Manila (CNN Philippines Life) — From Vilma Santos to Angel Locsin, many Filipino actresses have donned the trademark red and gold costume of Mars Ravelo’s comic book heroine, Darna. In 2017, the mantle is to be taken up next by actress Liza Soberano, in a pop cultural zeitgeist that never seems to tire of the female icon.
As Philippine audiences brace for another round of Darna’s adventures onscreen, CNN Philippines Life asked several fashion designers to reimagine her ubiquitous battle gear. Here’s their take on the modern day Darna.
“The new Darna is young so pina-bagets ko … I incorporated active/gym wear for the costume since she will be fighting in it. I played with the elements from the original design and figured it would look cute to have her top with the elements of her head gear.”
“I did a bit of reading about Darna's costume — all the elements of the costume have meaning, so I wanted to keep that and just streamline the whole look. I retained the loin cloth but had it draped from the sides. I made it a one piece instead of two, and omitted the amulet belt (the amulet part on the gold cuff bracelets). Also added that star on the headpiece because the stars [of the Darna costume] came from the flag — if that’s the case, we were lacking one! Gold wedge sandals instead of boots [because] … ang init!”
“This is how we are re-interpreting the Darna costume — a shrunken motorcycle jacket with exaggerated sleeves and a tailored leotard inside. Paired with custom Nike Airmax 95 [laughs]. She can go to Bad Decisions at Black Market and fight crime on the same night.”
“It is always a challenge to reimagine an icon as strong as Darna! She has been imprinted into our consciousness for several decades and the imagery and symbols are so clear that one simply has to draw from these memories to recreate her. I wanted to draw inspiration from the original Darna. I wanted to keep certain things like the bahag detail and the symbolic wings.
However I wanted to recreate the costume into a one piece suit with panels that would signify an armor of sorts. I also wanted to use some metal work so that the sheen would be of a metallic-like finish, mostly in red and edged in gold. I thought a thigh-high boot would be a really sexy touch as well. I also added some shoulder details on the suit as this would give us a more defined silhouette.”
“I designed a clean, elegant and updated version of Darna's costume without sacrificing functionality.”
“I feel Darna does not need so much change. That’s what makes the character so iconic and untouchable. [This design] is still the classic Darna look, but with a modern attitude. Her hair is jet black, long, modern, easy, and straight because she has no time to curl them. She has the natural, simplistic kind of Filipina beauty, but still very strong.”