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.

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