featured in fashion shows around the world, and he has a worldwide following to the present day. Salud has had a lot of longevity in his career, and he stays active with no signs of slowing down. He has dressed many high profile and well-known clients, served as costume designer for movies and television, and outfitted many international beauty queens. Mama Renee, as he is affectionately called, has also discovered and mentored many international beauty contestants and winners, and he has even served as television host and presenter, as well.

Salud often featured filipiñiana clothing and indigenous weaves in his collections. He made it a point to showcase the clothing and fabric of many ethnolinguistic groups from various regions of the Philippines.

With regard to the Barong Tagalog, Salud has always infused his own new and contemporary twists and spins on it. During the 1980’s, he designed more casual and less formal barongs that could be worn in more everyday settings.

Bong Dimayacyac models a Renee Salud Barong Tagalog with diagonal strips of calado hand embroidery

International beauty queen Bong Dimayacyac models a Renee Salud Barong Tagalog with diagonal strips of calado hand embroidery. This barong is dress length, with long side vents, a full button down design with covered placket, and a pointed fold-down collar.

Alex Tinsay wears a Renee Salud barong with many vertical stripes and patterns embroidered on the front

Radio personality Alex Tinsay wears a Renee Salud barong with many vertical stripes and patterns embroidered on the front. This barong also features a full button down design with covered placket, and a band collar.

Alex Tinsay wears a Renee Salud barong with many vertical stripes and patterns embroidered on the back

The vertical stripes embroidered on the back of the Renee Salud barong in the previous above.

Alex Tinsay in a Renee Salud full button down barong with U-shape front embroidery

Alex Tinsay in another Renee Salud full button down barong. The front embroidery was likely done by machine and features an enlarged version of the iconic U-shaped barong embroidery.

 Renee Salud in a long barong with embroidered vertical lines and bottom pleats.

Renee Salud in a long barong with embroidered vertical lines and bottom pleats.

All photos are from Visitacion R. de la Torre’s 1986 book The Barong Tagalog: The Philippines’ National Wear and are likely from the 1980’s.