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WHERE DID YOU RECEIVE YOUR FASHION TRAINING?
Growing up in a family with a fabric business in the heart of Dagupan City, it was inevitable for me to someday become a fashion designer. It started with my love for drawing so after finishing high school, I pursued a degree in Fine Arts at the Far Eastern University where I graduated cum laude. But it is the fabulous and exciting world of fashion that called to me. It was then that I decided to take formal training in dressmaking at the Slim's Fashion and Arts School. It has always been my belief that although the hands can learn the skills, only the heart can design. So there I learned to translate my sketches into beautiful dresses and gowns especially made to fit.
WHAT IS YOUR DESIGN PHILOSOPHY?
I love it when a dress and the wearer complement each other.
WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR INSPIRATION?
You can't tell what might inspire you. It can be a movie you've seen, a book you've read, a dress you've been dreaming of, music you've heard, or even a boy you've loved.
WHICH DESIGNERS/ARTISTS DO YOU ADMIRE MOST?
Too many to mention, hahaha! To name a few: Versace, Elie Saab, Vera Wang, Monique Lhuillier, Celine Dion, Angelina Jolie—I can go on and on.
WHO WOULD YOU LOVE TO DRESS? WHO ARE THE CLIENTS YOU ENJOY WORKING WITH?
I would really love to dress Divine Lee. With clients, I enjoy working with brides who know what they want, and trust you to make the best gown for her.
WHO DO YOU THINK IS THE PERFECT EXAMPLE OF TIMELESS STYLE?
I think everyone will agree that Audrey Hepburn is the perfect, timeless style icon, but recently I've been really fond of Tina Turner's style: short dresses, high heels, rock 'n' roll! And don't forget the big hair and pouty lips.
WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE AS A DESIGNER?
Designing for my sister is always a big challenge because she can criticize me all she wants and I'd still love her despite that.
WHICH ASPECT OF THE DESIGN PROCESS DO YOU ENJOY MOST?
I enjoy the sketching part. I really love to draw. I don't necessarily enjoy sewing but once I start I find it therapeutic, especially on the edging machine.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE GARMENT OR FASHION ACCESSORY?
I'll have to say a little black dress and a pair of killer stilettos!
ANY CURRENT OBSESSIONS?
HOW HAVE YOU EVOLVED AS A DESIGNER?
I've learned that just because you don't like something doesn't mean it's not beautiful. Keep an open mind, see beauty when no one else does.
WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF IN YOUR CAREER?
I'm not fulfilled yet in terms of my career; I have a long way to go and much more to achieve. But I believe my exposure from Project Runway Philippines and the good reviews from Fashion Week have inspired a few souls and it gives me so much pride and joy to know that I've touched lives in my own little way.
WHAT IS THE GREATEST COMPLIMENT YOU HAVE RECEIVED ABOUT YOUR WORK?
Seeing a happy bride wearing my gown.
WHAT ASPECT OF DESIGN DO YOU SEEK TO MASTER/HAVE DEVOTED TIME TO MASTER?
I guess, pattern-making. I think I should devote more time to mastering that because it's the blueprint of your design.
ASPIRATIONS FOR THE BRAND IN THE FUTURE?
A ready-to-wear (RTW) line.
HOW DO YOU UNWIND?
Watch a movie, shop, and play online games.
FAVORITE SHOPPING AND TRAVEL DESTINATIONS?
I have a go-to place in 168! Boracay for summer.
WHAT MUSIC DO YOU LISTEN TO? FILMS YOU WATCH? BOOKS YOU READ?
I'm pretty much generic when it comes to music, films, and books but i'm a big fan of Celine Dion.
OTHER PASTIMES, PASSIONS, INTERESTS ASIDE FROM FASHION?
I'll have to say online games. I think I play more than I should.
WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST EXTRAVAGANCE?
As of now, a laptop and a few pairs of shoes.
WHICH OTHER TALENT WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO HAVE?
I don't dance, I don't sing. Probably cook, it is after all, the best way to a man's heart.
WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER YOUR GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT?
I'd say starting to get noticed in the fashion industry is something I'm very proud of.
WHAT CAN WE LOOK FORWARD TO FROM YOU AS A DESIGNER?
Expect more beautiful clothes.
WHAT DO YOU THINK THE PHILIPPINE FASHION INDUSTRY NEEDS MOST IN ORDER TO FLOURISH?
I think Filipinos should be more open to exploring fashion because the industry will not flourish if people are contented with wearing T-shirts, jeans and flip flops.
DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR ASPIRING DESIGNERS?
I'll quote a line from the song "Tell Him" by Celine Dion: "Feed the fire with all the passion you can show."