While it’s pretty easy to google body structures vis a vis wedding gown designs, it’s not very easy to actually choose a flattering wedding gown for one’s body structure. Call it the battle of wants vs realities. We want something but the style just doesn’t agree with the reality called “current body structure”.
We thought it would be a great idea to interview all 3 designers who made it to the top spot of the Weddings at Work Top 10. Yes, they each have Supplier of the Year trophies — Ms. Veluz Puno - Reyes (2005), Mr. Cecilio Abad (2008), and Mr. Boy Kastner Santos (2011).
After our interview with Boy Kastner Santos and Cecilio Abad, this is our Part 3 and this time with Veluz Reyes.
Q: When a bride comes to you for a gown design and her pegs are totally not possible given her body structure, what do you usually do?
A: I explain that we do have the same objective - to make her look her best on her wedding day. I explain why the pegs won’t work given her body frame then offer what I believe will compliment her the most.
Q: If the bride wants a lot of beadwork and has each of the following figures, where would you put the majority of the beadwork?
A: I am always after symmetry when I embellish and I make sure I arrange the embellishments to create that impression. Something that will make her look well proportioned. No particular part of her body popping out, just beautiful in every angle.
Q: If the bride wants a ruffled skirt, but has a certain body structure, would you say go or no?
A: It is not just the body, nor the specific garment details, nor the embellishments that make the gown beautiful. It is the bride’s character that defines it. The question is, is she that kind of girl? Can she pull it off? Because she may have the perfect body but if it’s not her to wear something with those details, then she won’t be able to pull it off and might look tacky or pretentious in the end.
If the ruffles are something that are non-negotiable and the body cannot afford the added bulge the ruffles give, then I offer other kinds of texture that will work best for her body.
Q: Many want bustiers or tube top gowns, is there a particular body structure that doesn’t agree with this kind of neckline?
A: A lot of women actually think they can pull off a strapless dress since it is very popular, even for non wedding gowns. On the contrary, it requires a lot from the bride. You need to have that perfectly shaped shoulder and trimmed arms to carry it magnificently. Not too fat nor too thin. You cannot wear one if you have wide or boxy shoulders, neither can you wear it if the shoulders are too narrow and too slanted.
Q: Which neckline can you consider as versatile?
A: Sweetheart is the easiest to pull off. frames the face too. Wouldn’t suggest it though if the bride is a cup C or D. Again, it is about balance.
Q: What cut best hides or takes away the focus on the following:
A: Wow, this is a really difficult question There are so many factors to consider and really no hard rules. Putting my answers in a box will be too limiting and can be misleading too :/ Can I pass? hahahaha!
Q: Most full figured women go for sleeves and off-the-shoulder cuts, would you go with the same options? Why/not? What would you recommend for plus size brides?
A: It depends on the bride’s comfort zone. Is she comfortable showing off her arms? Sleeves can actually highlight big arms especially since wedding gowns usually come in light colours. It can even be an extension of the body if not properly embellished. But if she’s not comfortable with her arms exposed, then by all means, go for sleeves. At the end of the day, it is her comfort that is most important.
It is not only the arms that should be considered with plus size brides. First thing to do is elongate the torso. If it’s long already, define the waist, make sure the hipline is proportional to the shoulders. If the torso is long enough and the shoulder’s not too wide, then yes, we can do off shoulder. If the torso is not that long then sleeves from the natural shoulder line is advisable. Make sure to embellish the sleeves where there are still skin showing and with vertical illusion.
Q: If a bride wants to lose weight, up to how many months prior to her wedding date can she put off the measurement taking date?
I do not put off the measurement taking but I can delay the fittings, because I need to work on the embellishments too. I usually work with a bride 5 to 6 months before the wedding for non-peak months and 7 months before the wedding for peak months. I usually require 4 fittings and request that the weight be fixed after the third. Or at least tell us if she wants to continue losing weight so I can adjust my production schedule too.
Q: What percentage of brides per year actually end up altering their bodies after they declare they want to lose weight before measurement taking? (Rough estimate e.g. Only 1 out of 10)
A: 2 out of 10.
Q: Any general tip regarding gowns and body structures?
Be truthful, be honest, speak your mind but learn to listen. Keep in mind, the designer wants the best for you too.
(W@Wie in 2009; married Emman and forayed into the world of weddings in 2010, and has since been blessed with two W@W Top 10 stints — first, as wedding planner in 2010 and second, as event host in 2013)