As a country made up mostly of Catholics, we grew up waiting for Santacruzan every month of May. The colorful pageantry is the conclusion of Flores de Mayo, a festival dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, giving honor to Reyna Elena and Constantine upon finding the True Cross where Jesus was crucified.
If you are one of the lucky queens who will be joining the parade this coming Santacruzan, you’re surely wondering where to buy custom or ready-to-wear formal gowns in Metro Manila.
To make sure you’re turning heads at the parade, we gathered some of the best formal gown stores in Metro Manila. For this, we steered clear from frequent options like Divisoria and Baclaran and went for a more sophisticated shopping experience to make sure you stand out. Read on and be the best Reyna Elena in your town.
Surprise everyone with this elegant gown by Tadashi Shoji in your Santacruzan.
Rustan’s may be on the more luxurious end of the scale, but if you’re aiming for a modern-day Reyna Elena look, then their elegant gowns should be your top choice. They house various international and local designers with styles that range from the classic Filipiniana to sophisticated night gowns so you’ll never run out of options of elegant dresses to wear.
One designer that Rustan’s carries is Tadashi Shoji, a US-based Japanese designer known for his cocktail dresses and red carpet gowns. His creation ranges from PhP9,250 up to PhP39,500 and can be the perfect dress if you’re gunning for a minimalistic yet elegant reyna look in the next Santacruzan.
2. SM Fashion Forum
SM Makati, SM Megamall, SM Aura, SM Mall of Asia, SM North EDSA, SM Southmall, SM BF, SM Sta. Rosa, SM Fairview, SM Pampanga, SM Cebu, SM SRP, SM Lanang, SM Bacolod, and SM Marikina
Not into Filipiniana? Check SM Fashion Forum’s range of gorgeous gowns.
Image: SM Fashion Forum
SM is one of the biggest retail stores in the Philippines, thus it should be no surprise that they provide ready-made formal wear too! In 2008, they opened SM Fashion Forum, a special section at major SM department stores that consists of various designer brands from the United States. Items here range from office wear, cocktail dresses, to evening gowns.
This Flores de Mayo, be the most fashion-forward reyna and wear pieces from Monique Lhuillier, Maniju, or even Adrianna Papell. Sizes at the SM Fashion Forum also range from 0 to 16 in American measurements and the items retail from as low as phP2,000 to as high as PhP8,000.
If retail therapy is your thing, then you’ll enjoy browsing through racks after racks of gorgeous gowns at Landmark. Landmark is known for its huge supermarkets and department stores that house everything from daily household items to personal accessories like cosmetics and trinkets.
To meet your Santacruzan needs, just head over to their formal wear section where you can find ready-to-wear gowns made by different designers offered in various price points. You can find beautifully-detailed gowns here for as low as PhP3,000 to as high as PhP27,000.
Be the fiercest reyna in your Santacruzan this year with gowns from Kultura.
Images: Nuevo Ystilo
There’s nothing wrong with going with the traditional route. So, if you’re planning to go with an ageless approach and stick to your stylish roots, then Kultura should be the store for you. Kultura houses various products from different parts of the Philippines, which include high-quality Filipiniana and barong made from linen, pinasilk (pineapple leaf fibers and silk), and cocoon.
However, shopping at Kultura doesn’t mean just snagging your traditional Filipiniana dress. They also have diverse offerings of other ceremonial dresses and formal wear for ladies made by established local designers. The pieces for these dresses also range from classic to contemporary design but remain inspired by the Filipiniana couture that we know and love. Their dresses starts at PhP5,000.
Don’t have time to shop? Just browse through Barong Warehouse’ extensive online shop.
Image: Barong Warehouse
Another place to shop for classic Filipiniana is Barong Warehouse. They are an online shop that sells a wide range of barong and Filipiniana that they deliver anywhere in the Philippines and in other select countries. Since it’s done online, shopping is a breeze!
For the ladies, you’ll enjoy browsing through Barong Warehouse’s wide range of styles for the timeless baro’t saya, terno, and Filipiniana. Their gowns range from the classic to modern designs made of high-quality material and with intricate, hand-painted details. Their prices range from PhP3,891.99 to PhP9,028.99.
5 Mabolo Street corner Balete Drive, New Manila, Quezon City
2nd Floor, Rustan's Makati, Ayala Avenue, Ayala Center, Makati City
Wear Ditta Sandico’s creation at your Santacruzan or even at your next formal event!
Image: Ditta Sandico
Ditta Sandico is one of the few designers in the country who revolutionized the Filipiniana. So if you want to wear a Filipiniana gown in your upcoming Santacruzan with that modern flair, then her shop should be your next stop.
Sandico doesn’t only create unorthodox designs for her collection, but she also uses eco-friendly and locally-sourced materials that help the community. She is known to use items like abaca, pinalino (a mixture of pineapple and Irish linen), and her newly-discovered fabric, banaca. Her items range from wraps to tops, and bolero with prices ranging from PhP2,500 to PhP36,000.
If you’re willing to splurge for your Filipiniana, make sure it’s made by Patis Tesoro.
Image: Patis Tesoro Boutique
Another designer that is worth exploring for your next fabulous attire come this Santacruzan is Patis Tesoro. Tesoro became known as one of the premier designer of modern Filipiniana outfits, by using native fibers and other locally-sourced materials to craft intricately designed gowns. Her intricate embroidery and detailed patchwork is what propelled her to being one of the household names in fashion design in the country.
Tesoro’s creation can range from as low as PhP1,500 to as high as PhP100,000, and what you get is a creation that you won’t find in other stores. You can schedule an appointment with Tesoro herself or even visit her at her bread & breakfast in San Pablo, Laguna if you want her to design a new gown personally for you.
Whether you’re parading in a classic Filipiniana or a stunning modern gown, there are plenty of stores in the metro to help you be a standout on your upcoming Santacruzan. Let us know in the comments section which of these shops you will visit soon.
About Patricia Marie Prado
Patricia came from the field of business and accounting but is now pursuing her dreams of being a writer. She is a self-confessed introvert and is passionate about reading, travelling, writing, movies, coffee and God. When she's not writing, she loves discovering new coffee shops/cafe and doing TV-series marathons.
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