Pat Santos and his summer brides

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Modern romance in lace

Modern romance in lace

After designing ready-to-wear lines for retail giant SM for almost two decades, Pat Santos proved he has more to offer the fashion scene when he launched his independent bridal couture label in October 2013.

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As eager as ever, Santos takes on a bigger challenge this season as he pursues his creative mission to make Philippine bridal fashion more contemporary.

“Old bridal gowns are generally very decorative,” the designer explained to The Manila Times. “So what I want to do is to teach Filipino brides a more contemporary aesthetic that is simpler but more elegant through my designs.”

Such was the inspiration for Santos’ successful fashion show on March 21 dubbed, Entourage, which also served as the highlight of the “Soiree in the City” bridal fair at SM City BF Parañaque. The runway show unveiled a 30-piece collection, which as the title suggests, comprised of gowns for the bride and her entourage, as well as suits for the groom and his best men.

Orchid-Inspired bridesmaid dresses

Orchid-Inspired bridesmaid dresses

Oriental orchids
In time for summer, Santos chose a palette of fresh colors for his bridal looks.

“I was inspired by orchids because they bloom in different colors,” he added as solid bursts of bright peach, deep magenta and subtle lilac took to the runway in fluid cuts owing to his choice of jersey cloth material.

Santos interpreted his vision of “simple but elegant” designs through intricate draping that emphasized the models’ figures. He also combined floor-grazing shoulder capes with sexy thigh-high slits and plunging necklines for contemporary touches.

For the show-stopper, the designer dressed his modern bride in beautiful blush ball gown, making the point that brides no longer need to wear the traditional white traje de boda today. Still dreamy as wedding gowns should be, Santos played with floral appliques on the skirt and the extended train.

“For me, brides must dress depending on the season. And since its summer, I believe that gowns must be sexier and more colorful,” he noted.

Europe’s gardens
Besides the orchids of the orient, Santos was also inspired by the famed gardens of Europe for his current collection.

Designer Pat Santos and his contemporary brides

Designer Pat Santos and his contemporary brides

“As I was doing my research for product development, I was intrigued and inspired by European garden weddings, which resulted in my design as patches and appliqués, incorporated with Swarovski crystals,” he detailed.

On the runway, the concept came to life through a pair of female models in little black dresses that bore pretty English roses made from black chiffon flowers and crystals. Chic and edgy, the dresses had tube bodices with A-line skirt cuts falling just below the knee.

A long gown in the same motif came up next, bearing a different and more vintage floral pattern, and in shades of rich plum and black, intended for the bride to wear at the reception or after party celebration.

Finally for this suite, the English garden inspiration drew from Santos a return to white for a bridal gown, meticulously detailed with floral appliqués, lace, and again sparkling Swarovksi crystals.

“The intricate details—the shapes the Swarovski crystals form—bring out the beauty of the lace, which on the body forms a very feminine silhouette,” he described.

As such, in details great and small, Pat Santos realizes his vision for the modern brides of summer 2014.

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