You may or may not have already known this, but we’ve been in the game for a long time. Since 2007, to be exact. But back then VINTA was just in its beginning stages — an idea brought about when Caroline Mangosing, the founder and executive director of Toronto’s Kapisanan Philippine Centre for Arts and Culture at the time, would receive several inquiries from the local Filipino-Canadian community about where to get traditional Filipino “costumes” for multi-cultural events. Caroline soon realized the demand for Filipino clothing extended much further than those simply looking for “costumes” for their kids — there was a greater need for Filipiniana fashion in the diaspora.
In 2009, VINTA Gallery was incubated and developed within Kapisanan, and it was only in 2015 when Caroline retired from her executive director position to expand VINTA Gallery as an ethical for-profit business and take it on full-time.
From custom Filipiniana wedding dresses and barongs to casual terno tops and traditional weaves, this is the VINTA Gallery you see today. Our most popular and requested custom Filipiniana piece, however, will always and continue to be the terno dress.
For 13 years, together with our master couturier, Estelita Lagman, and the atelier team in Manila, we’ve created some of the most unique Filipiniana terno dresses — many you’ve seen in our shop, others you may have missed. So we’ve listed 10 of the best terno dresses created by VINTA since its humble beginnings.
There’s a special place in our hearts for this particular dress. The black Tent Terno was our first ever ready-to-wear terno, back in our Kapisanan days. What makes this terno dress the most memorable to us (and our original VINTA followers) was that it featured our new crushable cañamaso butterfly sleeve — an innovation we developed as an alternative to the traditionally stiff and oversized terno sleeve.
“Our first crushable sleeve came with the black tent dress terno — because that was part of the Fall/Winter collection, I was thinking about the fact that we need to wear a coat over it,” Caroline comments. “So I augmented the original construction of the traditional butterfly sleeve and changed the material so that it can collapse and fit in a coat sleeve. We experimented with a few different materials, and we now use a hard tulle (like in a ballerina’s tutu).”
The result was a softer and collapsible terno sleeve, so you were able to drape a coat or cape over top of the dress easily and comfortably. The first of its kind, it was modern (and functional) Filipiniana at its best.
A bit less formal than the original Tent Terno, the Tent Terno Redux instantly became a bestseller. Having evolved over the years since it was first introduced, it was brought back again this year in a rayon print blend in two ways: both black, one has a bold stripe (diagonal since it’s cut on the bias), the other a mini polkadot.
“With the Redux, I wanted to stick to the voluminous bias cut and the same low scoop neckline because it is honestly super flattering to all body types,” Caroline says. “This time, I wanted it less formal, so the hemline was cut a little shorter so it’s not touching the floor. And we added a saucy thigh high slit on one side. I have worn this dress in NYC with white sneakers and constantly got stopped to be asked where the dress is from. In general, ternos do that. So let’s be seen and work it!”
The latest variation of the tent is our Ruffle Tent Terno in that juicy neon lemon yellow colour. This type of dress is so versatile, you can belt it or not, wear sneakers or heels, or however else you want to accessorize. In all cases, be prepared to get ATTENTION!
3. Diandre’s Classic Filipiniana Terno Wedding Dress
Since the beginning of VINTA history, we were always in the business of helping couples create their dream Filipiniana wedding. One of our personal favourite (and still most-talked about) dresses was VINTA’s couture Filipiniana wedding gown created for Diandre and Noel’s wine country wedding in California.
Growing up in Northern/Central California, Mexican and American culture had always been an influence in both their lives. So they wanted to have a barrio fiesta themed wedding while also celebrating their Filipino heritage and showcasing each of their own unique personalities. Diandre came across VINTA from a Google search and reached out to Caroline about her vision for the perfect classic Filipiniana wedding dress, which included Diandre’s own embroidery designs.
After approving Caroline’s column silhouette variation, Diandre’s embroidery motifs were stitched minimally around the neckline, terno sleeves and on the edge of the overskirt/train of the wedding dress. The floral embroidery on the terno sleeves of the dress were of California poppies and sampaguita flowers, while the embroidery on the chest area included torch ginger flowers, pomegranate blossoms, and more poppies and sampaguita.
“Diandre’s dress also had some beading on top of the embroidery for a little bit of sparkle,” Caroline describes. “We also created a removable overskirt for her that was beaded around the edge. She wanted the drama of a train as she walked down the aisle. She wanted to be able to remove it for the reception, but I think based on photos that I saw, she kept it on the entire night!”
Diandre said wearing VINTA made her feel beautiful and proud — and we couldn’t have been happier.
Speaking of weddings, Caroline also created and wore this 1950s-style floral Filipiniana terno dress as a bridesmaid for her sister Catherine’s wedding. A dreamy throwback to the golden days of Filipiniana glamour, Caroline and her other sister Christine both rocked vintage looks. For Christine, Caroline created the “Vintage Butterfly Terno,” inspired by the voluminous 1950s circle skirt. For the day, they even got their hair done in impeccable beehive style to match the tone.
