Here comes the bride

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FILIPINOS are famously a romantic people, and so the wedding becomes the highlight of the lives of many people, taking years to plan, incorporating fantasies fermenting in the soul since childhood.

The wedding fair Marry Me at Marriott, held on July 30, did it again by showing off its various culinary skills and amazing setups: from a fried rice bowl that can comfortable sit five people to Chinese lanterns that could nest a whole person, to a grand table setting replete with roses and the like.

But we didn’t come for the food: we came for the clothes. Marry Me at Marriott always has a fashion show displaying the talents of top designers to show a prospective bride what she might look like in the 3,000-seater Marriott Grand Ballroom.

The show opened with a presentation by Leo Almodal, which takes inspiration from fairy tales and happy endings. Mr. Almodal used a lot of silver and sheen on intricately draped dresses, as if to show the sparks showered by a fairy godmother. The silhouettes ranged from sleek serpentinas to grand ballgowns, but really, the devil is in the details, with beading and crystals that reflect light and make the bride even more radiant.

Next up was Albert Andrada, who opened his show with a male model in beaded underwear and the wings of an angel descending from one of the escalators. Angels and the ethereal was the theme for this collection, showing off soft flounces and such in gowns, with pleated fabric forming the shapes of wings on the skirt and bodice. Socialite Tessa Prieto-Valdes also walked the runway, in a shimmering dress with a plunging neckline and an elaborate headdress. Top model from days past Marina Benipayo, meanwhile, appeared in a long veil and an immaculate dress with a raised pattern that called to mind Catholic imagery.

Ella Fitzgerald’s rendition of “Night and Day” opened the next show by designer Jun Escario. It seemed to go back to the more quiet days and quiet weddings of the 1950s, with a tea-length skirt in tulle, a simple belted blouse, and a short veil being the first dress down the runway. Cole Porter’s songs transported the audience to a time when dresses could be snapped up off the runway by front row patrons, and everyone gabbed like old friends as dresses with feathers, trailing scarves, and delicate lace brought us back to simpler times and old-fashioned glamour.




The collection by Veluz, meanwhile, showed softly romantic dresses with tiered skirts, high necklines, and soft fabrics.

Summarizing the looks, a bride for the coming years must have beads, crystals, flexibility in skirt choices, and lots of imagination. Apparently, little accent belts made of grosgrain ribbon aren’t a bad idea.

Michael Leyva, known for his flamboyant dresses, did not disappoint for the bride who likes it big. Flounces on ballgown skirts and magnificent trains accompanied brides with pearl-studded halos, and actress Nadine Lustre walked the runway in a huge panelled and crystal-studded silver dress. — Joseph L. Garcia

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