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Culture: Ternocon 2020 Showcases a Nation’s Interpretation and Influences of the Terno; Pasay-based Designer Hannah Adrias Wins Gold

MANILA, PHILIPPINES – After the success of the first Ternocon in 2018, the stage was set again for another run, this time bigger than before at the Cultural Center of the Philippines. On January 26, 2020, twelve designers from all over the Philippines gathered and competed in the convention and terno making contest.

Designers were asked to create three pieces, each one getting its own moment on the catwalk at the main theater of the CCP. The program was opened by Marlon Tuazon from Angeles, Pampanga who won the gold prize for Ternocon last year; presenting a nine-piece collection that despite the alteration in the silhouette of the woman did not veer away from the classic components: balloon and full length skirts, and even a tapis.  

Though the terno and their makers have continued the quest to make the attire relevant, Ternocon is not an answer to the problem but rather a fresh way to awaken the untapped potential of young designers to realize their visions into reality under the valuable mentorship of established designers like Ino Sotto, Philip Rodriguez from Cebu, and Yvar Azeron.


“When individual talent and collective culture come together, something magical happens,” said Ben Chan, BENCH founder and Suyen Corporation Chairman, during his remarks.  

Designers had free reign on how to stylize their ternos, like Krizia Jimenez from Quezon City whose designs were all influenced by oriental ornaments that she paired well with pointed hats. Gavin Ruffy from Las Piñas meanwhile envisioned the terno as a contemporary piece-by-piece attire. And June Samson Pugat from Batac, Ilocos Norte layered different patterns and textures of fabric into a frills-enhanced Terno made to match with headdresses.

Dinnes Obusan from Tinambac Camarines Sur found a way to simulate an optical illusion as his model walks wearing his terno with the use of lines on black. Abdul Dianalan from Iligan City played with whites and its capacity to remain crisp in a minimalistic design, while Renz Reyes from Cavite City introduced gold prints and pairing the blouse with pants.

Hannah Adrias from Pasay City interpreted the terno as a modern outer wrap on existing garments and camouflage green in shade. Windell Madis from Batac, Ilocos Norte styled his ternos in the way of the flappers of the 1920s. Jean Avellanosa-Dee from Manila City had three laid back pieces that incorporated a modern pattern into the classic cream color of the terno. Toping Zamora from Davao City went with Hispanic influences in her ternos patterned with geometric sequences, topped with a wide brimmed sombrero.

Jaggy Glarino of General Santos City showed all the ways white can be frilly and shapely in his rather pointed and silhouette-enhancing designs while CJ Martin from Nueva Vizcaya focused on the oversized sleeves and loose fit of the dress.

“For some, they relegate terno as mere fashion. Something that we would wear during state events or as a costume during school programs, and barrio fiesta but terno is so much more than just textile sewn together, the terno is a Filipino pride, a cultural icon that speaks volumes about the country’s history and heritage. Its evolution is a history of humanity, it reflects, and recounts the political, social,  and environmental circumstances of the past. For a Filipino garment that holds so much history and tradition, it is saddening to see that terno struggles for survival through the years,” said Margie Moran Florendo, Chairperson of the CCP.

“Designing and creating a terno should be second nature to Filipino designers the same way the Korean designers way their Hanbok by heart, the Japanese designers know their Kimonos; the Chinese designers do their Chiong Sam; and Indonesian designers with their Batik,” she added.

Obusan emerged as the bronze awardee; while Glarino’s all white collection secured his silver award. For the gold prize, Adrias got the award with her armor and camouflage green collection.

The winners were chosen by a panel of selected judges headed by Ben Chan. Brand ambassadors of BENCH were also present in the event. 

The group was happy to share that this year’s edition of Ternocon will donate its proceeds to the relief operations of Taal.

Photos by Mohd Sarajan

Partner with adobo Magazine

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