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The sartorial taste of Cynthia Barker, the first ever Filipina elected Councilor in the United Kingdom

Cllr. Barker at the Waggon and Horses in Elstree and Borehamwood UK

Hon. Cllr. Cynthia Barker, the first ever Filipina Councilor of Elstree town and Borehamwood borough in the United Kingdom, is a social being.

As such, she isn’t only a human creature on the plain plane of social ladder but on the higher echelon of society, not in the Philippines alone where she was born, but in the international setting as well, particularly in the UK.

Cllr. Barker with designer Mitch Desunia

As a politician, Cllr. Cynthia is no typical Filipina migrant in Europe—she is a celebrated, respected and decorated lady in her socio-political and cultural milieu such as the Elstree and Borehamwood Council. More than these, she hobnobs with the political elite in the whole of Great Britain, especially with the British Parliament. At the regal environment of the royalty and the parliamentary setup, she is expected to throw in a civilized and stately self without being sham and shallow. Her depth and breadth as a human person alone needs to exude sincerity and intelligence—and she is a cut above the rest among her peers.

Although the outer appearance isn’t the only gauge of a true leader, Cllr. Cynthia’s sartorial countenance, and therefore, elegance, is all too majestic to behold whenever she is in the company of her British counterparts, male and female alike.

Designer Mitch Desunia with Cllr. Barker and actress Azenith Briones 

Barker’s simplicity is the best weapon she could muster, especially in social graces. “I am a very simple person. I want simple dresses, simple designs, simple look,” she said in an exclusive interview although she admitted there are times she has to embellish a little for statement of the assertion of a Filipina in high places.

Even when she is in the Philippines, Cllr. Cynthia wears simple but elegant dresses especially in social functions. “But in my privacy, I would still go for simple dresses like what we the Filipino ladies have been accustomed to, duster,” she chuckled.

When she was recently awarded one of the Outstanding Alumni of Laguna Colleges in San Pablo City where she graduated her high school in 1979, she wore a laced floor length inner ocher drape and an intricately weaved beige frock, especially made for her by Filipino fashion designer Mitch Desunia.

Mitch and Cynthia as fellow Filipinos crossed path when the former was involved in a Fashion Week celebration in London. As a government official, Barker was invited to attend the event and also to promote and to take pride of her compatriots’ talents in textile and fashion industries.

Gown by Mitch Desunia

When Desunia’s collection was presented, Cllr. Cynthia was impressed by it. “Mitch’s got simple but elegant designs which I totally like so from there on I was one of her clients,” confessed Barker. The lady councilor isn’t only a business client she is also a model of Desunia. To add to it, Mitch and Cllr. Cynthia are already friends on a deeper sense.

From business suits to casual wears, Barker is a dresser.

Formal attire Cllr. Cynthia wears during her meetings with the council members and of course, when she is with the members of the British Parliament.

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In her work as a public servant for Elstree town and Borehamwood borough, her simple skirts and tops or overalls would also show respectability and fitness. In her socio-civic works, Cllr. Cynthia has to put on her simplest yet most comfortable garbs but they are all in all attractive and relevant to the time and space she is in.

“When I am doing house-to-house visits of my constituents, I see to it that I am in my comfy attire so that they would also feel comfortable with me,” she said.

On the other hand, in her business and corporate commitments, Barker is in her element not only in dressing up but mostly in her decision-making ambience to advance her business interests.

Gown by Mitch Desunia

As an immigration counselor, though, Cllr. Cynthia needs to be in her business suits most of the time as well no matter who she is meeting up with in the multiracial surrounding.

Sometimes, the Fil-Briton politician buys Ready-To-Wear (RTW) from any stores around the UK.

When we got to interview Barker at Library section of Dusit Thani Hotel in Manila, she was in her casual long, sleeveless floral clothes bought, according to her in the UK. Its effect on her was a savvy dresser anytime of the day.

At the Sulyap Hotel in San Pablo City where the Hispanic influences were evident, Cllr. Cynthia’s choice of her sartorial flair was analogous with the refined atmosphere and design of the place. She was the modern woman in a cultured backdrop. Her photographs would attest to the elegance and the environment-friendliness of both the subject and the background. 

“Cllr. Cynthia is an ideal model of my collection. You know why? She’s a serene person and I like dressing up tranquil individuals. My choice of colors and prints would match people like Cllr. Cynthia my coolness,” Mitch complimented.

“Cllr. Cynthia is also an ideal fashion model because she’s like a mannequin, so pliant I can always don her the most elegant yet simple cuts,” the fashion designer added.

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