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EXCLUSIVE: Any Bride-To-Be Would Dream Of Fitting Gowns In Patricia Santos’ Luxurious New Atelier

“This is it. My future office,” celebrity fashion designer Patricia Santos beamed as she stood by the window, taking in the magnificent BGC skyline.

Back in January, the space was bare: no wallpaper in place, no lights installed, and no color to add beauty to it all. But as Patricia walked around the floor, her heart beat louder than the sound of her footsteps—and she knew she was ready. Despite battling cancer for the second time—she was hopeful. Determined. Her dreams were vivid and bold. “The moment I stepped inside, I had a vision. A feeling,” she says.

For the 29-year-old designer, a spacious office to call her own was a dream come true. She tells Metro.Style, “Before I settle down, I want to proudly say that I worked hard for this. In the future, when I have children, I want to show them that they can dream big.”

And dream big she did. One random January afternoon with her mother and her sister was the defining moment. As Patricia strolled around BGC, she told her mother—"Ma, gusto ko ng shop na may sobrang gandang view." Her family was supportive—so supportive that they called up a broker, went around the city, and discovered the location of her new venture, all in one day.

Today, it’s a 182-square meter hotel-esque haven, perfect for every bride-to-be and those who want to feel like a princess on a special day. It all started with a bare room, three walls of gray concrete that framed the blue sky.

 

 

 

Fifth time’s the charm

Before becoming one of the top fashion designers in the local wedding industry—way before rubbing elbows with the country’s brightest stars—Patricia Santos started her fashion journey working late nights at her sister’s garage.

When business started to boom, she moved to an old townhouse, where she created dresses in the attic. She says, “My team became bigger year after year—but we noticed that we didn’t have enough space anymore. That was a good problem, because it’s a sign of growth!”

After two years, she transferred to Pasig, and eventually, to Kapitolyo—to a dainty house that she converted into a two-floor atelier. Just a few months ago, we featured her old studio, which housed her workshop, office, and fitting rooms. Today, her workshop remains in Kapitolyo—but everything else has moved to the center of BGC. “I’m sure I’ll be staying here for quite a while,” Patricia smiled.

 

 

 

Investing in experiences

Patricia didn’t start building her own office from Year One because she wanted to make sure this was something she could see herself pursuing long-term. “I didn’t want to invest in a shop without knowing for sure that this path was meant for me—but now, I’m certain,” the top designer quips. “At first, I was just looking for a condo to settle down in...but then I realized that I’d rather invest in my business. Lahat ng savings ko for six years, nandito.”

Working her way to the top through sweat and tears, it’s no secret that the celebrity designer has always been a goal-getter. As a teenager, she promised herself she’d buy her first car at 21, travel to Europe in her mid 20s, and set up her own atelier one day. After ticking all three items, she challenged herself to hit another milestone: to have her own office before she hit 30. For Patricia, there was no better way to commit to her passion than by building her own shop. “It’s a huge responsibility, but every time I’m here, I’m reminded of how hard I worked just to get here,” she shares.

At first, Patricia was reluctant to choose BGC as her location—she was well aware that rent here could get pretty expensive. Yet she wanted to give her clients what they deserve. Patricia says, “Since I was already building my own shop, it has to be the best. It has to be in the best location, and BGC is convenient for both my brides and for me. I’ll just work extra hard to make all of these happen.”

With her bubbly, selfless personality, it’s easy to say that Patricia didn’t just do this for herself—she did it for her loyal clients. “I want them to see that while they invest in me—I invest in them, too.” More than leaving the studio with their perfect gowns, she wants her guests to enjoy an unforgettable experience. “I want them to be part of my dream. I wouldn’t have been able to save up for all of these if it weren’t for my clients’ support and trust.”

 

Patricia Santos with loyal clients, celebrity stylist Adrianne Concepcion and actress Lovi Poe

 

 

A luxurious, New York-inspired studio

After months of construction, Patricia finally opened the doors to her posh studio. One glance and you’d notice its resemblance to a luxury apartment in uptown New York—floor-to-ceiling office windows with natural light, marble floors, and elegant, well-curated furniture. Mannequins dressed in stylish, covet-worthy pieces added pops of color to the gray walls.

