The name “Michi Calica” is inextricably linked with bridalwear. But if you’re expecting a delicate creature, then prepare to be surprised. The designer is a petite dynamo whose perky energy is only matched by her tireless efforts for her business, which is almost two decades old.
[related|post]As soon as prospective clients walk into her atelier in Quezon City, where she also resides with her family, they get a clear sense that fashion is indeed Michi’s business. A compact laptop and containers crammed with colored pens and pencils adorn the desk. Sketches, fabric swatches and other eye-catching materials are tacked on a mood board of sorts. On one side of the room is a long clothes rack, filled with bridal gowns in different lengths, styles, and shades of white, as well as a selection of stylish dresses. The atmosphere is both welcoming and exciting for brides-to-be, who are often anxious to find the perfect gown.
This apprehension is familiar to Michi, something that she handles with the ease of long practice. Designing bridal apparel “is a collaboration [between designer and client]. I think my secret is I really listen to the bride...I do dresses that will be the best of you, a reflection of what you want on your big day,” she says. Over the years, she has also developed a comprehensive information sheet, so that clients can give her all the necessary details and attach pegs for reference. “It’s going to be all about you: What are you expectations? What are your flowers? What are you dancing to? This is [how] I get my inspiration. Because you get so personal with who you’re going to design for, it’s impossible not to be inspired. I also think you have to be genuinely concerned.”