Sunday, February 27, 2011

Upon A Star Win A Couture Wedding Gown Contest is Quickly Approaching A Close

Soon the 'Upon A Star' win a wedding couture gown contest will have a winner!

The deadline for entry submissions is approaching soon! If you haven't done so already make sure to submit your entries for a chance to win a one-of-a-kind wedding gown designed by Jorge Manuel specifically for this contest! 

DRESS FACTS (the gown up for grabs):
Strapless ball gown Taffeta floral detail fabric with Silk Satin hand-made encrusted bias flowers with hand-embroidered seed bead crystals and crystal center at bodice with Silk-Satin bias sash at waist. MSRP: $5720

We have been receiving entries from all over the U.S. We have heard many heartfelt stories and met some wonderful brides-to-be. Hurry because all entries are due on or before MARCH 10, 2011.

What to do to enter:
1. Submit a Photograph of the bride and/or bride and groom
2. Essay defining what love means to you and why this dress would make your wedding all that sweeter!
3. Submit entry to:

Contest is open to ANYONE in the U.S. ANYONE can participate! No obligations to purchase contest entry is free! For more contest information and details visit designer's website at and hit the 'UPON A STAR' tab to get you there. Don't miss out on this opportunity!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

A Special Bride wears a special Jorge Manuel dress

The Cielo dress from the JORGE MANUEL's Iris Collection. Bride: Daniela Rebull 

Jorge Manuel is so proud to share with you the yet to be release dress from the IRIS COLLECTION 2012....the bride wore the beautiful the CIELO from this upcoming collection. She truly went from being a bride to the designer's good friend. We wish Daniela and Luis years of happiness. This is a little preview of their incredible wedding! 

Take a look at their wedding preview video from Utopia Video on the top link.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Inside The Designer's Studio

It is not everyday that a designer gives you a glimpse into the world behind the dresses. The process is tedious, sometimes difficult, but mostly rewarding. Jorge Manuel invited photographer Brian Adams inside his Miami studio so that he could capture a normal day in the life of the designer. It is here where the magic for his gowns happen. Jorge Manuel believes that a beautiful dress has wonderful people behind it. "It is quite amazing coming in to work every day. I love the talented women I work with and the environment I work in. I designed my work place to reflect who I am, what my product stands for and how I expect the quality of my gowns to be. Honestly, the thought of creating makes me look forward to coming in to work everyday. After a while, it feels like being in a place where you and your friends get to hang out all day doing what you love! The rewarding part is knowing that gowns made here will dress a future bride and make her feel beautiful, timeless and chic!" Making a wedding dress takes a lot of work. Although it may appear to be simple, the work that goes into making a wedding gown is far more than meets the eye. It entails much more than just a gown in a mannequin in a store front window.

The process begins with an idea. A lot of research goes on behind the scenes when preparing for a collection. Most collections are actually being planned about a year prior to its release date. It can be challenging for the designer as Jorge Manuel must think ahead in fashion. A signature trait of the designer is that he themes all his collection and draws inspiration from these themes. For example, the current collection, the Nebula collection 2011, themes around the constellations and the stars. The designer researched about them and later drew inspiration to sketch his designs.
Once the designer feels convinced with the theme he then goes into the drawing board and sketches anywhere between 30-40 gowns and sometimes even as much as 70 gowns. These are then narrowed down, mix-and-matched, re-sketched until Jorge Manuel chooses the 15 gowns that will help shape his collection. Patterns are drawn and cut into muslins, a mock of the dress, where they are sewn and later approved for production. 

"The entire process is quite exhilarating as you just never know how the gowns will turn out. We are constantly making changes as we go along, but the end result is always a beautiful one!"

The process can be very specific and organization is key when bringing a collection to life. Fabrics are carefully selected, as well as colors, to ensure the vision of the designer comes to fruition. Textures, metallics, and crystals are all considered when choosing to accessorize and compliment the designs. nevertheless, it is important to know the fabrics and how they behave in order to bring the designer's vision into tangible form.

