10:42 AM

Cooking Great Love in Weddings!

Posted by Prosy Delacruz

“ Cooking [or designing a dress] is like the fruit of a great love: a strong and slightly egotistical love on the part of the men, altruistic and sensitive on the part of the women. Be it one or the other, it is always present, demanding its share of gratitude and recognition. Isn’t this natural? For therein lies a basic principle. Cooking [Designing] cannot, without risk, be stripped of its intentions, of its rites, of its symbols. It must create happiness at any price. There can be no happiness without love, that goes without saying, whatever the form of the latter. …Believe me, there is no cuisine [wedding] without love. “ - Raymond Oliver, a French Chef, 1969.

I realize I picked a quote on cooking but substituted it with designing a dress. This particular quote of Raymond Oliver speaks of what Carlyn Nuyda Calloway is about. She is a five-star creator of art, a person who puts others before herself, a designer who consistently recreates herself and actively imagines on behalf of her clients.

With Carlyn’s wedding dress creation, the bride becomes the center of the universe. On her wedding day, she feels so rich with designed, spoken love -- love in the details of the gown, love in the details of the bridal veil, love in the details of the zipper, the buttons, the hook and eye, even in the pressing and ensuring that the dress does not get soiled or wrinkled in the process.

Carlyn has designed for many Hollywood stars. With photos and remarks of appreciation shared on Facebook, they express a depth and a feeling of love for Carlyn, perhaps mirroring the depth of love and sacrifice that Carlyn puts into the dresses she designs for them.

It is a level of artistry that is so second-nature to her. I accompanied two brides for a first meeting with Carlyn. One bride wanted a specific dress to accentuate her body, one that is Art Deco in theme and one that Carlyn described as “ architecturally precise.“ The bride-to-be has drawn, in grade school, a specific bridal dress she wants to be married in. She gave her specifications to Carlyn.

Generous and magnanimous, Carlyn designed 9 sketches for her. The bride shared the bottom choices, first with me, perhaps to see if I agreed with her choices or not. Luckily, I declined the bottom choices. Then, she showed me Carlyn’s top two designs. Like the bride, I gave it my enthusiastic endorsements. Lucky that I mirrored her choices!

Weeks later, the bride found another design -- a design that mirrored her dream bridal dress. She took it to Carlyn. Inspired by this photo, Carlyn drew the bride her 10th design. The feeling was mutual, an instant click, a recognition of a piece of art so divine, so precise, so becoming, that the bride embraced the sketch with a big smile! Yes, this is the dress! And you should have seen her inner radiance come through!

I was lucky to accompany a second bride, hoping to cover both their weddings for a more extended story. The second bride came with her mother. Carlyn, ever so professional, was ready. She had prepared the ‘provenance’ of her dress. She described where piña came from -- an ages-old weaving that is experiencing a revival. In its heyday, it was in most Greek weddings. “The wearer of this garment, this royal fabric, where each strand is knotted one by one, using pineapple fibers that speak to the weaver’s kindness and generosity”, said Carlyn.

“It is callado, it is full of passion, love and romance, and if in red, it carries with it good fortune and joy. It is like having a Balenciaga. Hindi palpak -- it is not even an Imelda Marcos type of terno, but it is haute couture, scalloped up and down to create a Vera Wang look, drawing the eyes down. But also for the callado and for the embroidery, a muted beadwork, sort of dress mystery to pop.

Then, if one looks at the silk tulle underneath, it poofs it. It is a bit asymmetrical, where it is cathedral length, slowly red, disseminating red, and then it picks up the french lace from underneath. Then, we have a bunch of crystals, spreading unpredictably, parang “sinabog,”Carlyn adds.

The second bride smiles, “ I like it, gusto ko siya. “

You know when Carlyn designed it. Both brides said “ gusto ko siya!” The rest calls for all to recognize the genius in this haute couture designer. Recently, she ran out of space and moved to an enchanting place, a few doors down. When I walked into it, I felt transported to a boutique in Paris, France! But, it is on 13940 Ventura Boulevard, Sherman Oaks 91423.

Haute Couture is a process, but with Carlyn, it is a process of joy and a process filled with love! Her dresses were recently featured in Balitang America, as part of Lyna Larcia-Calvario’s KASAL NY Events and Photography, a two minute bleep of fame. But for brides, it is Carlyn’s focused attention which makes them feel like royalty that will last them a lifetime!


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