Thea de Rivera and Gab Bustos, the newlyweds-to-be behind cool izakaya joint 12/10, have always done things precisely their way, from serving modern, reinterpreted Japanese fare at their popular Guijo spot to planning out their soon-coming nuptials. Even their vibrant, funky pre-wedding shoot is proof! Those colors are hypnotizing, and that painterly beauty situation? Top tier.
Here, we pause for a chat with the bride herself on how the project, a vision brought to life by the couple's creative dream team of near, dear friends, came to be!
How did you come up with the idea for a cool, off-kilter pre-wedding shoot?
"My fiancé and I decided to cut on some costly things for the wedding, our pre-nup shoot included. So when I had to make the big decision to do my hair and makeup myself for the big day, I found myself practicing on my face almost every day! I've been using Estée Lauder's Double Wear Foundation for more than a year now; I knew there was nothing else my skin would be comfortable with, so I might as well just do my full face for the big day myself. Of course, as I spent more time looking for beauty looks and trying out different products and colors, I realized that all this effort to feed my beauty addiction and this beautiful journey that is wedding planning are reasons enough to produce this pre-wedding shoot. And, of course, to give a shoutout to Estée Lauder for my glow for the past years!"
What was the inspiration behind the shoot's aesthetic? Was there a peg?
"I'm fortunate I have a couple of Manila's finest creatives as friends. Koji Arboleda, the photographer behind the shoot, is actually our friend of honor! Andrea Ang took care of styling, Sylvina Lopez brought to life all the beauty looks, and Mara Manalo, our go-to for anything interior design and construction-related, took charge of production design. I knew I would be working with the best of the best, so I gave everyone the freedom to play and express [their interpretation of] my personality and the overall feel that I wanted to convey. I wanted to express something playful yet clean, loud but elegant, and, most of all, a lot of fun! It was a great experience working with this team that actually didn't need pegs. I'm really amazed by everyone's output!"
Describe the beauty and fashion direction for us, please!
"We all agreed that the binding element for all of us would be color and texture. I've always loved the idea of working with loud colours for makeup so I knew this was a non-negotiable for my bridal beauty shoot. We locked down all the beauty looks first--it was such a breeze to work with Slo on this! She sent over the colors that we could work with and all the lines and shapes we could incorporate in every layout's look. We kept in mind that we wanted to highlight my bride-to-be glowing skin, which I always credit Estée Lauder's Advanced Night Repair Serum for.
Once all the colors were locked down, Andrea and Mara delivered beyond expectations! The shoot literally felt like a playground for creatives."
How long did it take to put the whole project together?
"With a team as great as the one I had, it took us less than a month to piece everything together. The shoot itself was one full day at Summit Studio. Amazing, right?!"
How would you say this shoot reflects you as a person and as a bride?
"I've always enjoyed being able to put out something fresh and different, but still very true to who I am. I like showcasing my comfort in my body and skin because I know my personality would never suggest any malicious content anyway! [Laughs.] I love how the shoot was able to show not only my mature and confident side, but also my daring and playful personalities too. I'm a Libra so I like everything really balanced out. [Laughs.]
"The shoot's also very telling of the kind of bride that I am, and the kind of couple that we are! I'm so excited to share wedding details also, actually! It's nothing confined within the context of what weddings are supposed to be. We aspire to have a fresh, genuine, fun, and simply memorable wedding. I'm happy my husband-to-be has an eye and appreciation for art and expression, which I think was a big push for me to just own this shoot. I remember telling the team when we met that my main goal for this shoot was to make my fiancé fall even more in love with me! After all, this bridal journey is all about my day with him!"
Photographed by Koji Arboleda
Styled by Andrea Ang
Makeup by Sylvina Lopez
Production Design by Mara Manalo