The Fashion and Design Council of the Philippines (FDCP) has officially chosen the 15 finalists for its annual Philippine Fashion Design Competition (PFDC). Themed “Today’s Terno,” the competition called on young and aspiring Filipino designers throughout the country to interpret the national costume in the modern times, while still staying true to its form through the use of indigenous materials, cloths and weaves.
At a press conference at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Makati City, FDCP announced the 15 finalists who will gun for the top spot. They are: Kester Eulo Afable (Samar), Mark Joseph Alminanza (Zambales), Niño Dominic Angeles (San Juan), Charinson Balalilhe (Negros Occidental), John Michael Dimacali (Pampanga), Jonah Bengt Enrique (Davao), Maureen Liberty Lezama (Negros Occidental), Gilmar Thonee Llaneras (Albay), Rafael Mejia (Manila), Angelique Gabriel Sarenas (Manila), Marion Isabel Solon (Negros Oriental), Irene Grace Subang (Negros Occidental), Rakiel Aurora Talan (Antipolo), Alvin Tolentino (Bicol), and Candle Ray Torreverde (Iloilo).
In an interview with The Manila Times, renowned Filipino designer and FDCP president JC Buendia shared why the council continuously encourages young designers to create Filipiniana attires.
“The terno has been used only in special occasions. So we challenged the participants to modernize it in a way that can be worn all the time,” Buendia said.
He also added that even Karl Laggerfeld at one time did his take on the butterfly sleeves and showcased it on a runway, so much so that Filipino designers should also find the style inspiring and interesting.
“We want them to be proud of their Filipino culture,” Buendia hoped.
Social design competition
PFDC 2013 is a fusion of the best qualities of its previous incarnations, particularly of the 2004 and 2011 national competitions.
This year’s theme is reminiscent of 2004’s “Rebirth and Renewal: the Philippine Butterfly” in which finalists are tasked with reimagining the traditional terno as an updated classic, wearable garment not limited to formal occasions and customary fabrics. Then, just like its 2011 predecessor, this year’s edition is a social design competition with the goal of revitalizing local economies through the partnership of the designer finalists and local manufacturing communities.
Buendia explained, “We are partnering the designers with local communities that produce indigenous materials to be able to give back to them. If we can create the demand for their indigenous materials, then we trickle down the benefits to their communities.”
FDCP was therefore very glad to receive the “intriguing” terno renditions of the 15 finalists who made use of indigenous materials ranging from the familiar jusi, abaca, piña and sinamay to the uncommon bulalo chips, photo luminescent fibers, water hyacinth and pandan. The result—original yet very wearable creations.
Phases and finals
As in all editions of the PFDC, designer finalists will receive invaluable education during the Mentoring Phase of the competition.
This year, there will be two modules for this phase namely Design Development and Construction.
PFDC 2013: Today’s Terno will culminate with a grand finals night in December where each finalist will showcase three looks for their collection. This will coincide with the Fashion and Design Council of the Philippine’s Terno Gala featuring works of all member designers including Buendia, Anthony Nocom, Gerry Katigbak, Avel Bacudio, Ramon Esteban, Hindy Weber-Tantoco, Dong Omaga-Diaz, Randy Ortiz, Vittorio Barba and Jojie Lloren.
The winner of PFDC 2013: Today’s Terno will receive P250,000 as seed money allotted for continuing his or her design-manufacturing relationship with his adopted community.