Ia Coca, Cebu-based designer and creative director of chic and edgy Ia Coca Atelier, doesn’t think so. With his signature terno puffer, he explores once uncharted territory in terno silhouette experimentation by combining timeless butterfly sleeves with (winter-appropriate!) streetwear.
The terno puffer is made of water-resistant fabric and quilted with fiberfill. You can say goodbye to the days when donning a terno outside gets you more-than-a-little stiff and worried about drizzle. The statement piece is now available for pre-order and comes in fuchsia pink, acid green, illuminating yellow and black. BTW, it’s Bretman Rock-approved. He once wore it in fuchsia for a magazine cover.
Here, we chat with Ia Coca about his design process and how to style the terno puffer.
What’s the story and inspiration behind the terno puffer?
I remember last year’s Miss Universe Philippines competition where [a number of activities were] held in Baguio. The candidates were mostly wearing long coats and scarves and it made me realize the “Filipiniana” look has very limited choices when dressing for that type of climate.
Why hasn’t anyone made a terno that’s made for the cold yet? That was the light bulb moment.
Any styling tips for our readers who are looking to cop the piece?
To make the terno puffer the hero piece, I suggest balancing its volume with slim-fitting garments. Wear it over a sleek dress on a chilly night or pair it with a tube top and skinny jeans as a daytime look.
So we heard that Bretman Rock has worn one before. Any fun anecdotes you can share with us?
I think Bretman was the perfect person to first wear our terno puffer because wearing a terno should go beyond gender. It was the first time Bretman wore something with our butterfly sleeves. I think he’s aware that ternos are traditionally worn by women but I can tell he was really feeling it.
Do you believe that there should be a limit when it comes to reimagining the terno?
There shouldn’t be a limit to it, really. Drawing a line to what an artist can do can only dampen a person’s creativity. I understand some people would feel like it is an act of tampering with history or disrespecting the culture but for me as long as the design is coming from a good place with good intentions, I say go for it.
Do you have other upcoming designs we can also look forward to?
I’m in the process of producing a capsule collection of “bakuna dresses” or vaccine-ready fashion for summer. I’m quite excited because I’ll be incorporating both my medical and fashion backgrounds in this collection. Hopefully, it will be out in the coming weeks.