From pivotal mentorship to unexpected friendship, designers Ivarluski Aseron and Jaggy Glarino find a strong, genuine connection through life and fashion
This is an excerpt from MEGA’s February 2024 Issue
At the very atelier that speaks volumes about their admirable bond, Ivarluski Aseron and Jaggy Glarino put their creativity at work and share their most honest conversations.
When did your fashion journey start?
JG: I can’t really pinpoint because I’ve always been into arts—even dancing and theater. It helped hone my love for fashion since they’re intertwined. It’s a very Filipino thing for family and relatives to ask me to design for them. I started in the industry without the know-how—I faked it until I made it. I got an offer to be a head designer in a house in Abu Dhabi without really knowing how to make clothes. Then I got fired, and I went to school. It’s really a leap of faith.
IA: I remember sketching at the back pages of my notebook during high school. My friend and I had a dream: I’ll put up a shop, he’ll put up a salon. In college, I was designing for some of my friends. I got accepted into the Young Designers Guild in 1999. Fashion is really a part of me growing up.
How did you find your identity as a designer?
JG: Up until this day, it’s still evolving. My experiences helped me find my particular niche in the industry. It’s a work in progress.
IA: What I do now, most of it, I realize, I was sketching in college. I stuck to those design elements. I’m not saying I didn’t evolve. Like I said, it’s part of me.
How does your creative process work?
JG: Now, most of my inspiration comes from my personal stories, my core experiences. It’s more organic, realistic, and relatable. I think about what resonates with me on a personal level, then I create a design without it being too obvious.
IA: I’ve never done a moodboard in my entire career. I only did it when I was a fashion student. What I do is I find myself zoning out because I’m thinking of design, pattern, and execution. I start with elements that I want to inject. Basically, the moodboard is in my mind.
Can you describe the relationship you have with each other? How did you meet?
JG: I’ve been a huge fan of Ivar ever since.
IA: Oh, really? I don’t believe that! (laughs)
JG: He really doesn’t believe me when I say that. I’ve been browsing through magazines, and I would see his clothes. I looked up to him even when I was starting. I met him and talked to him personally when we were designing for a Bench Underwear Show. He was like a typical madam and I was a newbie. I was shy and timid. Eventually, he became my mentor for Ternocon in 2020.
IA: At that time, the mentors were asked to pick the mentees. When his entry came up, they said, “Hey, you might want to take him in.” I saw his work and it was banig. I was planning to use a similar weaving technique so I said, “No. Pass.”
But he eventually became my mentee. When he was doing his collection, initially we had the same color. Then, he changed his color without me even suggesting anything. It was advantageous that he was under me because I was observing his technique and I departed from doing the same thing. I made my own type of weaving. Of course, I wanted my mentees to win and shine. So, I took a step back and did not do what he’s gonna do—without informing him.
JG: My technique and his technique are very similar kinds of fabric manipulation. He was the first mentor in mind because what I do, he’s already doing. Initially, he didn’t want to be my mentor because he thought that he wouldn’t be able to mentor me since we’re the same.
What’s something you truly admire about the other person?
IA: As a designer, he’s very prolific. He’s very inventive in his craft. He produces an unbelievable amount of pieces like, “Wow, you’re so fast.” He’s very creative and organized. Like this shoot, I let him decide more or less. I want him to shine. Personally, he’s very caring. The first time we went out, not as a date—(laughs)
JG: Oh my god! No! (laughs)
IA: No, of course not! (laughs)
We went out right after the pandemic. People were still wearing masks. When I got home, or I was probably asleep already, I received a text that said, “Did you get home safely?” He cares a lot.
JG: As a daughter! (laughs)
IA: As a daughter! (laughs)
JG: What I like about Ivar is his works are often labeled as minimalist, but they’re always very forward. As someone who is a maximalist on the other end, I have a lot to learn from what he does. It’s always very streamlined and focused but always has that “wow” factor.
IA: Talaga ha? (laughs)
JG: Yes! Designing is a personal expression and I have a lot to learn from his point of view because sometimes I overdo things. He pulls back and refines his designs. As a person, he’s very motherly. It’s always a fun experience with him. Working in fashion, it’s easy to get lost and lose the fun aspect. When we’re together it’s crazy—we get to be ourselves. It’s refreshing to have someone in the industry who does what you do, but it doesn’t feel like it when we’re together.
IA: I also like it when we talk about business and fashion-related stories. Or chika.
JG: When we talk about other people—behind their backs! (laughs)
IA: No, we don’t! (laughs)
JG: Just kidding! (laughs)
IA: That’s so mean! (laughs)
Creative Direction JONES PALTENG. Photography RENZO NAVARRO. Makeup VINCE CUSAY. Hair RAYMART ESPINA. Styling SHAIRA ABRAHAM and KURT ABONAL of NEW COLLECTIVE STYLE. Model TAKI SHIMADA. Sittings Editor MARIAN SAN PEDRO. Production BITHIA REYES.