#FashionFridays: The Blooming of Mak Tumang Bridal

The photocollage I am gonna feature for today is from the latest bridal collection of designer Mak Tumang.

Featured at the event, Weddings at The Peninsula, this collection boasts of haute couture mastery that evokes the intricate beadwork of middle-eastern designers and the exquisite draping of European ateliers. To say that I love this collection is an understatement. I am particularly enamored with the tulle layers used at to create an ombre effect on the huge draped flower details.

Mak’s stint at Central Saint Martins to study embroidery techniques paid off with this collection as it also incorporated feathers with traditional beadwork. Add to it is his mastery of cut and drape, you could see a very gorgeous bridal collection…

BLOOM | Holiday 2018
Photographed by: Doc Marlon Pecjo
Styled by: Reynaldo Santos Jr.


The Dayana Crown Created by George Wittels

We have featured on this blog the first George Wittels crown to be used in the Philippines. Today’s post is also aligned with that with the Miss Hercules pageant crown commissioned by Richard James White from the Venezuelan crown-maker.

Here is what Sir Richard had to say about the Miss Hercules crown that was named after Miss Universe 2008 Dayana Mendoza:
This is the very first crown that I commissioned the famous Venezuelan Jeweler, George Wittels to custom design a crown for the first edition of Miss Hercules. Mr Wittels named this piece “DAYANA’s CROWN”. The Dayana crown is a three dimensional timeless piece. It is made of silver and is accentuated with fine crystals and turquoise stones. The crystals symbolize elegance, nobility, and greatness, whereas the turquoise stones represent prosperity, camaraderie, and friendship. George Wittels drew inspiration from Dayana Mendoza’s accessories worn when she won the Miss Universe 2008 title.

There are actually a couple of crowns that Wittels made for the Miss Hercules pageant. One is only to be used in official ceremonial functions and crowning of winners (hence aptly named the Coronation Crown). Those crowns are very precious indeed. Did you also know that aside from the commissioned crowns, the Venezuelan designer also gave replicas of the earrings worn by Dayana Mendoza and Gabriela Isler when they won Miss Universe? Those pieces are truly remarkable pageant memorabilia and would be something every pageant buff be proud to cherish.

A George Wittels Crown for Miss Tacloban

The very first George Wittels crown to be used in the Philippines will be used for the Miss Tacloban pageant!

Tacloban City – A thousand dollar Venezuelan made crown by renowned beauty pageant jeweler maker awaits Ms. Tacloban 2018 wannabe and its successor. This was revealed by beauty pageant crown donor Mr. Richard James White in an interview. The crown made exclusively for Ms. Tacloban 2018 and its successor was made by famous Venezuelan pageant crown maker George Wittels. Continue reading “A George Wittels Crown for Miss Tacloban”

National Costume Wish-List for Jehza Huelar

The Miss Supranational pageant is more of a showcase of showmanship than a traditional pageant. So it only goes to say that the wardrobe for this pageant should look like a fashion show of sorts.
These two costume wishlist for Binibining Pilipinas Supranational Jehza Huelar would be some of the options that I feel would be reflective of her background…

1. Mascota de Zamboanga – of course I would want something that would be apt for Jehza’s background coming from Mindanao. One of the highlights of the annual Hermosa Festival  in Zamboanga City is Mascota de Zamboanga, a gala event which showcases formal and elegant gowns called the Mascota designed by local artists. This costume would greatly reflect her roots.

2. Yakan Costume – I am deeply amazed at the white face-painting that these tribes would do during weddings. With their adoption of colorful garb, it would be interesting to see how it can be translated into very intricate outfit for a beauty pageant. Yakan weaving of cottons and silks are some of the most remarkable textiles in Mindanao. I can just imagine the numerous possibilities for this wonderful attire.

