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GIRD YOUR LOINS, Manila-based fashionistas, because we picked up a few tricks and trends from Cebu and Davao’s designers, who showed at last week’s Manila Fashion Festival.

Power in Pantsuits: Sure, Hillary did it first, but on the runway, we saw pantsuits that were executed in soft, trailing fabrics that clung to the body while not giving much away. The pantsuit becomes less political and becomes more ladies who lunch.

• Pretty in Pastels: Don’t shrug off your pinks and minty greens, because the weird weather in the Philippines is making it possible to wear these hues all-year-round.

Love Local: If you can, find a reputable source for fabrics like inabel and such, because taking pride in where you come from seems like the height of chic these days.

Test My Textures: While clothes may be a visual experience, it takes a clever designer to create clothes that make people want to touch you. Tulle, lace, velvet, and surprise, even dip-dyed canvas may create this effect.

Sexy but Soft: The world is hard enough as it is, and fashion is telling people to move and breathe easier in loosely draped fabrics, with softer lines in details from sleeve to lapel. — JLG