EXCLUSIVE: These Celebrity Muses Give Tribute To Metrowear Icon Vania Romoff
A Vania Romoff woman, in this fashion designer’s own words, is someone who is “strong and not afraid to show her femininity.” For her 10th anniversary in the fashion scene, Vania Romoff celebrates the milestone with Metro as the magazine’s chosen Metrowear Icon for this year.
After a decade of dressing up women and making them feel more beautiful and confident, we turn the spotlight to the woman of the moment via a special cover feature that gathered some of her beloved muses dressed in stunning neutral hues: Anne Curtis, Janine Gutierrez, Jess Wilson, Steph Kienle-Gonzalez, Mari Jasmine, and Clara Aseniero.
“She is empowered, she is of the world. She is now, and she is always inspired,” adds Vania. These celebrity muses embody Vania’s very definition. Their powerful presence and sophisticated aura complement her classic and feminine silhouettes. Her designs are subdued and subtly elegant but never without an eye-catching accent or two.
“You’ll always see little bits of pieces of ribbons there, I love that personally. I love flounce, I love bows, I love just feminine silhouettes,” Vania tells Metro.Style. But now I’m always trying to make it seem fresh and new. I love looking at vintage shapes and silhouettes—I always take inspiration from that. But I always try to make it my own, and make it seem more youthful.”
As part of our tribute to this fashion icon, Vania’s muses talk about their memories with the designer and share what they love most about her and her creations.
Anne Curtis, Janine Gutierrez, Jess Wilson, Steph Kienle-Gonzalez, Mari Jasmine, and Clara Aseniero in creations by Vania Romoff / Photos from @annecurtissmith @janinegutierrez @jesswilson @stephkienlegonzalez @marijasmine @claraaseniero @studiovaniaromoff
Anne Curtis Smith - Heussaff
When did you first meet Vania?
Anne: "The first time I actually met Vania was when I came to her studio for the first time that I actually had something made by her. It was probably in 2012. It was for my very first album launch, and I remember my stylist, Pam Quiñones, was the one who introduced me to Vania."
Janine: "I met Vania three or four years ago through BJ Pascual, Omar Ermita, Mark Familara, and my stylist, MJ Benitez. They’ve been working together for a while before I met her, so I was introduced to her through them."
Jess: "The first time I met Vania was for Belle’s (Isabelle Daza) wedding. My cousin asked to get our dresses done by Vania for her wedding, and I was just so excited that I can finally have Vania do a dress for me."
Steph: "I met Vania a couple of years ago. I saw one of these beautiful pieces on one of her fashion shows that I wanted to take with me on holiday in South Africa. And she was so kind to let me get the piece off the runway. Since then, I knew that we’d start this great fashion relationship together."
Mari: "I don’t remember where exactly it was, but my friend Cit-cit Sioson styled me for an event, and Cit-cit is a mutual friend of ours, so I met Vania through her."
Clara: "I met Vania about two years ago. She asked me to model for her lookbook for her bridal collection and I got to wear a few of her beautiful bridal gowns, so it was a fun experience."
"The great thing about Vania is, there's always room for you to collaborate with her"—Anne Curtis
What was the first Vania Romoff creation you wore?
Anne: "It was a blue fringed classic piece. After that, I remember I asked who the designer is and told my stylist that I'd really like to meet her."
Janine: "It was a ball gown for the Philippine Fashion Ball. Black lace, long-sleeved top, and it came with a big black ball skirt which was a last-minute thing that she did. I remembered she just put a satin or a felt ribbon around the waist and it was super elegant. I remember feeling amazed because she was able to pull it off last-minute and it was so classic and nice."
Jess: "It was a floral dress with her signature frills and ruffles, and it was for Belle’s (Isabelle Daza) wedding, so everyone was in the same kind of theme but she gave each of us our own distinct floral looks. It was really nice."
Steph: "It was a set of culottes and an off-shoudler top."
Mari: "It was for an event in Singapore. It was a beautiful gown, navy blue and white with a huge bow in front. Very Vania! And it had a long beautiful cape at the back as well."
Clara: "It was one with a long lace veil and a spaghetti-strapped dress. That was really beautiful."
"Vania is super sweet. She has this very sweet, motherly, friendly aura that even if you know she is a famous designer, who caters to the biggest stars in the Philippines, you’re not pressured or intimidated by her. She is the sweetest, most caring and thoughtful person"—Janine Gutierrez
What do you love most about Vania's designs?
Anne: "They're very feminine, fun, flirty but still classique."
Janine: "They’re timeless. I see all the photos of all the dresses or looks that I've worn from two or three years ago, and you can still see them coming out now in new seasons and collections everywhere."
Jess: "I love how feminine the pieces are. And Vania really knows how to accentuate the right parts of each girl’s frame. They're just very feminine and elegant pieces."
Steph: "I love wearing her pieces because they make me feel glamorous, feminine, confident."
Mari: "I just love that they’re so classy. They’re really elegant. They can be a little bit sexy as well but in a subtle way. I love dressing that way. Her designs have really interesting details—puffy sleeves, big bows—without them being very 'look at me, look at me.'”
Clara: "I love the classic silhouettes, classic pieces, nothing too fussy, elegant but also free and not too inhibiting. They're fresh."
"When we first met, we had this really good connection. She knew exactly what I wanted. She knew that I knew what I wanted. It was perfect"—Jess Wilson
How does Vania's aesthetic complement your personal style?
Anne: "It complements my personality, well, because I'm exactly that, very feminine. I'm fun. I love the classic pieces. But the great thing about Vania is, there's always room for you to collaborate with her even in terms of materials. There had been times when I brought my own materials to her and she came out with the dress (which I wore to Belle’s wedding, that was my bridesmaid dress).
Janine: "I love how all of Vania’s designs are feminine and yet strong. She always caters to what you want and what will look good on you. That’s something that’s really nice about her because if you are wearing a Vania creation, you’ll feel more confident and secure because you know she catered to you."
Jess: "I think we both like very feminine pieces. We both like a classic, beautiful gown and she does it really well, and that’s something I'm really attracted to as well."
Steph: "I think Vania and I are both inspired by the classics but we translate those silhouettes for the modern woman of today."
Mari: "I don’t wear anything too loud actually. It’s more subdued and classic. Lots of the colors she chooses are neutrals. She does pinks and greens sometimes but more subdued."
Clara: "I think that she really thinks about what a woman would feel like in her dress. That really translates into her designs. She puts a lot of details into that."
"I was a little nervous because she is so good at what she does. [But she's] very warm and very welcoming, and not intimidating when I met her in person"—Mari Jasmine
Read more about Vania Romoff and her celebrity muses on Metro magazine, out on stands soon!
Photographed by BJ Pascual
Produced by Grace Libero-Cruz and Kate Paras
Fashion Editor: Randz Manucom
Makeup by Anthea Bueno (Vania, Jess, Mari), Omar Ermita for M.A.C (Janine), Rea Aquino (Clara, Steph), and Robbie Pinera (Anne)
Hairstyling by Mong Amado (Vania, Jess), George Aliben for Aveda (Clara, Steph), Ethan David (Mari), Mark Familara (Janine), and Raymond Santiago (Anne)
Fashion Assistant: Carmen Zeta
Nails by Luz Fortuno for Triple Luck Brow and Nail Salon
Additional interview by Jenica Chuahiock