A quick scroll through Julia Villamonte’s Instagram feed will tell you the architect has a penchant for understated design. Picturesque European landscapes, still-life blooms, and gorgeous home and building facades make up her visual diary. With a couple of chic outfit snaps here and there, you can tell Julia is not one to dress ostantatiously, too.
So when it came to picking a designer to create her wedding gown, Vania Romoff was on the top of her list. “I've been a fan of Vania's work and after seeing her dresses made of piña, I knew she had to do my dress,” Julia tells Preview. The Cebu-based designer is known to create feminine pieces in streamlined but dramatic silhouettes with a touch of understated glamour.
“There were some elements that I knew I wanted in the dress like the fabric and the sleeves. I wanted to wear piña. I thought it would be really meaningful if I went for something traditional,” the bride quips. But being based in Milan, the design consultations all happened online. “I contacted Vania in April to finalize the dress, it was already close to the date because of all the changes in our wedding plans. I asked if she could still accommodate me and fortunately, we were still able to make it work.”
How did she get her measurements to Vania? She had her husband Gio to thank, with the help of the designer’s team! He had to carefully measure and note down Julia’s digits for accuracy, which was the sole basis for Vania to start her work. Once the couple arrived in Manila a couple weeks before the wedding, the quarantine period was then used to fit the dress physically.
But abiding by proper health and safety protocols, the dress was only sent to the bride and Vania had to check everything remotely. “Luckily, the dress did fit and the measurements were correct. After the quarantine, I went to her studio to finally fit the dress with her and just made some minor adjustments,” Julia says.
Julia and Gio then tied the knot at Siama Hotel in Sorsogon. They used “tropical flowers and foliage” for the celebration and picked the location for its distinctly Filipino architecture, too.
To complement her dress, the bride finished off her look with a side-parted low bun that was softly slicked back, giving it a bit of volume. Her jewelry was restrained, and she simply chose a pair of statement but imperfectly-shaped pearl earrings to draw attention to her soft, smokey eyes. But we have to say, it was the crisp white orchids perched onto her 'do (that also held her veil in place) that made the look distinctly her own.
"All of these elements made the wedding very personal to me." she told us, and we definitely felt Julia's taste and love for design shine through as she walked down the aisle.
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