Choosing a wedding dress is no light task. Any bride would long to feel that tingle of alignment as she runs her hands across a dress, finding that every single detail encapsulates her personality and perfectly matches her vision. A wedding dress truly holds a special gravitas—after all, you'll be wearing it on one of the most life-changing days ever!
That said, it can be frustrating when you are unable to find a design that speaks to you in a significant way. Perhaps the dresses in your radar all strike you as conventional, tacky, or commercial. With the abundance of styles on both RTW racks and Pinterest, it can really be dizzying.
Enter the Filipiniana-inspired wedding dress. Meaningful, unique, and ethereal, a heritage-inspired gown might just be what you are looking for. Once you see how terno sleeves, piña fabric, and other traditional features look on a bridal ensemble, you may just fall in love!
Below, read through the thought processes of real brides who went with modern Filipiniana styles for their weddings.
3 Brides Share Why They Wore Filipiniana-Inspired Dresses to Their Weddings:
1. Carla Cruz-Bellare, Interior Designer and Entrepreneur
Carla Cruz-Bellare, the founder of accessories brand Tropik Beatnik, wore the chicest one-shoulder terno dress by the local brand á¸¢A.MÜ. She actually collaborated with the designers during the making of the dress!
She tells Preview, "When I was thinking of what I wanted to wear for our civil ceremony, I knew I wanted to wear something that was Filipino, but with a fun spin to it. I’ve always been drawn to the iconic butterfly sleeves and intriguing layering of the tapis, so my initial sketch was something along the lines of a terno.”
2. Phyllis Santos-Tanteckchi, Visual Merchandiser
"Growing up, I have always admired my mom as she attended various Rigodon Balls and she would always wear a Filipiniana dress. I myself have always wanted to wear a Filipiniana dress because I find the butterfly sleeves unique and elegant," said Phyllis Santos-Tanteckchi, who wore a short tasseled terno by Mara Chua on her big day.
"But let’s face it, there’s not much modern RTW Filipiniana dresses out in stores. I figured my civil wedding in Australia would be the best occasion for me to wear and have one made! I really wanted to bring a piece of home with me on our special day. Also, as my Instagram handle is @Phylippines, I wanted a chance to say 'Phylippines in a Filipiniana!'"
3. Jillian Joy San Juan, Fashion Designer
Last but not the least, Toronto-based fashion designer Jillian Joy San-Juan made her wedding dress herself, and even vlogged about the process!
"I fell in love with the terno while doing research on cultural Filipino forms of dress, which was my topic for my thesis collection in my final year of university studying fashion design. Being born and raised in Toronto, Canada, I never knew much about our cultural form of dress, and it was always odd to me that the Filipino form of dress wasn't even widely known within my own Filipino community.
"People could describe the shape of the butterfly sleeves but couldn't associate it with the name terno. On the other hand, all of my friends from other countries wore their cultural dresses proudly at all types of events, and anyone could easily picture a kimono, quipao, sari, and other cultural forms of dresses from other countries, but not a terno.
"Being able to learn about the terno and dig deeper into its history and evolution [through the] years has helped me appreciate our culture and my identity as a Filipina, which is why it holds a special place in my design identity. I also personally believe something about the silhouette of a terno is so majestic—the arch in the shoulders makes the wearer look and feel like a queen!"
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