Structure is perhaps one of the most challenging aspect of the process. Jorge Manuel believes that a gown without structure is an incomplete gown. "You can have the most beautiful design but if the gown does not hold up on a form then the gown is simply just a beautiful design and nothing more! It just is not functional." Which is why the young designer takes it upon himself to visualize structure off a sketch before it even gets to the first part of the dress making process.

Each collection from start to finish can take anywhere between 2-3 months. 

A Bride's wedding dress is forever engraved in her wedding pictures. Jorge Manuel truly believes there is a magical importance to the gown. Many years from now, the bride, will someday show her children and grandchildren her beautiful wedding pictures. They will be able to look back and date her dress to current time. They will be able to look at the gown and fall in love with it just as the bride did when she wore it down the aisle. The dress is a memory that is forever engraved and cherished for a long time to come. To the designer, this fact, is perhaps one of the biggest rewards in the beautiful industry of bridal he is part of.

Monday, February 14, 2011

The "Star" gown wows in South Carolina... ANY bride ANYWHERE can win!

Upon A Star win a couture wedding gown contest going on now!

ANY bride ANYWHERE can win!

What a night! The "Star" gown from the 'Upon A Star' win a couture wedding contest made its debut in South Carolina at Maddison Row on Thursday, February 10, 2010 among friends, brides-to-be, wedding coordinators, wedding bloggers, store owners and the designer, Jorge Manuel himself!

The gorgeous A-line taffeta ball gown dress with beautiful bias piping floral details on the bodice left all who laid eyes on her wishing 'upon a star.'

Entries began to arrive at Jorge Manuel via e-mail 2 days before the event at Maddison Row. And now that the contest has officially begun the search for this gowns' owner has started!

If you haven't submitted your entry yet, make sure to do so by sending an E-mail to:

along with a picture and a 300-600 word essay defining what love has meant to you, describing why this gown goes perfect with your personality and why it will shape your wedding theme and wedding decor. Or if you are in the Charleston, South Carolina area you can pick-up an entry form at Maddison Row and submit your entries there personally. Make sure you submit your entry before March 10, 2011.

Here's where it gets exciting! On March 15. 2011 five semi-finalists will be posted along with their pictures and winning essays on the designer's website where you, the public, will be able to vote for your favorites. The winner will be announced on March 31, 2011 when all the votes are tabulated and one very lucky bride will be able to sport the gorgeous dress down the aisle in a one-of-a-kind couture wedding gown!

If you are a bride-to-be or know a bride who would love to win a couture wedding gown then submit your entry soon and let a wish "upon a star," decide if its going to be the gown for you!

For official rules and details visit the designer website for more information.

Photography by: Jennifer Bearden

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Time To Get Excited! 'Upon A Star' Contest Has Officially Begun!

After careful planning, sketching, fabric selection, color, style and contest details, Jorge Manuel and Maddison Row proudly unveils the dress that will make one very lucky bride......just very lucky bride! The 'Upon A Star' win a couture wedding gown contest kicks off today at Maddison Row with a champagne reception featuring store owner and designer Jorge Manuel. 

Brides get your bouquets ready, because, 'Upon A Star' win a couture wedding contest has officially begun! 

Entries will only be accepted for the next 30 days, so hurry and submit your opportunity ticket soon! Then 5 semi-finalist will be posted on the designer's website on March 15, 2011. The gorgeous "Star" gown will claim an owner on March 31, 2011 when one lucky bride is announced the winner on the designer's website! 

Visit the designer's page for official contest rules and details or visit Maddison Row to pick-up your entry form. Entry forms can be submitted via email to or turned-in in person at Maddison Row. Entry information and materials rules and details are posted on the designer's website.

In the meantime, if you are in the Charleston area and want to see the designer, his newest collection, The Nebula Collection 2011 or see the gorgeous contest dress, the "Star," live and in person, then stop by Maddison Row today, February 10, 2011 between 5 and 7 p.m. for a champagne reception help kick off with us the win a couture wedding gown contest!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

It's almost here...will you be a part of it?

