Fashion may be “nonessential” during the pandemic, but the Top 3 TernoCon 2020 winners are establishing their own brands. The fashion design graduates of Slim’s Fashion & Arts School are adapting to the “new normal” by doing virtual fittings and handling their own social media accounts—and fashion trolls.
Hannah Adrias, 26, specializes in feminine military-inspired fashion. Her utilitarian terno pieces, with pockets and reimagined butterfly sleeves, won the gold medal in the last TernoCon. The same army-chic vibe can be seen in the ready-to-wear pieces she created for Slim’s Studio, an online capsule collection series.
“I used flowy and structured fabrics such as rayon, double-gauze and denim for The Aplin Collection,” Adrias said.
The bestselling Fia oversized denim jacket has comfy bishop sleeves. Casual pieces include the ruched-back burnt-orange Soleil top, and the frothy white Isla ruffle top.
The boho-inspired collection comes in small to extra-large sizes, and since Adrias makes everything by hand, there’s a lead time of seven business days for the garments to be shipped.
Adrias wants to be known for her “bespoke tailoring that has softness,” and makes clothes for clients asking for a replica of her TernoCon pieces, “but in much lighter fabrics.” She gets orders from Hawaii and France from women who saw her works on Instagram. She requires at least one fitting, if only virtual, to achieve the right fit.
“There are Pinays who are proud and willing to wear a terno abroad,” she said. “I’m glad Filipino women are open to wearing ternos as casualwear.”
Adrias is used to working from home, but had difficulty sourcing fabrics during the lockdown. At one point, she even got into carpentry.
“I took my mind off fashion by learning how to make tables and drawers from scratch,” Adrias said. “Building things is so fulfilling once it’s done, same as fashion.” (Facebook.com/adriashannah, Instagram @hannah.adrias)
Jaggy Glarino said winning the silver medal for his sculpted gowns at TernoCon was a “significant validation.” He has since launched two brands: Jaggy Apparel for edgy streetwear and Maison Glarino for “contemporary wearable art.”
Glarino likes drama in his works—“complicated patternmaking, tailoring, handmade detailing, bold textures and colors”—and all these were shown in a bodysuit for singer Nadine Lustre’s “Absolute Madness” virtual gig. Commissioned by stylist Lyn Alumno, Lustre’s anime-inspired catsuit with psychedelic print and rhinestones took some 200 hours to make.
In July, Glarino’s white gown that Catriona Gray wore for Binibining Pilipinas 2021 went viral. It was an aviary-inspired crepe gown with a sculptural pleated accent, “a crossover between a pageant gown and a couture/avant-garde piece.” Some tweets said it made the Miss Universe 2018 “look like an angel,” while others said the gown was a heavy mess.
Does he read comments?
“I always do. Haha!” he said. “But you can’t be consumed by all the negativity. At the end of the day, you must remember that these clothes are the product of a laborious creative process and collaborations between individuals.”
As for fashion nitpickers, Glarino, a registered nurse who finished a short course in Central Saint Martins in London, said that “those who have less fashion know-how are mostly the same people who say nasty things.”
Glarino’s over-the-top aesthetics are seen in froufrou gowns, custom cocktail dresses and sequined suits he creates for comedian Vice Ganda. He admits, though, that he gets easily bored, and feels limited in making exciting clothes in the time of COVID, “while ugly news is on TV” and “the deaths of acquaintances and friends are on social media.”
There’s also the issue of not knowing the weight of the fabric he buys online, and teaching his clients how to take their own measurements at home, but he said it’s good practice for his upcoming bridal and suit line. Production will be in his headquarters in Valenzuela.
Glarino made for overseas clients a patchwork denim suit, a solihiya bib with detachable collar and a structured linen dress shirt with an Oriental bow.
“I have regular clients who I met on Instagram,” he said. “It is a bit of a challenge to be the creative head and social media manager at the same time, but I am making sure that my IG feed is engaging, since reputable fashion publications scout online.” (Tel. 0927-2051986; [email protected]; @maisonglarino, @jaggy.apparel on Instagram)
Dinnes Obusan’s Chinese garter-inspired gown, which won bronze at TernoCon, has a new nickname: “spaghetti terno.”
The designer from Camarines Sur, 38, is receiving clients who ask for the spaghetti gown with fun fringes, as worn by celebrity Gabbi Garcia. A client can also request for a version of the tribal barong he made with Indian silk and embellished with black plastic straws and fishnet accents. More mature clients request for “hermana mayor” Filipiniana gowns.
For the Slim’s Studio curated collection, Obusan made daytime cotton terno tops in white with his signature neoprene loop.
For the Dama Ko Lahi Ko Independence Day project, he made for Cultural Center of the Philippines outreach coordinator Isay Alfornon a colorful polka-dot terno top in French organdy with a mini pañuelo collar.
Obusan, now based in Mandaluyong City, manages his online shop which allows him to accept clients from Australia and the United States.
He worked odd jobs before a town priest saw his creative potential and endorsed him to a benefactor, who sponsored him through fashion school. He admits communicating in English is his weakness, but he works hard in making meticulously detailed and well-fitted clothes with his knowledge in draping and tailoring.
“It can be a simple design, but it will make the wearer feel really beautiful,” he said. (Email [email protected]; @dinnesobusan on Facebook and Instagram)
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