Spring-themed Debut: A Splash of Embellishments and Imagination
There’s really nothing wrong with off-the-rack. But spare yourself from shiny silk satin slip-on dresses with some sparkle somewhere on the bust area. Admit it. You’ve seen those so many times and may have bought some for a function you had to attend to.
Your debut is your day and you deserve something more imaginative. Not avant-garde either. Not everyone can pull that off.
Debut ideas asked designer Aan Pineda to sketch us a debutante’s gown set in a garden or a spring-themed celebration. Aan, an instructor at the School of Fashion and the Arts is a master of beadwork and embellishments and a Filipino designer with years of experience in the Middle East.
Here’s what he came up for us and a quick Q&A about it:
DI: Given the spring theme, any title and story behind the debutante’s gown?
AP: Yes, My title for this piece is “Maalindog” I envisioned the birth of Maganda from the Philippine tale: Si Malakas at Si Maganda. She was born with her beauty and charm. I have this vision that once a girl turns 18 on her birthday, it is also her birth of adulthood. Everybody is there to celebrate her splendor and maturity.
DI: How would you describe the personality of the young lady wearing this design?
AP: I am not a fan of stereo-typical dresses nor a fan of the avant-garde, I always make sure that there is something strange but magical about my work.High-fashion but wearable. Perhaps, the person I have in mind is a lady full of surprises and makes sure she sparkles above the rest with her zest. A lady that looks very expensive and eloquent but not looking quite eccentric.
DI: What are your reasons for the color choices and embellishments?
AP: I do like customizing my own colours and prints on the fabric depending on the requirement of the occasion and of course the client. In this case, I have my base fabric ivory. It was splattered with hues of magentas and fuschias. Also, it is accented with lime embellishments of cut leatherettes, stones, crystals, muranos and sequins. The only reason I can think of is because everything tells a story about the girl I have in mind plus how I express my taste in aesthetics and love for the arts.
DI: What is the gown made of? Are there any detachable parts/ “special features?”
AP: The gown is made of cationic chiffon, silk taffeta and cut leatherette appliques. The only detachable parts are the corset top, skirt and the flower brooch. It is a two-piece dress that’s surprisingly looks like one piece. I am thinking more of the practicality and being able to mix and match each part with other garments so at least the gown can be worn with other ensembles such as plain pants, plain colored bustiers and any other garments that will make it look like a new piece in a snap.
DI: Which body type best suits this gown? How would you modify the gown to fit another body type?
AP: I think the silhouette of the gown will fit almost anyone because the V-shape in the front part of the corset highlights the face and creates a slimming illusion. Also, since it is corseted, it will conceal all the irregularities in the figure leaving the waist look smaller in an instant. The skirt however, is perfect for girls who want to look taller due to the length and the sleets in the front that will showcase their legs. More so, the drape of the skirt will make them shapelier and will give them an almost hour glass figure without the bulk of the petticoats and paniers. The dress is too light and will allow the debutante to move around where ever she may want to go and whatever she may want to do.
In cases that the wearer would want to conceal her arms, we may place thin straps that may dangle along the shoulder but not really covering it. Common mistake of the ladies is that if they have big arms, automatically they will go for off-shoulder right away. In reality it gives more emphasis to the fullness of the arms because the small sleeves highlights the biggest part of it specially if she’s using shiny materials such as satin, two-tones, lamé and other shiny materials.
If the client is too conservative and wouldn’t want her legs to be seen, we can probably make a floor-length trapeze skirt for the inner part. She can still get the same effect without sacrificing the design.