Young designer Sassa Jimenez is a hot pick of many brides today for her fresh take on romantic styles made lively through her playful design sensibility. (She presented a 20's-inspired collection for Philippine Fashion Week Holiday 2011 that was contemporized via sexy silhouettes and whimsical details.) Indeed, brides looking to keep it sweet and romantic yet fresh and modern on their wedding day will find a style kinship with Sassa.
Rebecca Rufino had just that, so Sassa dressed her up for her special day. But aside from simply agreeing on what the gown should look like, this bride-and-designer pair had another good thing going for them: they knew each other for years, so Sassa knew Rebecca at a very personal level—she knew her style, preferences and personality. And as we've heard from one of Manila's premier wedding gown designers, knowing the bride's persona is one of the most important elements in designing what she'll be wearing on her wedding day.
Read on to know all about having Sassa Jimenez as your bridal designer, and click on the photo gallery to see and read about the wedding gown she designed for Rebecca Rufino.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR DESIGN PHILOSOPHY AS A BRIDAL DESIGNER?
Sassa: I like to fuse my own ideas with my cient. There are so many different kinds of brides but as much as possible, I try to stay true to who she is, and at the same time adding my own romantic touch. After all, weddings are supposed to be romantic, soft and memorable. Each bridal gown should be unique.
WHAT IS THE SIGNATURE FLAIR THAT IMMEDIATELY CHARACTERIZES A WEDDING GOWN DONE BY SASSA JIMENEZ?
Sassa: I like to layer fabric. Most of the bridal gowns that I like to do require a lot of layering, ruffles, tiered skirts and lots of fabric. It creates drama for the bride's debut down the aisle.
HOW EARLY BEFORE THE WEDDING DO CLIENTS HAVE TO APPROACH YOU?
Sassa: I usually meet brides a year before, but they can come as late as 6 months prior to the wedding.
HOW OFTEN DO YOU HAVE TO MEET/TALK TO CLIENTS REGARDING THEIR WEDDING GOWN DESIGNS?
Sassa: I usually have 2-3 meetings of just talking about the designs before we finalize everything. I like to get to know my clients beforehand and build a harmonious relationship with them since we're going to be working together for a long time.
HOW OFTEN DOES A CLIENT HAVE TO VISIT YOU FOR FITTINGS?
Sassa: It depends on the cut of the dress. Some dresses are easier to fit than others but I usually meet with my brides at least 5 times before the wedding.
ON AVERAGE, HOW LONG DOES A WEDDING GOWN TAKE TO MAKE?
Sassa: Around 6-8 months.
WHAT ARE THE PRICE POINTS OF A SASSA JIMENEZ WEDDING GOWN, AS WELL AS THE PIECES FOR THE BRIDAL ENTOURAGE? DO YOU DO THE GROOM'S AND GROOMSMEN'S ENSEMBLES AS WELL?
Sassa: I only do womenswear so I design for the bride, bridesmaids, flower girls, mothers and secondary sponsors. Price points are around P90,000 and up for a bridal gown, and P120,000 and up for a normal-sized entourage.
HOW WAS IT LIKE WORKING WITH REBECCA? HOW DID SHE APPROACH YOU TO BE HER BRIDAL GOWN DESIGNER?
Sassa: I've known Becs (Rebecca) since I was little. She's actually the friend of my sister. We see each other on a regular basis so it wasn't a surprise when we just started working on her dress immediately when wedding plans were being made.
PLEASE DESCRIBE THE GOWN THAT YOU DESIGNED FOR HER.
Sassa: The gown is a sleek mermaid cut with an organdy pleated bodice and a crystal belt. The hem of the dress was trimmed with layers of illusion tulle to create a "floating" effect. It is a very modern yet romantic wedding gown.
ANY POINTERS PROSPECTIVE CLIENTS NEED TO KNOW ABOUT HAVING YOU AS THEIR BRIDAL DESIGNER?
Sassa: I think it's important that a bride chooses her designer wisely. You both should be on the same page every step of the way. Finding the perfect designer to make your dream gown is like finding a soul mate. One must keep a keen eye on work ethic, efficiency and of course, style. I like to work with different kinds of brides and I like learning about their story before sketching anything on paper. The best thing to do is to keep showing/saying what you want and what you want to avoid. It helps me have a clearer picture of what your dream gown will look like.
Click on the photo gallery to see the wedding gown Sassa Jimenez designed for Rebecca Rufino.