National Costume Wish-List for Karen Gallman

While it may be easy to go the ‘tribal costume’ route for Binibining Pilipinas Intercontinental Karen Gallman, I believe in going towards the more classy Filipiniana for her. But I would like for her to go for more clean feminine colors to really set off her beautiful face. Her Binibining Pilipinas costume was on point but I would have preferred a more graceful and light fabrics for her. I also believe that pastels would be great for her as long as she doesn’t over bake her tan. Or go all the way dramatic with gold, red and black, I don’t think cold colors (greens, purples, blues) works well with her…

Now on to the two national costume ideas I feel would be great for her…
1. A ‘Mantilla’ Costume – the lace veil worn when women go to mass was a Spanish custom adapted by Filipinos during the the Hispanic colonization of the country. Karen’s Caucasian features would be so perfect with this Hispanic inspired costume and an added Spanish pieneta would add height and old world glamor.
2. An ‘Imeldific’ terno with a lace parasol– with a face like hers, Karen doesn’t need much of an elaborate costume. Inspired by a number of photographs of the former First Lady of the Philippines, the idea stems out of how composed and collected she looked. The focal point of this costume is Karen’s lovely face and not the costume itself. The delicateness of the design and of course the parasol lends to her beauty not the other way around.

I hope that Karen gets to be given the best wardrobe and the best training if we want the Philippines’ first Miss Intercontinental crown. Hopefully, she has already started to map out her gameplan as early as now for the international pageant…

Heavenly Bodies Met Gala 2018: The Best Dressed

Every first Monday of May, the Metropolitan Museum brings together an exhibition of fashion with an opening gala/night that is dubbed to be the Superbowl of Fashion. This year’s event was so magnanimous that it is considered one of the biggest Met Gala to date. It is no wonder that days after, it still floods social media with almost a million tags on Instagram.

So today I am putting up a list of my picks of the best dressed (according to theme) women in the event.

Zendaya in Atelier Versace. This is my personal pick for the Best Dressed celeb of the night. It wasn’t overkill but it delivered the message well. Her armor outfit reminded me of the Dior FW 2006 haute couture collection by John Galliano…
Jennifer Lopez in Balmain… Gigi Hadid in Versace…
Lana del Rey channeling the Our Lady of Sorrows in Gucci, while Priyanka Chopra was going ‘Knights Templar’ in Ralph Lauren…
Stella Maxwell is all Divine Mother in Moschino while Amanda Seyfried was an angelic vision in Prada…
Blake Lively was fully decked in Atelier Versace while Rose Huntington went simple in Ralph Lauren…
Katy Perry stole the red carpet with her massive wings, she is wearing Versace. Star of the night was undoubtedly Rihanna in her Papal outfit by Maison Martin Margiela by John Galliano.


Creative Vision: The Making of a National Costume

The national costume has got to be my favorite part in any pageant wardrobe. I get more excited with the lavishness and grandiosity of seeing our culture represented in a garb than seeing sneak peeks of one’s evening gown.

Last year, I had the privilege to be asked to create a concept art for Charmaine Elima’s national costume. The idea then was to capitalize on her dusky morena skin with a Nuestra Senora La Naval inspired national costume.  One that pays homage to the Filipinos love and devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. It may not have won best national costume but it did create buzz around the candidate who wore it. That costume created waves among pageant fans and that was always the goal.  Which is the point of today’s blogpost: a focus on the national costume and how it should be designed and executed.
Whenever I am doing a national costume re-imagining or asked to create a concept design, I only have two considerations: 1) it should feel and look AUTHENTIC to the Filipino culture and 2) it should create DRAMA and IMPACT.

Vision to reality: the exquisite details that jumped from paper to fabric and jewelry…

Authenticity is a hard thing to do nowadays with a number of national costumes in pageants. When I did the concept art for Valerie’s costume for Dances of the World, it did receive some flak on the usage of the color blue instead of the traditional black and red of the T’boli tribe. Nobody knew that the costume was actually a Blit Blaan costume, a dance from the B’laan tribe which uses navy, blue and white with other colors in their wardrobe. There is a lot of misinformation that could happen based on Filipinos limited knowledge of our own culture which is the point of research to make it feel authentic.

