Joey Samson and Lesley Mobo’s Paskong Ternocon Collections
Fashion

Joey Samson and Lesley Mobo Present The Holiday Terno

Photographed by Kim Montes

Paskong Ternocon brought a holiday twist to the Ternocon platform, with two distinct designers Joey Samson and Lesley Mobo taking the terno to different lengths.

Bench’s Ternocon platform has been championing the terno, bringing the Filipino women’s national dress to the present. 2023 had already two Ternocons previously: at the start of the year, 12 designers took on the challenge of reinventing the balintawak, a more casual, countryside-appropriate take on the terno, with an exhibit mounted mid-year; while in September, four veteran Filipino designers gave the Filipino national dress new context at Tokyo Fashion Week.

2023’s last iteration of Ternocon was Paskong Ternocon, headlined by Joey Samson and Lesley Mobo, was held recently at SM Aura for an even wider and farther-reaching celebration. A red carpet led guests to the show space in the main hall of the mall’s main entrance, adorned with a 33-foot Christmas tree to celebrate the holidays, while an orchestra played holiday favorites and Filipino classics.

Joey Samson and the Writings of Jose Rizal

Samson’s collection emphasized bookleaf layers, or what is also called ‘flattened accordion pleats,’ which uses a handmade method. “Each piece of clothing is ironed to achieve that effect,” he told Vogue Philippines exclusively. “It’s not machine-pressed and takes a significant amount of time to do.”

The flattened accordion pleats were seen in several variations: diagonally starting from the hip and flowing up to the waist then going all the way down to the hem, beginning at the waist to frame the upper body, and even as an extension on the lower hem to collude with the rest of the skirt’s construction on its upper parts.

Photographed by Kim Montes

The collection included a heavy dose of embroidery and also utilized lace and eyelets. As an added touch, vintage kimono fabrics and vintage obi-like belts accompanied by piña embroidered with colors to match the belts were used. Samson said, “One thing in this collection that I did–and often do–was calado.” In calado, a technique often seen in Barong Tagalog (the type of Philippine national dress), fibers are removed from the fabric, and the remaining textile is used to create an open thread pattern, often from the chest down to the waist–but also in any way a designer wishes and on any piece of clothing. This technique was obvious in Samson’s collection, on both male and female models.

Photographed by Kim Montes
Photographed by Kim Montes

Samson wants to use his platform to showcase and promote Filipino textiles and designs. He took from one of our country’s national heroes to conjure up the collection. “My inspiration began with the work of Jose Rizal and then, over time, evolved into paying tribute to our culture in as many ways I could think of as possible. I wanted to display something distinctly and uniquely Filipino.”

Photographed by Kim Montes
Photographed by Kim Montes

Samson, whose collection for Paskong Ternocon was the third Ternocon collection he has done this year, said, “It’s been a continuous learning and design process this entire year. Because I’ve shown for Ternocon more than once, it’s a constantly new and hopefully better platform each time I show.”

Lesley Mobo has a Dream

Mobo showed Vogue Philippines a video he created called ‘Damgo ni Ligaya,’ or ‘Ligaya Has A Dream.’ It was inspired by John Everett Millais’ 1852 ‘Ophelia Has A Dream’–but in a very Filipinized version, replete with Bisayan komposo, a Visayan folksong or ballad.

Photographed by Kim Montes
Photographed by Kim Montes

His ‘Tropical Ternos’ theme, which he began doing during the pandemic, often depicts ternos in bright colors and explosive florals. He continued the vibrant aesthetic in his Paskong Ternocon collection.

According to Mobo, the collection’s core was more about “the vibes than the physical clothing. I created the feel, the mood, the ideas, and somehow, the kitsch. I just basically put all the elements together to create a coherent and defined look.” Surface textures, florals, polka dots and printed fabrics expressed a zest for life. Tulle, georgette and jacquard were plentiful, as were layering, prints and colors. “My textiles are composed of materials that are bold, in a fun and festive Filipino way.”

Photographed by Kim Montes
Photographed by Kim Montes

The models were often clad in headdresses and sashes, as if to state pageantry, in an obvious showing of femininity, grace and charm. Ribbons, pompoms and even fans made out of gigantic fuchsia flowers were seen, as were bright mesh gloves, to complete the looks.

Draping, which positions and pins fabric directly on a dress, was a vital element of the collection. He told Vogue Philippines that it was the primary technique he used in an otherwise relatively less technical–but no less difficult to create–collection. “I love draping because I get to work with and handle the gravity of the fabric.”

Mobo said he traces the Spanish influence and Acapulco trade to Manila using styling, colors and materials. “My inspiration is love for the Philippines. It’s so interesting that we are part of Asia, yet we are more Latin in some ways, especially in colors and, many times, in our creative approach.”

More From Vogue

Share now on:
FacebookXEmailCopy Link