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Journey of the Barong Tagalog, 20th Century Philippines Part 33: Chito Antonio

Luis “Chito” Antonio is a Filipino architect, interior designer, fashion designer, and housewares and accessories designer.

In the 1980’s, after only a couple years of fashion designing under his belt, Antonio designed his versions of the Barong Tagalog, which were a mix of traditional elements and his own sleek touches. Of the traditional, he incorporated piña or jusi fabric, a loose cut, a length extended down to the thigh, and standing Isabelino/Elizabethan or mandarin collars. Antonio’s own modern touches included covered button plackets, shrunken Peter Pan collars, simple cuffs, with minimal and understated embroidery or pleats in lieu of embroidery. His more ornate barongs included machine embroidered flowers inspired by the historical book Flora de Filipinas.

Roger Pronstroller models an Antonio Barong Tagalog featuring a floral machine embroidery design

Chito Antonio’s model and office manager Roger Pronstroller models an Antonio Barong Tagalog featuring a floral machine embroidery design from Father Manuel Blanco’s Flora de Filipinas. This barong features a loose fit, long design, half open button down design with covered placket and a shrunken Peter Pan collar.

Jun Cruz models an Antonio Barong Tagalog with simple minimalist machine embroidery, a full button down design

Jun Cruz models an Antonio Barong Tagalog with simple minimalist machine embroidery, a full button down design and a shrunken Peter Pan collar.

Designer Chito Antonio models his own piña Barong Tagalog featuring pleats in lieu of front embroidery

Designer Chito Antonio models his own piña Barong Tagalog featuring pleats in lieu of front embroidery, a half open button down design, covered placket and a mandarin collar.

The back of Chito Antonio’s Barong Tagalog which features wide spaced vertical pleats

The back of Chito Antonio’s Barong Tagalog in the 3rd pic which features wide spaced vertical pleats

Chito Antonio (left) with Roger Pronstroller (right) both wearing barongs designed by Antonio

Chito Antonio (left) with Roger Pronstroller (right) both wearing barongs designed by Antonio

Roger Pronstroller models an Antonio Barong Tagalog featuring a full button down design, covered button placket

Roger Pronstroller models an Antonio Barong Tagalog featuring a full button down design, covered button placket, and standing Isabelino/Elizabethan collar. It is traditionally loose fit with length extending down to the thigh.

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