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The Bridesmaids Wore: Arleen Sipat

Resort wear designer Arleen Sipat talks to us about designing bridesmaids' dresses.
The Bridesmaids Wore: Arleen Sipat Resort wear designer Arleen Sipat talks to us about designing bridesmaids' dresses.

Arleen Sipat, the luxe wear designer behind Salsatrends and Azucar, is naturally no stranger to designing pretty frocks for women. Since her expertise lies in creating glam getups for those who like to allure and look and feel great, it's no surprise that many betrothed ladies out there approach her to design their bridesmaids' dresses for their wedding day. These wise ladies know they get value for their money when they have Arleen design for their fair female friends, as Arleen makes sure the dresses see wear time outside the wedding ceremony.

Here, Arleen gives us the lowdown on having her as your entourage designer, and in the accompanying gallery, newlywed Pamela Picazo enthuses about having Arleen dress up her lovely bridesmaids in her recent wedding.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR DESIGN PHILOSOPHY AS A BRIDAL ENTOURAGE DESIGNER?
My design philosophy shifts in accordance with the client's needs. I guess the best description of my style [has a] goddess [for an inspiration], [done in a] more modern design.

WHAT IS THE SIGNATURE FLAIR THAT IMMEDIATELY CHARACTERIZES A BRIDESMAID'S GOWN DONE BY ARLEEN SIPAT? CAN IT BE WORN OUTSIDE THE WEDDING THEY WERE DESIGNED FOR?
Obviously, as with my [regular] clothing designs, it [is] the enhancement of the gown [through] beading [with] semi-precious stones. This should [be immediately recognized by] the potential client. Most of my creations could be worn for other occasions; however, some of the more elaborate styles would need some alterations to make them more wearable.

HOW EARLY BEFORE THE WEDDING DO CLIENTS HAVE TO APPROACH YOU?
Ideally, the earlier the better, if the client wants us to source more fabric and accessories for her gown. The minimum—three months—is workable for us.

HOW OFTEN DO YOU HAVE TO MEET/TALK TO CLIENTS REGARDING THEIR DESIGNS?
This is largely up to the client; however, in most cases, we need to meet at least on three occasions.

HOW OFTEN DOES A CLIENT HAVE TO VISIT YOU FOR FITTINGS?
Two times is the [norm]. However, if the client is going to go on [a] crash diet before her wedding, we generally adjust the fitting schedule aligned to the clients' weight changes.

ON AVERAGE, HOW LONG DOES AN ENTIRE BRIDAL ENTOURAGE COLLECTION TAKE TO MAKE?
Ideally, two and a half months. However, we can complete an entourage collection in a month in urgent cases. This is as long as we don't have too many orders at that time.

DO YOU ALSO HAVE TO STAY IN TOUCH WITH THE DESIGNER OF THE BRIDE'S WEDDING GOWN?
No we don't have to only for the bride.

WHAT ARE THE PRICE POINTS OF A BRIDAL ENTOURAGE COLLECTION DONE BY ARLEEN SIPAT (INCLUDING THE ENSEMBLES FOR THE GROOMSMEN)?
Pricing is flexible. It depends on the intricacy of the designs, fabric and the size of the entourage. Entourage gowns can start at P6000 and go up to P15,000. At this stage, we are not making outfits for men.

OUT OF ALL THE WEDDINGS YOU'VE DESIGNED FOR, ARE THERE ANY PARTICULAR ONES THAT YOU LOVE OR ARE DEARLY MEMORABLE?
As I am getting married in mid-July, the answer is obvious: my entourage, of course. Actually, this has had a most positive impact for me as I can now certainly feel what the client goes through.

But I also really liked what I did for Ms. Pamela Picazo.

ANY POINTERS PROSPECTIVE CLIENTS NEED TO KNOW ABOUT HAVING YOU AS THEIR BRIDAL ENTOURAGE DESIGNER?
Be decisive in what design you want and what budget you want to limit yourself to. But let me influence you if I think you are going for something that is not going to work—the clients have personalities and so do gowns in a way—and they need to compliment one another.

Click here to view and read about the entourage dresses Arleen Sipat made for the wedding of Pamela Picazo.

Click here to view Arleen Sipat's Designer Directory.


—Jae de Veyra Pickrell, Editorial Assistant

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