We are 2 days away from the 'Upon A Star' dress reveal! Mark your calendars and come down to Maddison Row if you are in the South Carolina area to see the Gorgeous "STAR" gown take center stage! Yes, the official name of the gown up for grabs has been properly named "Star" and you can be the lucky bride to win the gown and look like "one" the day of your wedding! In case you haven't heard, designer Jorge Manuel and Maddison Row bridal salon paired up to make one very lucky bride the "star" of her wedding in a one-of-a-kind couture wedding gown. 

Don't miss out on designer Jorge Manuel's Nebula Collection 2011 at the trunk show following Friday and Saturday.

Come meet the designer and the Gown that will make one very lucky girl......happy!

Champagne Reception
Thursday February 10, 2011 (Trunk Show for the Nebula Collection 2011 on February 11-12)
Maddison Row
171 Spring Street
Charleston, SC

'Upon A Star' win a wedding couture contest Dress Big Reveal at 6:30 p.m. - Don't miss it!

For more information visit: or to make an appointment please contact
Maddison Row (843-720-7979).

Monday, February 7, 2011

Featured Bride: Marnie Moran and the Equuleus gown

Married last July in downtown, Miami, Marnie Moran Haney found her dream dress in the Equuleus gown from the designer Jorge Manuel's Nebula Collection 2011. You can access the gown by clicking the Equuleus link of the left bar of this blog page or visiting the designer's website ( The wedding was breathtaking and the bride incredibly beautiful! Marnie is a close friend to the designer, and he took it upon himself, to find the perfect gown to fit her personality, body type and vision.

"She is chic and stylish, but likes to keep things somewhat traditional. I knew from the moment I sketched the gown that it would be a perfect for match!"

And so it was! Our compliments to the happy bride and lucky husband!

Marnie Moran-Haney
Married on July 2010
Equuleus Gown from Jorge Manuel Nebula Collection 2011
Location: Epic Hotel, Miami, Florida
Photographer: 13:13
Check out more of this pictures on their blog  (

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The commencement of 'Upon A Star' win a wedding couture contest is right around the corner and designer Jorge Manuel is about to unveil the gown that will make one lucky bride....well, lucky! The unveiling on February 10, 2011 at Maddison Row in Charleston will be an exciting night for both Jorge Manuel and brides-to-be. It is the designer's first visit to South Carolina and he is eager to meet the all those fashionable southern brides at his trunk show next week! Brides will be able to see his latest collection, the Nebula Collection 2011, as well as, the coveted couture gown up for grabs from the "Upon A Star" win a couture wedding gown contest; as well as, the opportunity to meet the designer in person. 

February 10, 2011 - Unveiling of the "Upon A Star" win a wedding couture contest gown!
February 11-12, 2011- Nebula Collection 2011 - Trunk Show at Maddison Row in Charleston, S.C.
March 10, 2011 - Contest entries will no longer be accepted after this date. Contest entries closed. 
March 15, 2011 - 5 Semi-finalist chosen and announced on designer's webpage. Public voting begins. (
March 30,2011 - Voting polls close on designer's page. 
March 31, 2011 - Winner Announced!

Strapless circular bias rosette fabric taffeta ball gown with encrusted bias floral details at bodice and bias encrusted belt at waist with box pleats in front, side and sweep train.
MSRP: $5720

Contestant must be a U.S. resident and have legal status in the United States of America and be at least 18 years of age with a verifiable wedding date after May 30th, 2011 allowing time for alterations. Alterations may be made at any seamstress or salon at winner's discretion. Contestant must complete their entry with a 300-600 word essay and photo.

We want to know more about you, your heart-felt encounter with love and the beautiful process of wedding planning. Tell us a little about your dream wedding and how this dress will make it all that sweeter. 

