Paskong TernoCon 2023: Celebrating Pinoy Culture And Couture

The distinctive terno pieces of designers Joey Samson and Lesley Mobo took center stage in the very first Paskong TernoCon 2023 in SM Aura. 

This year marked a milestone in Philippine fashion with the inaugural Paskong TernoCon 2023. The event happened to be the very first edition of the beloved fashion show to take place in a mall. The festive, star-studded evening took place at SM Aura, fittingly by the mall’s exquisite, Filipiniana-themed Christmas centerpiece. The show was a joint project of SM Supermalls, Bench/Lifestyle + Clothing, and the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP). It showcased the stunning terno pieces of visionary designers Joey Samson and Lesley Mobo. 

L-R: Lesley Mobo, Steven Tan, and Joey Samson, accompanied by models Michelle Dee (left, back) and Janine Gutierrez (right, back)
L-R: Lesley Mobo, Steven Tan, and Joey Samson, accompanied by models Michelle Dee (left, back) and Janine Gutierrez (right, back)

READ ALSO: Modern Classic: Honoring the ‘Balintawak’ Dress in TernoCon 2023

Different Takes on the Terno

Samson and Mobo set out to create their own interpretations of the Philippine terno. Each designer displayed the versatility and range of the classic garment through their unique design sensibilities. 

Acclaimed fashion designers Joey Samson and Lesley Mobo
Acclaimed fashion designers Joey Samson and Lesley Mobo

Samson’s collection was a masterclass in tactful restraint and minimalism with its tailored, architectural forms. It reflected his distinctive style as a designer, exhibiting the clean, supple lines and romantic undertones that many know him for. 

Janine Gutierrez (left, front) and Jo Ann Bitagcol (right), with David Licauco (left, back), elegantly showcase the creations of renowned fashion designer Joey Samson
Janine Gutierrez (left, front) and Jo Ann Bitagcol (right), with David Licauco (left, back), elegantly showcase the creations of renowned fashion designer Joey Samson

Meanwhile, Mobo’s collection was a showcase of draping, unabated maximalism, color, and folk aesthetics. The Aklan-born and London-based designer presented a seamless fusion of contemporary aesthetics and tropical inspirations. His terno pieces stunned in bold printed fabrics that popped with vibrant color.

Michelle Dee (center) and Ara Arida (left) grace the runway for renowned fashion designer Lesley Mobo
Michelle Dee (center) and Ara Arida (left) grace the runway for renowned fashion designer Lesley Mobo

Collaborators of Samson and Mobo also helped bring their collections to life. For Samson, this was Lakat for the footwear and Unang Panahon for the jewelry. As for Mobo, it was Ash & Muff and Harold & Harry for the earrings, and Adante Leyesa for the bags. 

Miss Universe Philippines 2023 Michelle Dee walks the runway for avant-garde fashion designer Lesley Mobo
Miss Universe Philippines 2023 Michelle Dee walks the runway for avant-garde fashion designer Lesley Mobo
Janine Gutierrez models a timeless and elegant gown crafted by the maestro of minimalism, Joey Samson
Janine Gutierrez models a timeless and elegant gown crafted by the maestro of minimalism, Joey Samson

Making Filipino Design More Accessible

Paskong TernoCon went beyond being a fashion spectacle, as it also served as a platform for inclusivity. By taking place in a mall, the event made the best of Philippine design more accessible to a wider audience. 

Model-photographer Jo Ann Bitagcol showcases Joey Samson's creation, seamlessly bridging the gap between menswear and womenswear
Model-photographer Jo Ann Bitagcol showcases Joey Samson’s creation, seamlessly bridging the gap between menswear and womenswear

“The event epitomizes SM Supermalls’ commitment to championing Filipino culture and artistry, and provides a platform to bring this closer to more people through our malls,” shared Steven Tan, the president of SM Supermalls. “The exquisite designs by Lesley Mobo and Joey Samson beautifully represent our rich cultural traditions and Filipino creativity, and SM is honored to have been part of this trailblazing project.” 

Miss Universe Philippines 2013 Ara Arida models for renowned fashion designer Lesley Mobo
Miss Universe Philippines 2013 Ara Arida models for renowned fashion designer Lesley Mobo

Star-Studded Support

Some of the biggest names from Philippine fashion, film, culture, business, and society graced the glittering front rows. In attending Paskong TernoCon 2023, each guest showed their support of Pinoy culture and fashion. These included none other than First Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos, Taguig City Mayor Lani Cayetano, SM Investments Corporation Chairperson Tessie Sy-Coson, Bench founder Ben Chan, CCP Vice-Chairperson Margie Moran-Floirendo, and SM Supermalls’ President Steven Tan. 

L-R: Lesley Mobo, Ben Chan, Margie Moran-Floirendo, Liza Araneta-Marcos, Tessie Sy-Coson, Lani Cayetano, Steven Tan, and Joey Samson
L-R: Lesley Mobo, Ben Chan, Margie Moran-Floirendo, First Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos, Tessie Sy-Coson, Lani Cayetano, Steven Tan, and Joey Samson
Models and influencers Nicole Hernandez-de los Angeles, Mikaela Lagdameo, Vanna Garcia, Georgia Schulze-Del Rosario, Patty Laurel-Filart, and Kelly Misa-Fernandez
Models and influencers Nicole Hernandez-de los Angeles, Mikaela Lagdameo, Vanna Garcia, Georgia Schulze-Del Rosario, Patty Laurel-Filart, and Kelly Misa-Fernandez

The event’s runway featured famous faces like Janine Gutierrez, David Licauco, Miss Universe Philippines 2013 Ara Arida, model-photographer Jo Ann Bitagcol, and Michelle Dee in her first public appearance after the Miss Universe pageant. 

Estée Lauder Companies Country General Manager Sharyn Wong
Estée Lauder Companies Country Manager Sharyn Wong
Suyen Corporation’s Migs Pastor, Gambia Consul Agnes Huibonhoa, Monaco Consul General Dr. Fortune Ledesma, and Manila Bulletin Lifestyle Editor AA Patawaran
Suyen Corporation’s Migs Pastor, Gambia Consul Agnes Huibonhoa, Monaco Consul General Dr. Fortune Ledesma, and Manila Bulletin Lifestyle Editor AA Patawaran
Suyen Corporation's Bryan and Kai Lim
Suyen Corporation’s Bryan and Kai Lim

Thanks to the support of its guests, mall-goers, and partners, Paskong TernoCon 2023 was a show-stopping celebration of the Filipino spirit, artistry, and creativity that define the country’s vibrant culture. 

To know more about the exciting events at SM Supermalls, visit the official website or follow @SMSupermalls on social media. 

Photos courtesy of SM Supermalls.

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