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Watsonville is in the Heart: Community Digital Archive

Dapper at Maganda: Dressing to Belong

Suits and traditional Filipino dresses are the iconic looks of the mid-twentieth century in Filipino American history in Watsonville. Beyond their aesthetics, these costumes represent the wearers’ stories of migration and adaptation to their new lives in the United States. Dapper at Maganda: Dressing to Belong analyzes mid-twentieth-century Filipino American fashion as it intersects with notions of belonging, cultural knowledge, and gendered roles. 

Included in this exhibit are representations of women and men’s fashion displayed through both professional studio and amateur photographs. This exhibit features pieces from the Irao-de Los Reyes and Ibao, Alminiana, Bosque, Millares, and Sulay collections.


Markus Faye Portacio