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And now, the off-ramp ‘fashion shows’

Filipinos swamping social media with Filipiniana wear—seriously

Kathy Yap-Huang all set for Ternocon in a Dennis Lustico duchess satin dress with cropped embroidered terno top in Korean gauze (From Dennis Lustico IG)

Ching Cruz, for Ternocon 2023, in Dennis Lustico ‘balintawak’ of olive and pink floral satin brocade and dyed blush pink pina camisa (From Dennis Lustico IG)

Kai Lim at Ternocon 2023, in a Joey Samson printed cotton terno top and ‘50s serpentine skirt and flounces, with layers of eyelet, organdy, tulle and lace serving as ‘enaguas’; printed floral silk ‘alampay’ and matching ‘tapis’ (From Kai Lim IG)

The past two weeks saw two well-attended events that hailed the Filipino national dress (Ternocon) and the pure cotton of Ilocos (Algodon staged at Pinto Museum). While both events unveiled laudable collections of Filipino designers on the runway, both emerging and established, they also became the most Instagrammable moments, with the guests posing and posting their stylish outfits. The off-ramp “shows” were just as good.

Tweetie de Leon-Gonzalez in vintage Patis Tesoro terno top (Photo by Luis Carlo San Juan)

Tweetie de Leon-Gonzales wears brooch from her accessories line as accent.

In a reopened world, people are dressing up with a vengeance, but more important, they are into the back story of the occasion—in this case, the sense of pride in wearing the national dress (the terno and its iteration, the balintawak; the modern barong) and in the indigenous fabric (the cotton that could gives Ilocos farmers a sustainable livelihood).

Ternocon 2023 artistic director Gino Gonzales in a Joey Samson

In Ternocon 2023, Ben Chan in vintage Joe Salazar barong and First Lady Lisa Araneta-Marcos in a Lesley Mobo

And the Filipino fashion designers have stepped up to the challenge of adapting the national garb (barong and terno) to the stylish occasions. Indeed, while the fashion design community fought for sheer survival during the pandemic (with some turning out PPEs), today they are back with creative vengeance. They show such ingenuity and sense of innovation in exploiting resources, from the fabrics to the craft (embroidery, applique, handpainting, etc). Fortunately, their general output isn’t outlandish or over the top to turn their clients into fashion victims.


Lucy Torres-Gomez in Lesley Mobo and Kai Lim in Joey Samson for Ternocon 2023

off-ramp ‘fashion shows’

Kaye Tinga with daughters Kyle and Kerry in Ternocon 2023: Kaye (center) in a Joey Samson all-pina ‘suksok’ ensemble with coordinating ‘suksok’ patterns with embroidered and callado ‘panuelo / alampay’;
Kyle in a Joey Samson stripes and gingham Piña corseted dress with pleated skirt, with
natural color and black stripes ‘alampay’ and ‘tapis’, black cotton and eyelet ‘enaguas’; Kerry in a Lesley Mobo printed terno (Photo from Kaye Tinga IG)

off-ramp ‘fashion shows’

In Ternocon 2023, Luis Carlo San Juan (left) in Auggie Cordero barong and Davao designer Wilson Limon wearing his own design

off-ramp ‘fashion shows’

In Ternocon 2023, Anton San Diego, Susan Joven, Thelma Sioson in vintage Auggie Cordero, Ching Cruz in Dennis Lustico

off-ramp ‘fashion shows’

In Ternocon 2023, Menchu Soriano

off-ramp ‘fashion shows’

In Algodon at Pinto Museum, Sen. Nancy Binay in a Randy Ortiz

off-ramp ‘fashion shows’

Sheila Ramos in a Joey Samson in Ternocon 2023

off-ramp ‘fashion shows’

Irene Marcos-Araneta in a Pepito Albert in Ternocon 2023 in a photo in Manila Bulletin

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