Every young woman deserves to attend prom looking like the most beautiful girl in the room. It’s an exciting milestone and possibly the closest we have to experiencing a Cinderella moment. And while buying an off-the-rack outfit is always a practical option, nothing compares to wearing a dress that’s especially made for you. Think of fashion designers as your fairy godmother who can breathe life into your dream prom dress!
But what is it exactly that’s keeping you from having a fairytale ending? Below, we list down the most common lies and assumptions that you need to brush off if you want to make your dream prom dress come true!
Lie #1: Having a dress made by a fashion designer is crazy expensive!
Before anything else, let’s get this issue out of the way as we’re sure the price is everyone’s biggest concern. It’s not always true that fashion designers are crazy expensive—in fact, some of our go-to young designers like Mae-Ann Veloso and Mix Supetran have P7000 as their starting rate for a prom dress. Although of course, given the fact that not all dresses are created equal, there can be no such thing as a fixed rate. “The price could go up to 25k depending on the final design and materials selected,” Mae-Ann explains. “The final design will be the main determining factor of the price. If the design includes more intricate details such as hand sewn appliqué or beadwork, then the price would increase.” In a nutshell, it only makes sense why a big poufy gown that’s fully embellished would cost a lot more than a simple satin slip dress.
Lie #2: You can bring a photo of the exact dress you want and simply have it copied by the designer.
A big no-no! A designer is called a designer for obvious reasons, so don’t think you can simply show them a photo of a Hollywood celebrity on the red carpet and demand for the very same dress. “I don't mind seeing some pegs, just so I can get a feel of or see the overall vibe you’re going for. However, pegs are there to guide and not be copied,” says local designer Bea Samson. “I don't want to sound bad, but we don't just sew. I find it quite offensive to just insist on a peg, and in the end expect us to just copy or reproduce the look of, say, your favorite celebrity.”
Lie #3: You don’t have to worry about anything because the designer will do all the work.
If you want to achieve the best possible outcome, then keep in mind that it should be a collaborative effort between the designer and the client. Mix notes that effective communication is the key to see eye to eye during the process of creating your dream gown: “When you meet your designer, you should already have an idea of the cut or look you want. It saves a lot of time and [prevents] any miscommunications between you two. Don't hesitate to ask questions and suggestions, [like which] designs would look good on your body type.” To which, she adds, “Your happiness during prom day is important to us, too. If you want to change something or if you don't like something about the gown during fitting, then tell us immediately!”
For Bea, it also helps a lot if the client is honest about what she wants. “It's important for me to know what kind of design she likes or doesn't like, what cuts, colors, and fabrics she's comfortable with, and what she wants to accentuate or hide,” she reiterates, adding that “every custom piece is a collaboration because ideas come from both the client and the designer.”
Lie #4: You can go to a designer last-minute and expect your dream gown to just magically pop up.
If you want every detail to be perfect, then don’t make this mistake. “Allot enough time for the garment to be made—it's better to be early and have enough time for fittings and adjustments, rather than have so little time and end up rushing to finish everything,” says Bea, stressing on its importance.
Some designers will still accept a project on short notice, but to ensure quality control, the best practice is to meet with your designer ahead of time. Mae-Ann echoes the same sentiment: “Rush orders can be completed in one to two weeks but it would be preferable to have at least one month lead time. The earlier the designer can be contacted, the better. This will ensure all adjustments are completed in time before the event. Less stress for everyone!”
Lie #5: It’s okay to keep changing your mind.
Ideally, the client’s aesthetic and the design of the dress are discussed during the first meeting. It is then followed by fittings to make sure that the finished product will fit like a glove. It’s important to make up your mind on the design and to show up on time during scheduled meetings to ensure that everything will fall into place, otherwise it is very inconsiderate for the designer who’s doing all the alterations. “It would be great if a client would conform with the agreed design as changes require more time to construct and additional expense for the client. Sticking with the scheduled meetings and/or fittings is also a must to give room for alterations,” says local designer Me-an Marqueda. “The client first and foremost must trust the designer.”