It was a Sunday, 3:00 PM. My brother and I had a hard time getting there driving. We were both unfamiliar with the area. We asked ever reliable Google Map for directions but this turned out to be outdated because there was no left turn from Osmeña Highway going to P. Ocampo Street anymore! So we had to go straight ahead. Now, my brother saw an opportunity to make a U-Turn where the sign says no left turn. He said since there is no sign saying no U-Turn then that means it is okay to do so. What a menace on the road he is.
So anyway, when we were finally in Lemery Street, I was looking for a boutique of some sort. There were a lot of cars parked in front of the houses and apartments so we could not see the numbers on the gates. So after a second time of going through the street, I decided to finally call Von to ask for directions. He was kind enough to explain that we are not looking for a shop but instead for a green apartment with brown gates. So we parked a few apartments away and walked towards their place. Von was already at the gate waiting for us.
When we got in, I was surprised to see a lot of people in there. There were gowns hanging from racks and cloth on shelves. They had a lot of clients that day picking up dresses, having their measurements taken, inquiries.
Von ushered us to the second floor where he had his studio of some sort. There were gowns in body form, a giant mirror and a table where he had his laptop and sketching materials. There was also a rack built into the wall where he had samples of embroidery, cloth and other beadworks. He was such an organized person!
I was quite speechless with the beautiful gowns that were on display. The designs were all intricate and very lovely.
Giant Mirror in Von's Studio
My favorite gown in the studio
Check out the back details!
These gowns can speak for themselves!
Von then printed my peg, in colored ink no less. And asked me what I liked about the gown. So I described what I liked about it and mentioned some other details that I want included. He then asked me to stand in front of the giant mirror facing him. He said he wanted to see my body proportion in parallel to the gown design that I want. Now, that was something new to me since the previous designers I met did not ask me to do this. But I appreciated the fact that he wanted to make sure that I was not delusional in choosing a design and ending up looking terrible because it does not suit me. He then proceeded to sketch a design for me explaining alterations that he is doing from the original design as he want along. He also showed me existing designs that he had for other brides and embroideries similar to what I want. I was pretty confident in what he was saying and I knew he knows his stuff.
The drawback for me is that they do not do entourage gowns so that means the ones for the moms have to be done by someone else. He also does not do suits for the H2B. Another thing is the location. I was not comfortable with the travel going there. I was lucky that my brother was there to accompany me that day but what about the other days where I have to go alone? I would be in big trouble. I am so bad with directions and narrow streets. They also charge an extra 3k for the body form and for dressing assistants on the big day. Although it is a small amount it is still added expense for us. This can very well go to supplier's meals already.
So I need to think about this and discuss it with the H2B thoroughly. His quote for my gown is also more expensive than that of Amonn but at I am sure of the craftsmanship since I already saw their beadworks and I definitely love them.
Oh, and he actually mentioned that he is now separate from his mom, Carmen Lazaro Couture. His designs are called Von Lazaro Designs. You can find his FB page here.
I will let you know how things turn out for me. He gave me until May to make up my mind to make a deposit so I can lock in on the rates he quoted me.