(Answer in an essay 300-600 word the following questions):
How do you define love? Describe how you came about with the theme of your wedding? and why does the dress up for grabs reflect your personality and wedding decor? All three questions must be answered to qualify as an entry. 

Brides-to-be can either pick-up an entry form at Maddison Row bridal salon located at 171 Spring Street, Charleston, SC 29403 if you are in the Charleston, South Carolina or surrounding state areas or via e-mail to 

For full contest rules and details visit

The Making of the Demetrius Collection 2010 - A Story About A Girl Named Alice

One thing that Jorge Manuel is a fan of is that of challenges. Making his footprint in the bridal world with his first collection, the Etelvina Collection, the designer decided to add a little fantasy into this next collection. But the idea did not come about until he came across the old, but very current story of Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. As a child, Jorge Manuel was fascinated by the Disney classic. However, it wasn’t until 20 years later when he read the books "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass"  that the designer truly fell in love with the characters and story. The story’s complexity between a child’s imagination and a real world truly captured his attention.

"The story is great! And the special characters and colorful settings vividly came to life in my mind as I read through the scenes in the book."

Alice in Wonderland ignited the spark for what became the designer's second collection. The Demetrius Collection was a 6 month project that involved many long-hour castings, detailed planning for props and meticulous search for locations. Jorge Manuel and Operations Manager for Jorge Manuel, Inc., Kyle Leverett, decided that the campaign for the collection would tell a story similar to that of Lewis Carroll's novel, but with a Jorge Manuel twist on design for characters, settings and costumes! The challenges to logic in story inspired the designer to bring an element of fantasy into his dresses. The meaning for the campaign pictures was to capture the struggle between the simplicity of a girl named Alice trying to find her place in a complex Wonderland. In a magical place where anything is possible, inevitably Alice discovers that  "different" is not only interesting, but also exciting.

Jorge Manuel had already introduced a very "different" aesthetic to bridal design with his earlier collection, the Etelvina Collection. This new endeavor was sure to create a Jorge Manuel fingerprint in the bridal industry. First things first, The dresses and costumes needed to be designed, characters needed to be casted and scenes and locations selected.

To find the right Alice, Jorge Manuel saw almost 60 beautiful golden-haired models. Among them he found his definition of the perfect "Alice" character for his campaign in a young Russian model, Angelina, whose name coincidentally also started with an "A."  The production was an ambitious project that would take 15 scenes, 11 characters, 3 animals, 16 dresses to bring “...a Story about a Girl Named Alice...” campaign to life. In order to keep the theme consistent from scene to scene, the designer wrote down on a piece of paper what the story meant to him:

"This is the story about a girl who found herself within the madness of a wonderland. It is a place where journeys have no meaning, people have no itineraries, and time is unimportant. Anything and everything is possible here. This is a story about a girl named Alice..."

During the entire process, he occasionally glanced at the piece of paper he had written this in in order to make sure he was taking his "vision" into the right direction. What direction? It is quite clear that Jorge Manuel's gowns in this campaign are as unique as the characters, and the "vision" for each dress reflects the time and place she is within the story. The characters in the campaign appear in chronological order following Lewis Carroll’s original work. It was a project that would lead the designer through endless days and sleepless nights. Nonetheless, Jorge Manuel had as much fun designing costumes for the characters as he did designing his gowns for this collection. It was the perfect harmony between design and idea.

Perhaps one of the most significant scene of the campaign is that of Alice holding the pig. Yes a pig! For those who do not know, in this scene, Alice takes a baby out of an unsafe house. Soon after, the baby she held in her arms turns into a piglet. The designer was adamant on bringing this scene to life! But, it would not come easy.

