It was just last year that Pinoy Big Brother (PBB) Season 7 aired on ABS-CBN, and my styling partner Rain Dagala was glued to the show. He watched almost every night and followed the stories that unfolded on the show. I remember, in between our internals, how he would gush about this young girl that was funny and animated, but more so, she was not pretending to be someone she’s not. She wasn’t acting while she was on the show, and Rain thoroughly enjoyed that. In a couple of weeks, we received an inquiry to style some of the housemates for a shoot, and as fans of the show, we said yes. Maymay Entrata, from Cagayan de Oro, was (and still is) a die-hard fangirl of Philippine Showbiz’s biggest stars. We met her at the shoot, and she had the frame of a model. Indeed, she was no different with her on-screen persona and i understood how she captured everyone’s attention. It wasn’t difficult to dress her up, and at that first shoot, she already knew how to work the camera.
Fast forward to several months after, we’ve been lucky enough to be styling her regularly, and as her stylists, we’ve been trying out looks to fit her personality and create an image that is truly her. Inevitably, we have been planning for her first big red carpet debut, the annual Star Magic Ball. We were open to ideas of what she could wear as we were still in the process of cementing her personal style, but only one thing was certain for us — she had to have a ball gown moment for her first red carpet appearance. Marrying this with her personal style, making the look age-appropriate, and ensuring her personality comes through were the most important factors throughout the entire process.
Several designer names were playing in our heads, but good friend Mark Bumgarner was an obvious choice with his signature scallop ball skirt. It was a modern execution of the tale-old dress, and we were sure Maymay would be able to rock it. We sounded off the idea to him and introduced Maymay. A meeting was set and we all met up to discuss the ideas. Soon enough, Mark’s pencil formed romantic lines and interesting details, shaping Maymay into the princess we have been envisioning her to be. It wasn’t very difficult to decide on a final sketch — the aesthetic of Mark, our style vision, and Maymay’s personality were now all evident on paper.
Not long after, we had our series of fittings. Maymay’s busy schedule made it more challenging, but we were determined to ensure that the process was thorough for her night to be nothing but perfect. In Mark’s new atelier, alterations were made for her gown to fit like a glove. We tried on several footwear, with Maymay having to walk back and forth to get her more comfortable moving in a massive gown. She had to practice sitting on a chair and pretending to have a meal, hold her date’s hand, and even twirl in that big gown; nips, tucks, and attention to the tiniest of details to create a look that was about to go iconic.
Maymay was the Belle of the Star Magic Ball
The styling adventure was painless for Maymay, and we always come back to why we do what we do. Year after year, our team churns out suits and gowns for this one night where all the brightest stars come in their most glamorous looks- the olympics of red carpet styling, if I may. And today, even days after the ball, Rain and I have yet to recover from the exhaustion, but we are extremely overwhelmed with positive reviews, various best dressed list entries and pats on the back from within the industry and random viewers. Yes, 365 days ahead but we are now very energized to just gear up for next year's.
Photos from: Em Millan