 

 

When Patricia’s clients pass through the door, one of the first things they’ll see is her logo—an element that dates back to her humble beginnings. “When I was in college, we were asked to design our own logo for our future atelier. I can’t believe I’m still using it now,” the designer recalls. In front of her initials stands one of her latest creations: a majestic, Swarovski-embedded royal blue ensemble which young actress Elisse Joson wore to the ABS-CBN Ball.

 

Displayed on Patrcia's shelf are items that she collected through her travels.

A metallic frame holds a picture of one of the dresses from Patricia's RTW bridal collections.

 

Just a few steps away from the front desk is Patricia’s chic lounge. An off-white sofa welcomes her guests, inviting them to relax and feel at home as they wait for their appointment. Brides-to-be won’t even have to worry about their fiancés getting a glimpse of their dresses during fittings—their partners would be perfectly comfortable hanging out at this cozy, ultra homey nook, separate from the fitting rooms. Guests can also spend their afternoon enjoying coffee and tea from dainty Hermès cups, flipping through Patricia’s collection of fashion books. The back of the room reveals a small snack bar, where the designer plans to host tea parties once operations begin. “We want our clients to feel really comfortable," Patricia says. "[There’s] no rush—[they can just] enjoy their experience!”

 

 

Meanwhile, the magic begins inside Patricia’s spacious office. In the corner of the room is a unique, quirky addition: a swing where Patricia and her clients can just sit on to take a breather.

 

 

Just like her lounge, the office was specifically made to make her guests feel at home, a usual hang-out spot.  “I really like spending time with my clients—I enjoy getting to know them,” the designer tells Metro.Style. “That way, mas personal 'yung dresses.” For Patricia, her relationships with her clients don’t just stop after the final fitting—it transcends work and blossoms into friendship. “I still remember the names—and the dresses—of each and every one of my brides.”

 

Guests are free to hang out in her office and play with the dainty game board displayed on the table.

 

While almost everything in the room is brand new, one item isn’t. Patricia’s 6-year-old chair is here, a piece she bought when she first ventured into designing. The furniture with sentimental value has since been reupholstered, to reflect the aesthetic of her new atelier.

 

 

Patricia was very hands-on with every single detail in her studio, even down to her chairs. Just across her work desk is another spacious couch—something she designed herself. She shares, “While I was planning all of this, I told myself, ‘Shucks, gusto ko ganito itsura ng chairs ko. [Designing furniture is] something I really wanted to do.” In the future, Patricia plans on using her studio as her showroom, not only for ready-made and custom fashion pieces, but also for furniture. “I want my own furniture line soon,” she says enthusiastically.

 

 

And now, for the best part—the fitting rooms. Yes, in plural form! A romantic herself, Patricia made sure each room would live up to every bride-to-be’s rom-com dreams—an experience worth remembering. “I want my bride and her bridesmaids to enjoy fitting dresses together,” she shares. The rooms are spacious enough to fit plenty of people—big mirrors with engraved wooden frames await confident women, twirling around in ethereal pieces. The best part? The lighting is great for picture-perfect moments. “You know, everything should be Instagrammable!” she adds.

 

The designer sits on a sofa chair she designed herself. On her right are pieces from her latest ready-to-wear bridal collection. For photos of her RTW line, click here.

 

 

 

Supporting local

Patricia is an avid traveler—she admits to secretly daydreaming of her favorite city in the middle of the day. “My office has a bit of a New York vibe to it,” she shares. “Ayun 'yung Empire State, oh!” she giggles, pointing to a hotel across her building. But one of her biggest dreams is to promote Filipino talent globally. She adds, “In the future, I want my brand to go international. It makes me proud to be a Filipina with an atelier like this. I feel like it’s one of the firsts of its kind [in the country].”

 

 

While one big wedding trend is for brides to fly abroad for a custom gown and an improved wedding planning experience, Patricia highlights local talent, saying, “Brides don’t have to do that anymore, because we have a really nice place for them to have their dresses made. We even have ready-to-wear pieces!”

Patricia Santos Atelier is not only a place where women can try on ball gowns and relive scenes from their favorite fairy tales—it’s a cozy, safe space where dreams can come true. And it’s right in the middle of the metro.

 

Watch Patricia Santos giving an exclusive tour of her luxurious new atelier below:

 

 

 

[photos]

 

Produced by Hershey Neri

Video and photo by NicePrint Photography