Some women might say that their wedding gown is the most important garment they will ever wear, and so it would only make sense to have one made that’s truly their own.
But while bespoke wedding gowns are still widely popular for Filipina brides, ready to wear bridal is gradually becoming a popular choice for many women who are about to take the plunge. Celebrity brides Bea Soriano-Dee and Bianca Gonzalez-Intal have opted for a more practical option: Spanish bridal brand Rosa Clarà, which offers beautiful bridal gowns, off-the-rack.
As one of the pioneers of ready-to-wear bridal in the Philippines, Rosa Clará knew that it would be a challenge to change the minds of local brides about the concept. It helps, of course, that Rosa Clarà’s selection of gowns are crafted with much meticulousness and care — there is no doubt that quality is at the top of mind in the creation of every gown. And much like any atelier, the store can also dress their brides on the day itself, should they request it.
The Edition spoke with Rosa Clarà Philippines’ managing partner Valerie Zayco to discuss the best ways to make the most out of buying a ready to wear gown — from celebrating the classics, altering to fit, and getting a good night’s sleep from knowing that your bridal dreams have become a reality.
Maximize the benefits of buying off-the-rack
“[When you buy an RTW gown, you] see what you’re paying for and not feel shortchanged at the end of the day when the promised gown doesn’t meet your expectations. Especially since some custom-made gowns are much more expensive than RTW ones. You get to see and touch the actual fabric of the gown… And because you know what the dress will really look like, you can use it as a starting point or main inspiration for your event planning or styling. With RTW, brides can sleep soundly knowing they have seen their wedding gowns and that they actually exist!”
Celebrate the classics with something unusual
“I would suggest buying a classic, timeless, strapless wedding gown and pairing it with one of our removable tops. This way, the bride would actually have two looks. She can go with a more modern long sleeved top, for example, to wear in church and remove it for a classic sweetheart lace gown for the reception. Or she could opt for one of our gowns that come with a sophisticated mermaid silhouette with an overskirt that will make it look more like a ball gown for a dramatic walk down the aisle. This overskirt, when removed, will reveal the more daring silhouette perfect for the reception or the after party.”
Sleep on it before deciding
“I always tell friends who come and fit gowns to sleep on it, and then come back and re-try their favorite gown and other gowns more similar to that one so that they can compare, since when they first come, we like to make them try as many silhouettes as possible to see what really suits their body type… And if they can’t stop thinking about it after that second round, they know that that gown is the one for them.”
Alter to fit, but appreciate the original design
“Regular alterations, we offer for free. We make sure that the brides are comfortable and happy with the fit. Normally brides will ask to change the neckline from a tube to a sweetheart, for example, or remove straps, or add beadwork. When a bride wants a lot of changes on a dress that will make it look completely different then we honestly tell them that it’s probably better if they have that gown custom made for them because the moment the gown looks so different from the original design, then that no longer will be a Rosa Clara gown. And this has only happened once in our 5 1/2 years in the business.”
Know when to say “Yes”
“Brides who come to our store look for the gown that friends would say are “so them,” meaning they look for the gowns that fit their personalities the best. I must say, our Rosa Clara gowns are very comfortable. Our fit is very good, our in-house tailors are very good at making the gowns fit like a glove. The sweetheart neckline, serpentine silhouette will always be popular, whatever year or season because it is a very timeless look and that’s what most brides always want to achieve.”
Interview by Margarita Buenaventura
Photos by JL Javier
Rosa Clara is located at Tower III of The Residences at Greenbelt, Paseo de Roxas corner Esperanza St., Ayala Center, Makati City.