Jillian Joy HC - when your dream about the perfect wedding dress comes true


Do you remember that time when you were a little girl and dreamed about your perfect wedding, and mainly, about your perfect wedding dress? Well, I am not an exception. Few days ago I spoke with one incredibly talented woman - Jillian Joy Ubando, who has golden hands! Jillian recently graduated from Ryerson University in Canada this Spring and is already receiving nationwide attention for her hand-crafted wedding gowns. She is set to make her runway debut at Startup Fashion Week (SFW) on Friday June 22, at Crowley Arts Centre in Montreal, where she will be showcasing a collection of bridal gowns from her own brand Jillian Joy Hand Crafted. 

I am very pleased that I had an opportunity to speak with her. Enjoy our small interview!

 designer Jillian Joy Ubando

MB: I was intrigued that despite your young age you found the courage and decided to sew prom dresses for you and your friends - I mean, you bought your own sewing machine, sketched all ideas out and let your creativity flow through you.
What is your biggest source of inspiration?

JJ:"During high school I remember being in love with the intricate designs by Zuhair Murad and the chic yet empowering ideas behind the Chanel brand that inspired my own designs and brand. But I would say the biggest source of inspiration that I draw from - even in my high school days - is the personality and character of the client (or wearer) herself! This is where my dress making journey began in the first place: my friends and I were having trouble finding dresses that really suited not only our bodies but our personalities. The act of dressing is a conscious decision and anything an individual chooses to wear represents that person whether we are aware of it on a day to day basis or not! Whether it be bold, wild or simple, I love reflecting unique personalities into my designs  in order to truly create custom-made, one-of-a-kind gowns."

MB: Since the childhood, a woman imagines her dream wedding and throughout the time she changes and evolves her idea of the perfect wedding gown. That is why I think designing a wedding dress the way she will be really satisfied is often a superhuman performance.
Why did you decide to create not only formal dresses, but also the wedding ones?

JJ:"I feel like wedding dresses, above all other formal dresses for any other occasion, should represent the woman/bride and reflect her character the most. This is why I chose to move into bridal wear. Designing and creating custom wedding dresses allows me to get to know my clients better as a lot more thought and time go into the design in comparison to any other formal gown. Wedding gowns also challenge me to think innovatively in order to capture the essence of my client's character, and all her wants and needs into one gown. Business wise, there is a larger market for custom wedding gowns since women are more willing to get a custom dress made specifically for their wedding, and are also willing to spend more on it."

Photo of  one of the custom wedding gowns Jillian created (photo by Andy Joanisse)

MB: I truly admire designers whose designs tell their name and express their personality even without the need to type the actual name on it.
What are your characteristic features and what does make you unique?

JJ:"I personally love working with lace, open backs, and the smallest of details all of which are seen throughout my first and most recent collection that will be showing on the SFW runway. More practically speaking, I take pride in being able to make made-to-measure gowns that mold your body, which is one characteristic of my gowns that my client's seek after. Moreover, I believe it is the design journey I take with each client that makes my business unique. All appointments are scheduled one on one in my personal home office space where I walk the client through all steps of the design journey: from ideation to fabrication to actual construction and fittings."

Custom white gown made for photoshoot (photo by Joshua Del Rosario, model Eunice Villegas)

MB: Your creations are hand-made in Toronto. Since I come from Europe and therefore I am oriented more towards the European market, could you tell me what does make the Canadian market different from the others? What is your added value to the local market?

JJ: "Generally, Canadian made clothing is known to be made with higher quality due to having good systems of quality control as well as fair wage laws that ensure products are made ethically. I believe both of these things can be seen in my brand, too. As each garment is cut and sewn myself, I am able to implement a total quality control system, ensuring my end product is of the best quality. Moreover, I believe an added value to my brand specifically would be the experience that I provide to my clients, as I mentioned earlier, in working one on one with my clients to provide a tailored and personalized experience."

MB: I am always excited about the designer's latest collection that is supposed to be presented on runway.
What can we look forward to see from you on the upcoming SFW event here in Montreal?

JJ:"As it was mentioned that since the beginning of my business and brand I began shifting toward bridal wear. My collection, "IGLESIA" that will be presented on the SFW runway is my first bridal wear collection. As this collection began as my graduating thesis at Ryerson University, it was used to explore myself and my history and therefore it merges traditional formal wear of the Philippines with modern, western bridal wear. Offering classic silhouettes, along with bridal separates, the collection not only caters to the Filipina market, but also the global market, allowing women to customize and personalize their wedding look. The collection features different weights of pure silk, delicate lace and intricate details with hand finishings used in every garment."    

Beautiful wedding gown from the IGLESIA collection (photo by Joshua Del Rosario, model Jennifer Thompson)

Elegant wedding dress from the IGLESIA collection (photo by Joshua Del Rosario, model Jennifer Thompson)

 I just can not wait to see her runway debut! Thank you Jillian for your time, it was very nice to speak with you. Make sure to visit her amazing website and come to SFW event where you can enjoy her stunning collection (buy your tickets here)!

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