"I was on the search for a piglet since the moment I decided to make this project. It was weeks and weeks before I finally found the perfect pink piglet! Two days before the shoot, the piglet escaped and was no where to be found! We had the entire neighborhood of people looking for Wilbur and everybody, crew an all, looked for him until the sun came down. I was really worried for him, not to mention that each scene can be quite costly and a lot for this scene was at stake! Having a piglet scene without a pig would have been a disaster! Nevertheless, I drove about 4 hours early morning the day of the shoot around 3 a.m. to Wachula, Florida to get a piglet I had researched for and found online. It was the longest drive of my life! I was tired, sleepy, but hopeful!  On the way back I received a call from my parents telling me that someone had found the other pig! I was ecstatic because nothing happened to Wilbur, but concerned because now we had two pigs! Both piglets were shaken and aggravated and it seemed as if they would not behave for the shoot. This scene seemed to me as if was headed to disaster! Wilbur, the rampant piggy, was a bit sunburned from his own adventure through the streets of Miami. Fortunately, as if by magic, as soon as Angelina held Wilbur in her arms, he seemed at peace and cooperated with getting the perfect picture! We were all so proud of him and the model for being such great sports!  We got the shot and the piglets found a wonderful home in a farm south of Miami the next day! It was truly a bitter-sweet, but very memorable and funny story!"
The experience of bringing the "About A Girl Named Alice," campaign to life was an experience like no other for the designer. The Demetrius Collection turned out to be a reflection of the designer's creativity and artistic freedom. The Demetrius collection 2009 is dedicate to the creative bride who just won't settle with anything that isn't beautifully different!

Demetrius Collection 2009 - Behind-the-Scenes

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Jorge Manuel, Weddings Unveiled and Maddison Row

The first editorial Jorge Manuel had the opportunity of debuting one of his designs, Weddings Unveiled magazine featured a gorgeous statuesque dark haired model with the most beautiful blue eyes wearing the Emerald dress from the Matilda Collection 2010. The vintage yet, strikingly stressed background of an old estate graced the editorial as background to the gorgeous dresses.

It was the first time that South Carolina brides and brides all over the country had a chance to see the designer's work. Brooke Thomas, editor and photographer of the magazine, captured in one picture everything that Jorge Manuel as a bridal designer stands for. For him, bridal is all about the style, the timeless chic, that could be made different, without compromising tradition and style. 

Weddings Unveiled is that kind of magazine with the most amazing editorials and stylish real weddings.  The love for the industry and the talented and passionate staff make it quite clear that their magazine is for the chic, fashion-forward bride that knows exactly what she likes, what she wants and what to wear to reflect it. She abides by tradition, but not before putting her own twist on the definition.

"I love the magazine because it speaks to the bride who truly cares about her bridal attire! The editorials help to narrow down gowns to those that uniquely make the biggest impact. The bride who looks through this magazine immediately relates to what she sees and identifies herself with these weddings. She is the Chic in style and the fresh in tradition!"

The designer's dresses have now been featured in Weddings Unveiled four times and this has stirred quite the excitement with the South Carolina brides. The designer, grateful to the editors of Weddings Unveiled for the wonderful opportunities this has presented, is excited to meet those stylish southern brides!

Jorge Manuel's gown, the Cygnus, now featured in the current editorial, is the newest of the gowns from the designer's Nebula Collection 2011. The feature gown and all the others from the Nebula Collection 2011 will be making its way to Maddison Row in Charleston, S.C., on February 11-12. 

The designer is eager to meet all the brides who have been inquiring about the gowns this past year because of the Wedding Unveiled editorials. You have asked for him and now he is almost here!

As icing on the cake, Jorge Manuel chose to have the 'unveiling' of the 'Upon A Star' win a couture wedding gown in Charleston, S.C..

The trunk show will kick-off the 'Upon A Star' competition on the night of February 10, 2011 at Maddison Row. The gown will remain at the store on exhibition until March 30, 2011 when the winner is chosen! So stop by even if you can't make it to the trunk show and take a peek at this beautiful gown! Mark your calendars as the contest begins on the night of February 10 where brides-to-be will have the opportunity to pick-up their entries and try their luck on an almost $6,000 one-of-a-kind couture wedding gown designed specifically for the contest!