Caroline created a terno for herself that became a popular VINTA terno dress, over the years it was revived and redone in many different ways as the made-to-measure Drape Skirt Terno. Though more a 1940s influence in its silhouette, the Drape Skirt Terno still featured those traditional stiff, formal and undeniably majestic cañamaso sleeves that made you feel like a queen.
This floral print fabric is no longer available, but let us know colours, prints, types of fabric you’d like, and we can try our best to accommodate your wishes based on what is available. Contact us here.
5. The Shift Dress Terno
When we launched the ready-to-wear Shift Dress Terno this past February, it instantly became a hit. Made from textured 100% crisp cotton twill with 3% stretch, it has a unique mod-style Filipiniana look yet still minimal, with a low-v cut in the back and short cut a-line plus two side seam pockets. Just in time for the spring season, it also came in two ethereal floral watercolour effect prints: cornflower (blue-ish) and carnation (pink-ish) for those dreamy terno vibes.
It’s details like these that gave the Shift Dress Terno its signature VINTA Gallery chic.
A head turner at galas and formal events, the Asymmetrical Terno Dress in gorgeous dark teal green velvet features one butterfly sleeve, leaving the other exposed. The one sleeve is our lined crushable cañamaso butterfly sleeve, allowing for full arm movement if you still want to throw down on the dance floor. The Asymmetrical Terno Dress also features one pocket and empire waist with pleats at the abdomen of the bias cut skirt, creating a soft, flattering “bubble” shape — no need to worry about that food baby.
It’s classy yet non-constricting, so you can enjoy any event with full confidence (and max fun). Caroline wore it to a formal wedding and the guests just loved it: “This one is a favourite! It’s so comfortable and so flattering. I love the swoop curve at the neck. And of course the gorgeous green velvet.”
We love this dress — we’ve heard several wearers of this special terno mentioning how regal they felt in it. Filipiniana queen status.
The Maxi Empire Butterfly Terno came about in the early years of VINTA. Caroline made this particular one for an archive sample — we’ve had many custom orders of variations of this dress since.
“I found this amazing heavy cotton canvas print with an abstract-ish peacock motif on it,” Caroline describes. “This silhouette was a popular terno dress cut in the 1960s — I added the colour blocking of the white top and a simple black stripe on the sleeve, and a little skinny belt at the empire waist, making it a modern classic look.”
Technically not a dress, but still equally as versatile (not to mention badass) VINTA’s Terno Jumpsuit is definitely a statement piece. The original jumpsuit was in that candy apple red jersey knit, featuring a super deep V neckline, a front zip and legs-for-days palazzo cut pant with two pockets. Like many popular VINTA pieces, it too has evolved over the years, as some customers requested a not-so-plunging neckline. So Caroline evolved the cut into something more sporty with a chic streetwear vibe — it’s the Terno Jumpsuit Dos we see today.
“The next iteration has a front zip that comes all the way up to a muck neck collar, and the pants are a track suit style,” Caroline adds. “We created it in this gorgeous yellow cotton sateen (which is one of my fave colours), and we had to do a slick black one for that Filipinx Futurist look. It’s one of those pieces that you have to be prepared to get attention when you are wearing it.”
One of our most unique ready-to-wear terno dresses in the shop, the Batik Fringe Terno Dress has it all. Recently launched this past April as part of our Spring/Summer 2020 collection, the Batik Fringe Terno Dress has the perfect balance of sass and comfort, with one-of-a-kind details you rarely see on a typical terno dress.
Made from gorgeous Indonesian batik printed 100% cotton, this terno has our lined crushable cañamaso butterfly sleeve with fringe that lines the bottom for an extra fun look — a hit at weddings as a guest.
“A sheath silhouette on this one because it’s a flattering cut for all body types,” Caroline adds. “And the sash is there if you want more definition in the waist, or you can wear it in your hair!”
Last but certainly not least, Jenn and Tiffany’s wedding in Toronto — an intimate and tear-filled affair for the books.
As the couple wanted to acknowledge their Filipinx culture, but at the same time acknowledge their diasporic experiences, VINTA Gallery spoke to them — Filipiniana with a modern twist. “It made us happy that our uncles, aunts, and other relatives wore their beautiful barongs and ternos in celebration with us,” one of the brides, Jenn, mentioned in an interview with VINTA for our blog. “Personally, it also made me happy that our friends from many different backgrounds appreciated the flare of our attire and were interested to learn more about what we wore. To bring that sort of awareness of Philippine culture through our VINTA clothing was really one of my most special highlights of our wedding.”
Jenn’s wedding terno a custom Peplum Terno Top that she requested be made into a dress. As many of Jenn’s friends and family members have never really seen her in a dress, she added that it was “satisfying to be able to shock them a little bit.” A figure hugging, tailored silhouette, the result was an elegant and empowering custom made terno.
“What I love about this client, is that she came on board knowing EXACTLY what she wanted,” Caroline says. “In an off white bridal satin and the hand beaded fern motif in a lavender beading — done and done!”
Ask us about how to make your dream Filipiniana wedding become a reality.