Pitoy Moreno, top Filipino fashion designer, dies

PITOY MORENO. The fashion designer is known for popularizing the Maria Clara gown. Photo by Bien Bautista for Museo Walo

via inquirer.net – Foremost fashion designer Jose “Pitoy” Moreno died on Monday afternoon at the Manila Doctors Hospital, where he had been confined for the past few years for debilitating ailments.

A medical source said he died of a heart attack.

Even in his late 80s, Moreno was a pillar of Philippine fashion, and a significant cog of Philippine society.

A fine arts graduate from the University of the Philippines, Moreno, even in his university years, built a strong society network that included Ferdinand Marcos, Benigno Aquino Jr. and Salvador “Doy” Laurel.

His college friends, including Celia Diaz, who would marry Doy, and the painter Araceli “Cheloy” Dans, would have their evening wear done by the young Moreno.

As he started to build his career dressing the Philippine elite in the ’60s, he presented fashion shows not only here but also abroad, counting heads of state and European royalty among his audience.

On the world stage, he was known as the “Fashion Czar of Asia.”

Moreno was easily the most powerful and best connected fashion designer.

In 2009, he was named national artist by then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo — a recognition that was recalled in the aftermath of the culture controversy.

He is survived by his sister, former Unesco commissioner and poet Virginia Moreno, and nephews and nieces.

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