Julia Barretto wore a Filipiniana gown by Rajo Laurel when she attended the ABS-CBN Ball 2019 on September 14, 2019. It was the first time the actress wore the Filipino national attire called terno.
The terno is also known as traje de mestiza and Maria Clara gown. It is named after the mestiza protagonist of “Noli Me Tangere,” a novel written in 1887 by Filipino hero José Rizal.
In 2017, Miss Universe Philippines 2016 Maxine Medina incorrectly said the terno was invented by former Philippine first lady Imelda Marcos, 90, the wife of the late Ferdinand Marcos. The Filipino beauty queen made the claim when she visited Vigan, Ilocos Sur, Philippines with her fellow Miss Universe 2016 candidates.
“The terno was actually invented by our former first lady Imelda Marcos,” Medinsa said. “She invented these butterfly sleeves and they use it to cover their face.”
But according to scenographer and exhibition and costume designer Gino Gonzales, the creation of the terno was a collective effort. In 2015, the New York University alum told the Philippine Daily Inquirer that no one person invented the Philippine national dress.
Photographs of women wearing the terno as early as 1910 are featured in “Fashionable Filipinas: An Evolution of the Philippine National Dress in Photographs, 1860-1960,” a book Gonzales co-wrote with artist Mark Lewis Higgins. Imelda was born on July 2, 1929.
Wearing a terno by Laurel, Barretto arrived at the ABS-CBN Ball 2019 alone. Completing her look were her hairstyle by RJ de la Cruz, nails by Extraordinail Salon and Skin Care and styling by Cath Sobrevega.
Barretto wanted to show respect to the terno by letting it be the one to shine. She even hired a makeup artist who flew all the way from Thailand just for the event.
Meanwhile, here is a clip featuring the Miss Universe 2016 candidates wearing terno: