Designer Nat Manilag and his muse Anna Valencia Lakrini

Known for his eye-catching creations, fashion designer Nat Manilag has dressed the country’s most captivating women. Pia Wurtzbach, Catriona Gray, Michelle Gumabao, Jennifer Hammond, Miriam Quiambao, Ara Arida, Venus Raj, Shamcey Supsup, MJ Lastimosa and Precious Lara Quigaman are among the beautiful few who have been clad in his custom-made formalwear.

Joining this list of gorgeous ladies is 25-year-old Anna Valencia Lakrini, who represented the province of Bataan on her way to becoming Binibining Pilipinas Globe 2023. She was also declared Miss Beautéderm, Jag Jeans Queen and Best In Swimsuit.

“Anna is the perfect epitome of my brand’s looks and values,” gushed Manilag, who made 15 outfits for the formerly Stuttgart-based beauty for the pageant’s pre-events and OOTDs (outfits of the day).

Manilag was approached by Lakrini’s manager, Sven Chua of Origin Management, in February and asked if he was willing to dress her up for Binibining Pilipinas 2023.

“When I first saw Anna’s photos, I could see her potential so I immediately said yes,” Manilag said. “It’s like working with someone I really respect and admire, and the admiration is mutual, naturally.”

Designing for a beauty queen can be a daunting task. “The challenge is that the gown should stand and move beautifully. It should complement and not overshadow the girl,” explained Manilag. “All pageant dresses must be tailored specifically for her body. She must choose a color that complements her and stands out. The girl must create her own style and be unique.”

Anna Valencia Lakrini in her finals gown: pink serpentine sheer gown with silky chiffon skirt overlay and fully-embellished tulle corset top.

For their creative collaboration, the Fashion Institute of Technology Ortigas Main and Central Saint Martins London graduate said: “Anna and I both support each other throughout the process and we both gave each other the confidence to freely express our ideas, from the early stages of sketching looks to executing the final coronation show.”

A statuesque stunner, Lakrini is also a fierce advocate for child nutrition, as evident in her Instagram post: “According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, 9.3 million children in the country or 23.9 percent, are considered poor, while 8.1 percent are food poor.”

“As a nutritional scientist, I am deeply concerned about this issue and have been working with groups in the Philippines to promote proper nutrition for children.

“Recently, I had the opportunity to visit Tondo National High School to implement a feeding program. I made sure to provide nutritious food that is rich in vitamins A, C, B1, B2, B3, B6 and folate to help improve the health and well-being of the students.

Photographs Courtesy of Brian Mamawan | Fuchsia glitter tulle serpentine gown with drapings.

“This is just one of the few feeding programs and more to come soon!

“Join me by providing food and nutritional assistance, volunteering for community feeding programs and spreading awareness about proper nutrition for children.

“Together, we can help these future innovators be better & healthier!”

Lakrini is aiming for the Philippines’ third The Miss Globe crown after Ann Colis in 2015 and Maureen Montagne in 2021.

“We are preparing something great for her upcoming Miss Globe 2023 pageant,” shared Manilag. “I’m so proud of Anna because she really performed well and is deserving of her crown. And I’m sure she will make us all proud on the global stage.”


Makeup by Shella Gunho

Hair styling by Bryan Eusebio

Styling by Yeoh Egwaras and Geno Karlo