MOVIEGOER: Janet R. Nepales: In true Hollywood fashion

Published October 20, 2021, 11:15 PM

by Nestor Cuartero

Janet R. Nepales

It didn’t seem odd to expect a heavyweight book about fashion, in its classic lines and hyper-strombotic adventurism, from Janet Rodriguez-Nepales. I must say, however, that a juicy Hollywood confessional, complete with jaw-dropping quotes and delectable anecdotes, would have been right up her alley as well.

Years of covering Hollywood, its leading stars and denizens, have left an indelible patina on Janet’s (usually bare, off-the) shoulders, reflected on the hundreds of formal gowns and cocktail dresses she has worn in those red-carpet events and after-parties.

The pictures of her vintage society-page outings are faithfully chronicled on Facebook and social media, liked by friends and followers, who are at once in awe—or in envy, as the case may be— of the former Manila journalist, who used to cover lifestyle and showbiz.

The posts, happily, aren’t just for show or personal aggrandizement. They play a big role in the promotion of Filipino talent on the global stage.

The award-winning Filipina journalist makes a conscious effort to wear Filipino designers only in those lavish occasions, thus opening a huge, capiz-drawn window for Filipino talent in fashion design to shine. Many times, Janet had been asked by top Hollywood actresses, Angelina Jolie being one of them, about some specific gown and who made it.

Then, she would readily flash the designer’s business card. The next time around, the Hollywood star would be wearing either an Oliver Tolentino or a Francis Libiran, thanks to Janet’s newly discovered, post-mid-life modelling career and pen-pushing.


Some of these celebrities wearing Filipino designers are shown in a hefty glossy,

“FASHION. Filipino. Hollywood. The World,” Janet’s first book.

The collector’s item—a 224-page pictorial book, really—measures 12” x 14,” and tipping the scale at a poundage only Hidilyn Diaz can probably carry with her middle finger.

The coffee table book, featuring fragments of those lovely, starry-starry nights, is Janet’s tribute to fashion and designers through text. They come with carefully worded capsule stories that are not to be mistaken as captions for they reveal so much more of the artists’ soul than mere identification.

‘FASHION. Filipino. Hollywood. The World’

The book features stunning spreads of fashion, mostly taken by ace Hollywood photographer, Sthanlee B. Mirador. They make up more than 200 pages of full-color photos of glamour and style as witnessed, if not worn, personally by the author.

And who could have selected these pictures better from among thousands than fashion icon Bessie Badilla, who carved a name as a top model not just in Manila but also abroad.

FASHION is Bessie’s second book venture under her Queen-B Multi-Media Productions, following Through A Writer’s Lens, by Ruben V. Nepales. She designed both books.


Why fashion?

Janet writes: “This book is my shout-out to all the designers in the Philippines and the world – the masters, many of whom we have sadly lost, the current geniuses, the rising talents and the next generation.”

Fifteen Filipino fashion designers are highlighted, along with the world’s best couturiers, as showcased in photos of their beautiful creations.

Janet is the first Filipina member of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which presents the Golden Globe Awards. She runs a weekly column, “Hollywood Insider,” on GMA-7 News Online.