How do you make the ever-traditional terno feel new again?
At last night’s launch of the book Fashionable Filipinas: An Evolution of the Philippine National Dress in Photographs 1860-1960, guests came in wearing what was seemingly the best show of modern-day national costumes.
The book is published by retail and lifestyle giant Bench and written and curated by Gino Gonzales, a scenographer and lecturer at Ateneo de Manila University, and Mark Lewis Higgins, a visual artist and co-director of Slim’s Fashion & Arts School. It traces the history and evolution of the terno until the 1960, and is packed with previously unpublished essays and photographs.
But the changes in the traditional garb go well beyond what the book’s breadth of coverage. Fast forward to last night, and there were embellished ternos with metallic sequins, oversized butterfly sleeves, and the piece broken down into separates. Really, the various reinterpretations of the traditional piece were endless.
So how do you fully update a piece like the terno, then? Magazine editor in chief and model Sarah Meier says, “What is crucial to the terno are the sleeves. I think anything else you do with your outfit can be completely flexible. It can oscillate between materials, texture, and prints. The true signature of a woman [who is] able to modernize something so traditional and classic is to be able to take any trend at any given time and find a way to make the two mesh together.” But model and host Tweetie de Leon-Gonzalez looks beyond the signature sleeves. For her, it’s “attitude and outlook” that does the trick.
Click through the slideshow above to see more personalities and celebrities wearing their own takes on the terno and barong!
Photos by Acushla Obusan