Like most young designers, Windell Madis was so affected by the pandemic and lockdown that he stopped accepting commissions. “I could not go back to Manila to buy materials,” explained the designer who’s based in Batac, Ilocos Norte.
Stopping work almost led him to depression, but he got through with the support of his family in Ilocos Norte, especially his grandmother.
Madis was one of the finalists of TernoCon 2020, a terno-
making workshop and competition organized last January by Bench and the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP).
His pastel-colored collection, inspired by the 1920s flapper girl, was greatly received by the audience.
Art Deco references were the main design elements of his collection. The cut-out panels across the sleeves, necklines and hemlines referenced the windows of Art Deco buildings, he explained.
Research, humor, curiosity
Madis said he loved research and did a lot of it for his TernoCon collection. “I draw inspiration from the most unexpected things. My design process is grounded in humor and curiosity,” he added.
In terms of construction, Maddis said he’s systematic and disciplined. “I’ve learned that the inside is as important as the outside—the material, the cut, the inner values. It’s all there to make the wearer feel good.”
The woman wearing his design would be “someone who is very creative and experimental,” he said. “I love working with people who take risks while staying true to their style.” He’s a designer who would give not only what his customer wants, but also something she never thought she wanted.
Like all designers, Madis hopes to weather this storm. He said the lockdown made him reaffirm his design vision.
“I will stick to my vision of doing artisanal-type of garments,” he said. He wants to stick to designs that convey beauty, femininity and sophistication, without sacrificing practicality. “I always push myself to stay focused, and produce garments that have emotional depth and timelessness.”—CONTRIBUTED