What modern brides want

GLOSS THE RECORD - Marbbie Tagabucba - The Philippine Star
What modern brides want
Vania Romoff with her daughter Emilia at the intimate launch of Bridal Studio.
STAR/ File

While strict lockdowns stood in the way of weddings all over the world in 2020, last year saw a spike in weddings big and small. With safety measures carefully in place, no pandemic can stand between couples from becoming one — and the Vania Romoff bride from wearing her dream wedding look down the aisle or at city hall.

Romoff opens Bridal Studio, an online portal where you can shop 41 of her signature bridal items and have it shipped to your doorstep. You can check out dresses and coordinated separates in sizes 1 to 10 as well as veils, hair accessories, and even shoes with a dainty bow.

Vania Romoff opens Bridal Studio, an online portal where brides can shop 41 of her signature bridal items from dresses to accessories, and have them shipped to your doorstep.

“Bridal Studio is here to make things more effortless for the modern bride. Bridal Studio is not necessarily an alternative to bespoke, but I would consider it more as a complement to the traditional,” she says. “I think that when it comes to getting married, it’s never a one-size-fits-all process. I think the bespoke experience is definitely a special one and a process I truly enjoy sharing with a bride. Perhaps you already have the dress of your dreams but still need a welcome dress or an after-party look. We’ve created Bridal Studio to give you options.”

The sold-out Gabriella with the Bridal Studio mood board featuring her brides including a masked Jess Wilson, architect Julia Villamonte, and icons like Caroline Bessette Kennedy and Zoe Kravitz.

It’s no secret that Romoff is one of the most referenced and “pinned” fashion designers in the country. Tricia Gosingtian’s Sabrina neckline wedding gown from 2017 alone has been revived in over 20 iterations for Romoff’s bespoke clients. You can now shop it in an ankle-grazing column silhouette as the Audrey. Jess Wilson wed thrice and wore a lace terno — that was, in fact, a mini layered with a maxi skirt — for her Palawan wedding. It is the precursor to the now-sold-out Gabriella dress. (She even wore the skirt that she wore under it during the launch.)

Even her camisa, which started out as a “Zoom top” at the height of the pandemic and quickly became all-occasion wear (Gen Zs love pairing it with Levi’s while Vice President Leni Robredo wore it during her daughter’s graduation) is now in the Bridal Studio in French gauze or as the Charlotte, a baby-doll dress. (Its ready-to-wear version has a growing waitlist of over 300.)

We talk to the designer about designing for the modern bride in these historical times.

YSTYLE: Living with a pandemic, has today’s bride changed?

VANIA ROMOFF: I think weddings are always a dream affair for the bride. Even a simple civil ceremony isn’t necessarily any less romantic as the experience of a walk down the aisle. I feel the same thing goes for the search for the wedding dress. I also think the thrill of clicking add to cart after finding “the dress” isn’t any less exhilarating than fitting the lining of something custom made. Yes, the process is different for sure, but at the core of it, you still end up having your dream dress. It’s just the concept that differs. At the end of the day, all brides want the same thing: to look their best on their wedding day. That much hasn’t changed, I think.

Your brides are in your Bridal Studio mood board. How did they influence the pieces now in the Bridal Studio?

My design process has always been inspired by the women I dress. That is always at the core of what I do. The bespoke process is the same way. It’s not about what I want to wear down the aisle — it’s about what my bride sees herself in. I’m just here to guide and execute that vision.

Similarly, I’ve also worked with brides whose looks end up inspiring other brides' points of view. In bridal world-speak, a lot of our gowns have been “pinned” on a bride's Pinterest board. We realize that certain designs we’ve done have resonated with so many, so this has certainly been a key inspiration for the bridal studio collection.

How were you able to narrow it down to the 41 designs now online? Would you say this is like a “greatest hits” among your brides through the years?

Exactly. We tried our best to really figure out “what a girl wants.” We tried to make sure it was an inclusive and broad collection. From the classic Sabrina cut column dress to a strapless sweetheart with a full skirt, a mini full-laced Filipinana, and even a slinky knitted dancing set with fun beadwork. But if you look at everything altogether, it’s still cohesive. I know that any piece worn by any bride will look distinctly VR.

What was the most challenging part of perfecting each design to a number of sizes and accessible price points?

I’d say that the most challenging part of putting all of this together is really figuring out the what, how, and how much. The whole idea of the bridal studio was to make things easier and accessible for brides. And the key to this concept was price points and the promise of handmade quality that isn’t any less special than what we do for our bespoke brides; so these factors were super important when putting this entire concept together. A lot of boring math and calculations were involved and lengthy discussions with my team, including my husband. But I think what we’ve ended up with and are able to offer brides now is something I’m super proud of.


Shop Vania Romoff at vaniaromoff.ph.


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