Friday, July 17, 2009

Designer Rosanna Ocampo in Bloom

For the past few months, Members Only (The Fort) has been hosting by-invitation-only fashion shows featuring Manila's top designers. Though I was avoiding events due to my growing tummy at that time, I kept myself informed and updated with the latest events and launches through friends, colleagues and Facebook. Ah, the wonders of technology.

I chanced upon Rosanna Ocampo's collection of bright florals online that she presented at Members, and fell in love with her designs. Aren't they purr-ty? :)

The featured designer (in a light gold sleeveless satin top and yellow satin mini) with her thirteen muses, who are her loyal clients as well.

Without blinking an eye, I immediately got in touch with her regarding a feature for my Manila Bulletin column which came out more than a month ago. Below are the questions I sent and her corresponding answers—raw version:

Style Scout: How long have you been a designer?
RO: I interned with Tita Lulu TG straight off college in 2002, and then got a very lucky break immediately after with Tyler. I designed their collection (updated equestrienne) later that year.

Style Scout: When did you realize that you really wanted to become one?
RO: I have always known I wanted to be one. My mother was great influence in awakening my instincts as she would bring me to Kamuning everytime she would have dresses made with her sastre. I would stare at the rolls of fabric in awe and images would pop up in my head. I was around 13 or 14. Since then, i designed all my dresses for all those important occasions in HS (soph night, prom, ball). Guess you could say I trusted my taste since then.

Style Scout: Whose designs do you like best?
RO: Locally, I admire the work of Jun Escario and Cary Santiago. From the international runways, I love the vivacity, vibrance and feel of Pucci and Etro; Dolce and Gabbana for brand image and philosophy; Elie Saab and Giambatista Valli for thier sophisticated glamour and expertise of the womans body.

Style Scout: What courses did you take and where?
RO: Instituto Europeo di design, Milan, Italy - Fashion and Textile design
Paris American Academy, France - French Draping
Instituto Marangoni, Milan, Italy - Masters in Fashion Promotions

Style Scout: What did you learn most from your studies abroad?
RO: Working, studying and living there really opened my eyes and mind to extracting inspiration from all forms of beauty and absorbing the mentality of extreme attention to detail. The ‘Made in Italy’ label is highly coveted because of this. It’s the little things that make the bigger picture: whether it’s the shade of yellow that needs to be two tones darker for the stitching, the font of the label or color of the hanger. Everything matters.

Style Scout: Who gave you your first break?
RO: Locally, Tyler back in 2002. Abroad, I was working as line manager for Vera Wang's Lavander label.

Style Scout: Who were your first customers?
RO: I'm a very social person and enjoy going out often so I make it a point to always wear my own and was lucky enough to penetrate into the denizen crowd when I moved back here.

Style Scout: What do you think got them hooked on your work?
RO: They're contemporary, chic and versatile enough to translate into the many roles of a woman in the 21st century.

Style Scout: Have you always been attracted to colors? Why?
RO: Ha ha! I dont know! Have always been drawn to it. I can count the number of black items i have in my closet with one hand! I am also a very optimistic and positive person and am quite sure having such a happy childhood and blessed family life has a lot to do with it.

Style Scout: How was it like coming up with this collection? What/who were your inspiration?
RO: I really appreciate a good painting when I see one so this is my tribute to Masterimpressionist painter Claude Monet and his famed Giverny Gardens (title of my collection) in France.

Style Scout: What fabrics did you use? Why those fabrics? Why did you use floral prints? and appliques for some of the pieces?
RO: I love the movement and feel of silks and jerseys and almost always revolve around them. The floral patters were used with respect to the Giverny Gardens, which the collection was inspired from. The appliques, bursts of color and mix of patterns are all signature details of mine.

Style Scout: Describe the "lady" who wears your creations.
RO: fun-loving, confident, coquettish women of the now. They're modern, jet-set, cultured, family and career-oriented and ever great lovers of fashion.

Style Scout: Do you have any faves from the collection? Why do you like them?
RO: This is definitely my favorite (collection) so far. Had so much fun doing it and adore them all equally.

Her muses include thirteen lovely ladies: Erin Campos, Vicky de Leon, Joey Mead, Claudine Trillo, Stephanie Zubiri, Jackie Antonio, Sara Azimi, Amanda Jacobs, Kelly Misa, Juana Yupangco, Leica Carpo, Ana Angara and Nicole Jacinto. Here are some of them in Rosanna Ocampo's creations:

Leica Carpo wore this casually sexy number

Kelly Misa in a mix of geometric cuts and floral prints

Joey Mead in a safari-printed dress with applique

I love the mix of prints and the choice of colors on Erin Campos

Claudine Trillo look every inch a doll in this romper

On a personal note, her collection got me all giddy and excited to lose the weight I've gained from my pregnancy. I love colors, and I share the same sentiments with her towards owning black outfits. I can count how many of those LBDs I have in my closet with my two hands; maybe even with just one hand. I can't wait to have a dress made by her—soon, I hope ;)

* To get in touch with Rosanna Ocampo, you can send her an e-mail, or call 892-5546 local 112, or call or text her at 0917-5342024.

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