6 Dramatic Ternos To Inspire Your Next Formal Event

From classic designs to playing with layers and prints, these bespoke pieces show the versatility of the terno. 

The terno is showing a resurgence in Filipino fashion. It’s popping up in places we don’t usually associate with traditional attire, like in the blockbuster Barbie movie, to Broadway during the Here Lies Love opening night, and in the mall, as an offering in places like pioneering Filipino brand Bayo Atelier. Truly the terno is once more becoming a wardrobe staple. But while it shines in sequins and bubblegum pink, there’s still something about a bespoke terno worn to events that require traditional formalwear.

At the red carpet of one of this year’s major state events, the country’s national dress made its appearance in carefully crafted modern iterations. From a classic but sleek silhouette, to changing the traditional fabric for an updated look, to playing with layers inspired by Filipino history and prints inspired by the country’s flora, each look carries with it its own personality and showcases both the history of the attire and the evolution of its design. Below, the most notable ternos that have graced the Session Hall recently. 

Audrey Tan Zubiri

Zubiri was wearing an embroidered garden-inspired terno with a midi length skirt by Rajo Laurel. “Many moons ago she used to model for me & we made so many beautiful memories. I am so fortunate to be able to create new ones with her,” Laurel shared in his Instagram. 

Emmeline Aglipay-Villar

The columnist wore a Mantón de Manila terno by Lesley Mobo. It features fringes draped and embroidered on terno sleeves, with mantones (shawl) panels overlaid on bias cut panels, floral printed Charmeuse fabric, and draping on the side panel to create a tapis effect. 

Heart Evangelista

The actress went with a more classic terno, opting for a white Michael Leyva cutout column Filipiniana gown with embellished pearls and crystals. 

Marga Nograles

The COO of the Tourism Promotional Board was wearing a Puey Quiñones original, which features a traditional terno silhouette and floral print. Quiñones added dimension by placing 3D gumamela flowers on top of the print. 

Milen Aquino Gonzalez

Dr. Milen Aquino Gonzalez went for a romantic version of the terno, wearing a custom piece designed by Vania Romoff. While still donning the familiar butterfly sleeves and slender silhouette. Romoff used layers of hand-stitched pleated French tulle to create the soft, layered details of the doctor’s dress. 

Tootsy Angara

Angara went for a contemporary take on the Balintawak by Lesley Mobo, a “light blue printed floral distinctively crisp and crimped in Crêpe fabric. Folded stitched pleats are added to create circular folds and darts around the bodice connecting to a bias cut fold around the upper waist to create a modern tapis in yellow soft tulle,” the designer described.

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