Take into account the recent Maranao costume of Catriona Gray. A number of pageant fans assumed that it was a Singkil costume (perhaps owing to the fact that it’s the most popular Marano dance). Others had actually went to post online the inaccuracy of the parasol saying that the princess in the singkil dance only holds the apir fans and the parasol was to be held by her handmaiden (it is noteworthy to mention that the position of a handmaiden in court is reserved for the noble families not for slaves). The costume however pays homage to a lesser known Maranao dance called the Kinakulangan where maidens would hold parasols and handkerchiefs as they dance. Actual research has to back up every design to reinforce being authentic. It is the only way to be respectful to the culture that the costume is representing.

The parasol looked exactly as the concept art. The Sarimanok on top was my idea to dramatically create a lasting impact and to lift this iconic creature higher…

There is also the aspect of impact and high-drama. Every costume needs to have visual impact for it to stand out among a sea of costumes. Whether it was the bells of the B’laan costume of Valerie, the body-tattoos of the Pintados costume of Mary Ann Ross Misa, the religious connotations of Charmaine’s terno or the Sarimanok atop Catriona’s parasol…there has to be a focal point that gives the wow factor. There has to be that element that ties everything together without sacrificing the overall impact of the entire look.

When you put these two elements together, you get a memorable costume. Authenticity and Impact.

Mi & Me Luxury Nails

If you immediately knew who those fingers belong to without even reading the caption, then you know that those are Catriona Gray’s. She had these nails during the Binibining Pilipinas finals night last March. While I know that this has been a long overdue post, I still would like everyone to acknowledge the artist who made these fantastic nail art:  Mimi Q. Reyes of Mi & Me Luxury Nails.

These fantastic nail art won’t easily chip or get removed even when it gets wet. They look super fantastic and you can have one custom-made for you. With these on your fingertips, you won’t need any other accessory at all. Add to that is that you get the quality and service from one who has done the hands of a number of our celebrities from Ann Curtis to Colleen Garcia to Alice Dixson.

Mondays to Saturdays – Bellagio Square  Unit J 1658 J Bocobo St, Bgy 698, Zone 076 Malate, Manila
Sundays – Greenbelt 1 Strokes, Makati
For  appointments – call 3546807 or sms/text 09178000686

National Costume Wish-List for Eva Patalinjug

If I were given the opportunity to create a concept art for a national costume to be worn by Eva Patalinjug for Miss Grand International, I would gladly accept the chance.

I actually have a couple of ideas for her national costume that I feel would be great for her pageant in Myanmar come October 25th.
1. Sinulog Festival Costume – of course this should be an option as Eva comes from Cebu. The Sinulog festival queen outfit would be so perfect for her mestiza beauty and will tie-up perfectly with her hometown of Cebu. I would love to make the concept art in a grandiose and extravagant manner, something that the MGI pageant seems to favor.

2. Boxer Codex Pintados Costume – one of the oldest documents in existence regarding the pintados of Visayas is the Boxer Codex that illustrated the ornate tattoos and the rich gold heritage of pre-Hispanic Philippines. The difference here is I would make it with a little more color to make it festive.
The national costume for Eva should be something that represents her and her background. I hope that Eva would be given a great wardrobe for her competition. I believe that she can actually be the first Filipina Miss Grand International winner…

PhotoCollage of the Day: Farah Abu Accessories by Farah Abu

The PhotoCollage of the Day feature today is on the very talented accessory designer from Mindanao: Farah Abu.

I would be totally honest in saying that the first time I met her, I was speechless with her sense of style. Wearing a simple LBD accentuated with a very fancy body jewelry and chic earrings, she stood out during the national costume shoot of then Binibini 20 Catriona Gray. Little did we know then that she together with Jearson Dimavivas and Jojo Bragais would be making the outfit that would win the Pitoy Moreno award for Best National Costume in Binibining Pilipinas 2018.

Here is the designer in her show in the US… and yes that on the far right is Alaiza Malinao

As a tribute to each of these talented designers, I am featuring them one by one on the blog. Visit her official Facebook page at Farah Abu Accessories by Farah Abu. But in the meantime, check out these lovely creations of hers…