TERNOCON 2020 is a terno-making convention and contest by Bench, with its founder Ben Chan as Ternocon chairman, and the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), led by chairperson Margie Moran.
Cebu’s very own Philip Rodriguez, one of Ternocon’s mentors, presented a collection showing his take on the national dress inspired by the religiosity of the Cebuanos thus, the ecclesiastical influence seen in the designs.
Rodriguez shared the stage with fellow mentors Ivarluski Aseron, Lesley Mobo as well as Ternocon 2018 winner Marlon Tuason of Pampanga, during its Competition Proper/Fashion & Cultural Showcase held last Jan. 26 at CCP Main Theatre.
Creating his designs included using materials like piña callado, silk gazar and tulle; as well as the embroidery technique in gold thread and lace appliqués for designs reminiscent of church frescoes. Completing the looks were Filipino filigree necklaces and modernized lagang as headdresses.
“I am honored that the committee had chosen me to be one of the mentors for Ternocon 2020,” said Rodriguez, recalling notable women who have worn this national dress. “The aim was to present a contemporary take on the terno with past references. Each of us were assigned topics about the terno and its evolution, so the finalists will have a deep understanding of it and how they can adapt to modern use without losing its very essence,” he said.
Each mentor was asked to present a 10-piece collection for the event based on their choice of theme and strength, which took a year of preparation as their schedule also included mentoring and consultation sessions with their assigned finalists. These were designers based in different parts of the country that underwent mentoring and workshops from May 27 to 31, 2019. More than the creativity and the craftsmanship of the terno, the design’s wearability was judged as well.
Conceptualized three years ago, Ternocon aims to inspire emerging designers to create ternos and, more than it being a national dress, revive the use of it as a formal dress.
“We want to promote Filipino pride and the terno is our pride. Just like Japan, India, Thailand, Vietnam and China, they wear their national wear with respect. No other country has one similar to ours. A Filipino must be proud of his heritage and love for his country. There’s that Filipino blood running through his veins. It is our duty that we pass it on to the next generation by making it relevant to today’s wardrobe.”