Amidst a sea of gowns and dresses, Phoemela Barranda stood out at the Esquire Philippines launch party, held at The Peninsula Manila on October 5.
While everyone else donned Rajo Laurel gowns, Phoem opted to suit up.
"Actually, I just asked Rajo to dress me up this morning," said the Umagang Kay Ganda and The Buzz segment host when PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) interviewed her on the red carpet.
"He answered me and he's like, 'O, come here na. Let's play!'
She made a trip to the House of Laurel that afternoon. Not surprisingly, she found herself in the company of equally-alluring "It" girls who made the same pilgrimage to their revered fashion demi-god.
Anne Curtis, Divine Lee, and Bubbles Paraiso were just a few among many who wore Rajo to the party.
"And then I see that everybody was wearing a dress.
"So, I think, for you [sabi ni Rajo], wear a suit, since it's for Esquire... but without any inner [shirt]!'
"Sabi ko, 'Okay.'
"Since sila Bubbles and everybody will be in their cutouts and see-through and sheer, so I'll be in my men's suit for Esquire."
In hindsight, it didn't turn out to be such a nerve-wracking issue for Phoem.
As she explains, "Last time [at the first Philippine Fashion Ball], Anne was wearing something revealing, so... this is my statement."
(CLICK HERE to see Anne Curtis at the Philippine Fashion Ball)
Phoem wore a "noir et blanc" suit paired with crisp black trousers and black pumps—aptly sexy corporate chic, since Esquire is a magazine for the "thinking" man.
She accented her simple attire with her own black jewel and gold accessories, and a Tiger minaudiére from Aranaz.
Her overall look was very simple but stunning, nonetheless.
To offset the mannish vibe, Phoem relied on her ever-reliable hairstyle: "Hair down, soft curls." Subtle makeup, highlighted by 'vampish' scarlet lips and nails.