In My Birthday Suit

Although customary, a feature would’ve been in line after the dress is finished and not while it’s still in the creation process. However, in my excitement with how things turning out, let me give you folks a quick look at the dress I had let Kaye Olfindo design for me.

I love having clothes esp made for me. I probably got this from my mum who, as I was growing up, would have most of her clothes made by a local modista or seamstress/dressmaker. Of course, I got a taste of it early on as I had a number of dresses custom-made for myself (from my highschool graduation dress plus the grad ball to dresses I’d wear to debut parties) I reckon I mentioned that I had a maxi-dress made a couple of years ago (see that dress here: The Modern Filipina). And, sadly, because I had found it difficult to find a decent modista, that dress was the last one I had custom-made, er, until I realised that I actually can go to Kaye. Silly me. So, I did just that and I asked her to make my birthday dress. It’s something I do whenever my birthday comes around. LOL.

It all started when Kaye sent me an email containing images of her Holiday 2009 Collection where I saw a couple of dresses that I really liked. I had set up an appointment to have my measurements taken.

I’m quite glad that Kaye spent time talking to me about design and fabric ideas. It allowed me to tell her what I thought would work and what won’t; what I’d be comfortable with and such. And it’s the first time that I didn’t have a photo of a dress that I want with me to serve as reference, save for that one dress that’s part of her collection, that is.

Then come Saturday (my second stop that event-full day, pardon the pun), between a sandwich and a soy latte, I had come back to her studio in Rockwell to try the dress on. You ladies know what happens during dress fittings yes?

Sasha Manuel - Dress Fitting, Kaye Olfindo Charcoal Dress | Style Manila - Fashion, Beauty, Shopping, Manila Street Fashion

Getting a feel of the fabrics chosen — she worked with two different fabrics for one dress — gave me an idea of how comfortable it’ll be to wear the dress. It still needs a nip here and there (Kaye making sure I get the perfect hem, hehe) before I could bring the beauty home. But with all the pins holding the material in certain places (plus with Manang holding it as well!) made it easier to imagine how it will look like when finished. It made my heart skip a beat.

I was actually scheduled to come in yesterday (Saturday) for another fitting but due to previous appointments, I couldn’t squeeze it in. Though you can bet on it that I’ll be dropping by next week cuz I really can’t wait to see how the dress looks like esp after Kaye’s added her signature embellishments!

If you’re interested to work with Kaye Olfindo, visit

We all have different reasons for having clothes esp made. Either because we want uniqueness, the perfect fit or control over what sort of clothes you’d keep in your wardrobe. Personally, though I’d prefer every piece customised, I have to admit that it’s not entirely practical to do so. Also, I’ve been a bit choosy since most of the folks I’ve worked with have produced mediocre results which made me think that I’ll get my money’s worth with what RTW that’s available.

I do have to note that one of the reasons why I would go have clothes made is the blandness of selection in stores, sometimes, and if you choose to go for the fancier pieces, it would mean a heftier price tag. And the latter can’t even offer you the security of the item being unique. So, I reckon if I find a designer with creations that show great workmanship coupled with a reasonable price then I’m sold.

Anyway, any of you ladies have your clothes custom-made on a regular basis? Where do you have yours made? Are you interested in starting to get more into it? What’s stopping you from getting your clothes esp made for you? Sorry if I’m asking too many questions. LOL. I’d really love to hear your thoughts, you see.

Photos © 2009 taken by Thea Perez for Style Manila

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About Sasha Manuel

Sasha is the Founder and Chief Editor of Style Manila has been around since 2007. You can also follow her on Twitter (@angelisophia), Polyvore, and Instagram (@sashamanuel). Read more about Sasha Manuel.


  1. What a nice surprise so early in the morning. Great read! Hahah! I was gonna take a pic of the adjusted outfit already when I encountered a problem — it won’t fit any of my mannequins! LOL. Hope to see you soon! :D

  2. I’m that thin? Gah. No worries, Kaye. See you soon! ;)

  3. Hi. Would you be able to tell the price range of having a dress custom-made by Kaye?

  4. Unfortunately, I can’t. Prices will be determined from the base price point of a design and will depend on the level of customisation me thinks. Sometimes, customisation is already included in the price. Check her site out for prices per item. Best to verify pricing straight from Kaye :)

  5. Hi, Jenn! Sasha’s right, price would depend on the design and type of dress that you want made. :)

    Sasha, don’t forget you still have to pass by for your fitting! Haha!

  6. Hi Sasha! Looks very promising! Can’t wait to see the finish product! :p


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