What was your reaction when you found out you're doing Kathryn's debut gown?
I was thrilled. I would have never expected that Kathryn would ask a fairly new/young designer like me to create a gown for such a special event in her life.
What was your inspiration behind your design for Kathryn?
When Kath came to me, she knew exactly what she wanted. She wanted something less princess-y and more lady-like, which was appropriate for the occasion actually since it was her debut. We also still agreed to keep it feminine and youthful. Also almost immediately agreed on dusk blue. This was days before Lupita Nyong'o's Nairobi Blue Prada Red Carpet moment by the way. (laughs)
Can you describe the gown in detail (fabric, color, silhouette, special treatments)?
It was made of pure silk chiffon in a beautiful dusk blue. We opted for a Sabrina neckline originally but ended up going for something that showed off her collar bone more. Also, a backless gown was one of the things she was particularly keen about, and so I was more than happy to oblige. I also almost never do beadwork but, I made an exception for this. I decided to do light and dainty silk flowers that were attached sparingly around the skirt. Nothing overwhelming. It gave the gown that special something.
How was the experience of working with Kathryn like?
It was so easy and fun working with Kath. She is so sweet and charming. You wouldn't even think she was this huge star because she seemed so down to earth. She had ideas of how she wanted to look like. I sketched up a gown with her preferences in mind. The whole collaboration was effortless. Also, her stylist Rainier Dagala was there with us every step of the way.
How long did it take you to finish the gown? How many people worked on it?
We did it in about two weeks or so. It was such a challenge to work under a short amount of time. My small but amazing team who were excited to do Kathryn's gown all contributed.
For debutants interested to have their gowns made by Vania Romoff, what is the lead time and how can they book an appointment?
A good two to three weeks before would be more than enough time to come up with a beautiful gown. You can check vaniaromoff.com.ph and easily book an appointment through there. Otherwise, you can send us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or reach us through +02 576 8629 or +63 999 867 3547.
Photo credit: @vaniaromoff, Anton Aguila
Just remember, the perfect dress is the sum of a collaboration between the designer and the client. So when looking for a designer, always look for one who will listen to you but at the same time won't sacrifice his/her design aesthetics just to please you. You should also be open-minded!