There are a ton of Mark Bumgarner frocks ingrained in local sartorial memory, given the man's mastery of creating the kind of dresses every woman dreams about. Still, it's these two Star Magic Ball showstoppers that stand out: Jodi Sta. Maria's dazzling, structured black ballgown from 2016, and the pearl-and-Swarovski-peppered fairytale princess moment Maymay Entrata had in 2017.
Preview sits down with the designer himself to wax nostalgic about these breathtaking pieces—just in time for tomorrow night's ABS-CBN Ball!
What was the inspiration behind each dress?
"For Jodi, I wanted her look to be very elegant and classic because she has this beautiful face and beautiful shoulders and I wanted to highlight that. She has never worn a ballgown to the ball but I didnt want to do the usual frothy look.
"For Maymay, it was her first Star Magic Ball so I wanted it to be special and grand. A Cinderella moment, I love to call it."
Were there any suggestions from the girls on what they wanted the gowns to look like?
"I always work with their stylists for events like this; for Jodi it was Patricia Coronado, and for Maymay it was Rain Dagala. During initial meetings, they tell me the look they're going for, and then I send them sketch options with my design and what I think would look best. Of course, the sketch is not always final as it could always change during fittings."
How were the gowns very "them"? What made each dress unique to the woman wearing it?
"Creating a red carpet dress is really a collaboration between myself, the stylist, and the celebrity. I always take into consideration the taste of the client, and also get to know her style. That’s what makes the dress very [unique to] them."
Any fun or cool stories to share about the process of creating each dress?
"For Jodi’s dress, I had to change the embellishment last minute. The design orginally had lace appliqués all over, but I removed it last minute and changed to crystals instead. For Maymay’s dress, It was supposed to have a pink ombre effect but I had to change it last minute as well. These changes are unavoidable especially for red carpet dresses, which have to look perfect in every angle."
How long did it take for you to create these pieces?
"For Jodi, it was over a month. For Maymay, it was over two months."
Would you say that ballgowns like these are your true specialty?
"Yeah, I'd like to think so, but it’s really nothing new. Different designers have different ways of doing this style, and for our version, we have mastered the technique."
Could we get a hint on which stars you'll be dressing for this year's ABS-CBN Ball?
"We have a few of our fave muses but also some surprises for you this year!"