For full contest rules and details please visit the designer's website at or visit Maddison Row at 171 Spring Street, Charleston S.C. 29403. To make an appointment to see the gowns from the Nebula Collection 2011 at the designer's Feb 11-12 trunk show please call 843.720.7979

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Journey Through Jorge Manuel's First Collection - Etelvina Collection

The one thing Jorge Manuel knew for sure when he decided to launch his bridal gown designs line was that it was time. This first collection, the Etelvina Collection 2008, became a four-year-in-the-making effort. It started with hundreds of sketches narrowed down to eight carefully selected designs. The process of finding the right group of seamstresses, pattern makers and a studio to work in was perhaps the most challenging part for the designer.  With all this in place, the workroom was ready for new ideas, challenges and production! Years of sketching, research, and training allowed this collection to come to fruition.

Jorge Manuel drew inspiration for his gowns from the women that most influenced his life, starting with his grandmother, Etelvina Garcia, whom he named the collection after ( The Etelvina collection followed no rules and no guidelines.  Jorge Manuel decided to be true to his design instincts, regardless of the "norm" in bridal wear. The gowns in the collection covered a wide range of design elements including: beautiful pleats, precise ribbon encrusting and meticulous patterns with very low or exposed backs. The "sweep-side train" is by far the most noticeable of all the elements seen in the collection, which made its debut in the Tamara gown.

This collection filled with one-of-a-kind fashion ideas and peculiar attention to detail showed signs of a designer exploring fabrics, textures, and colors. The designer brought to life an incredible visual form of art. It became obvious that Jorge Manuel had designed the dresses for the highly sophisticated, feminine and chic bride. He had heard it before, over and over, that brides wanted something different. The bridal industry, saturated with similar designs overlapping designers, offered no true "difference" for those brides seeking different in their wedding dresses.

Interestingly, the campaign idea the designer chose for his first collection circled around the time of the revolution during the Newsboys Strike of 1899. Jorge Manuel introduce his own version of a “revolution” into the bridal industry with the Etelvina Collection. The following questions and answer interview explains Jorge Manuel's journey through the Etelvina collection 2008:

How did you make the jump from designing weddings to designing wedding gowns?

It wasn't a jump. Honestly, I always loved designing dresses! I grew up watching my grandmother sew. It was intoxicating to see her passion for it. She would get lost sewing for hours and hours on end. I guess it inevitably brushed off on me.

How difficult was it for you to do bridal when the only training you've had in fashion is that of observing your grandmother sew?

Well it was difficult, but not impossible. I was convinced that I could do it because I had a tremendous passion for it. That's all I really needed. Oh! and Im also a fast learner!

How did you learn how to sketch and draw?

I took many classes of design and graphics at school for architecture. On one hand, the basics transfer when applying it to fashion. On the other hand, I learned structure and form from my design and graphics classes' a dress is not a dress without these elements. Sketching wasn't difficult; I already had a natural disposition for drawing. Either way I spent about 2 days in a book store looking at how-to-sketch books. You can say I pretty much learned to sketch in a 48 hour period!

When did you design, sketch, and confect your first wedding dress?

I was 17. It was a truly spectacular dress. My client trusted me with the most important element of her wedding and to this day I will always be grateful. It was the stepping stone I needed to confirm that my passion for bridal was only a little hard work away.
What can you tell us about your first collection, the Etelvinca Collection 2008?

The Etelvina collection is a collection four years in the making. I began sketching and designing because of women I had come across. Each woman kept hinting design ideas based on their personalities, physical beauty, life changing situations, adversities or even recently born into this world. Because it did so I carried around a sketch book and began designing dress putting their names respectively to each finished sketched gown. Once I compiled them I decided to make my first collection and launch my label. I have dedicated the collection to my grandmother Etelvina because of her inspiration; and titled the collection "Celebrating Women."

Jorge Manuel looks back and remembers his favorites from his first collection which are still in production today: The Annette, The Danielle, The Sophia, and The Tamara. Visit to see more of the dress, the collection and the women behind the collection.