EXCLUSIVE: The Collaboration Between Catriona Gray and Mak Tumang, Designer Of The Winning Long Gown
After months of preparation and guidance and prayers, I kept waiting for a wave of nerves to hit me but it never came. Maybe it was God's gift to me that night, or maybe I just knew I had done everything to be ready, now it was just time for me to enjoy and have fun. Just to think that Im going to be able to say Catriona Gray,,,PHILIPPINES gives me the chills all over again. ??????????? How do I begin to thank all of the beautiful souls who have been so generous and kind with their time, effort and resources? Truly, I would not have been able to realise this dream without you all. To Madam SMA and BPCI executive committee thank you for this once in a lifetime oppertunity. To Sir Gines, Ms Liliana, Ate Jems, Kuya Jun and the rest of the black boys of BBP, thank you for an amazing experience over these last few weeks and for looking after me and all of my sisters! ???? To my angels who have dedicated their passion to training me but wish to be anonymous, you have transformed my stage performance. Thank you to the moon and back for all of your time, effort and especially friendship. ?? To kuya @ton_lao, @harleybarleyy and @bragaisjojo for taking me under your wing. To be surrounded by amazing people like you through the craziness that has been this competition has been both reassuring and uplifting. To mamang @hairbybrentsales, @jellyeugenio @memayfrancisco, @momoisupe and @mimsqiu for making me glow throughout the competition. ??? To @jearsond and @maktumang what an amazing experience it is to collaborate with such talented artists!!! Thank you for your amazing talent and making me feel like a queen. ?? To my family, my love @clintbondad and my friends for always being there to support me and give me strength. Special shout out to my sister @sandralemonon who kept me sane throughout. Lastly to my #Catrionians what an amazing journey we've been on. Through the highs and lows you've never left my side. For your love, dedication and ceaseless support...I'm am forever grateful that you've chosen me as your queen. This is all for you. Let's do this. ?????????♥??? Love your Miss Universe Philippines, 2018. (Ayyyy, ?????????? ) #CatrionaGrayMUP2018
Apart from her impressive Q&A eloquence and dedication, Catriona Gray is quite a fashion inspiration, as befits the crowned Miss Universe-Philippines 2018 in this year’s Bb. Pilipinas pageant. Having won many coveted special awards, including the Best In Long Gown, we’re all checking her look for some style inspirations, starting with her stunning gold gown.
The designer, Pampanga-born couturier Mak Tumang fondly recalls the collaborations between him and Catriona, which date back to her Miss World endeavors in 2016. Their team work has generally yielded “positive results”, which inevitably lead up to her journey to Bb. Pilipinas 2018.
“We started conceptualizing the gown since December 2017,” says Mak. “The inspiration of the gown is a result of my collaboration with Catriona’s vision of what she wants in a gown, including silhouette, color and texture.”
Although Catriona set the vision, Mak had full reins on the creative process, ultimately creating the favorite evening dress of the night. He explains, “I was given the upper hand to apply my gown construction techniques and attention to details, especially at the back, which inspired by the splatter of waves. [The gown] is made of muted gold minute paillettes, encrusted with more than 10,000 Swarovski crystals.”
Catriona’s win in the long gown category was exciting enough, but then to see her win the Miss Universe-Philippines title altogether was exhilarating. “[My reaction] was surreal and at the same time overwhelmed with happiness that my hard work had paid off. It actually took time to sink in.”, says Mak. “I was literally jumping with joy the moment she won the Bb. Pilipinas-Universe 2018, knowing that I have contributed a part in her victory.”
And what a victory indeed, but the best is possibly yet to come as Catriona prepares for the Miss Universe 2018 pageant. Can we expect more stunning designs from Mak and Catriona then? He thinks that’s very likely. “Catriona and her team trusted me, and had worked with me comfortably during her Bb. Pilipinas 2018 stint,” he concludes confidently. “I want to believe that I will still be her designer for the Miss Universe 2018.”
Lead photo via @catriona_gray