Sepia and its designing women-A A +A
By Betsy Gazo
Saturday, January 5, 2013
SEPIA has reopened its doors to the elegantly-dressed women of Bacolod, this time, at a different location. Where once upon a time it was along Lacson Street, it is now at Pace II Building, Galo-Locsin Streets.
Sepia’s old patrons will be pleased to know that its tradition of making fine bespoke clothing still continues today with a few racks of ready-to-wear items also available.
At its soft opening last December 29, the thirty-square-meter store was crowded with former clients, friends and relatives (mostly ladies, of course) who were all just too interested in taking a peek into a glamorous world of impeccably executed blouses, dresses, evening clothes and gowns.
The custom-made apparel has its niche in top-notch career women, ladies who lunch, prom-goers and debutantes.
Sepia does not cater to children but, I wonder if they can make exceptions for the serious little fashion plate at its atelier. The atelier two rooms away are staffed with its own efficient beaders and embroiderers.
The three lovely women who partnered to bring back Sepia are Ann Abello, Mel Bascon and Millete Jalandoni. These are women with good tastes so clients are in genteel hands.
It was over a decade ago when the Lacson shop last accepted its client. Why did the ladies decide to go back to this business? Tita Millete said that she sort of missed the fashion industry while Ann Abello told me of a major motivation.
The latter said, “The biggest compliment we got was from clients who would tell me, ‘15 years later, we can still wear your clothes.’ Our friends asked us when we are going to open again.” Hmmm… these friends must be on to something.
Sepia has a very classic image of wardrobe from one-of-a-kind fabrics. Fabrics are sourced outside Bacolod so you can be assured of uniqueness and individuality. Customers may choose from crepe, satin, linen, jersey, printed chiffon, stretch gauze, gazer and novelty fabrics that are beaded all over according to Mel Bascon. Frocks are lined, thus, giving them a better fit and fall of the fabrics on the body. The right fabric can enhance one’s bodily assets and hide the less desirable ones.
What price quality? Quite reasonably, it turned out. Blouses start from P2,000, dresses from P3,000, pants from P2,000. The pretty taupe strapless long gown with the daintily embroidered bodice and a full multi-layered skirt is at P19,000.
There are fabrics with subdued colors and others with bright, eye-catching hues to fit all sorts of personalities and moods. These sound like good investments to make, considering that one will be wearing these again and again through the years for work, a special event, and lounging elegantly in casual surroundings.
Just like the sepia prints we so cherish, sepia creates ensembles that are meant to be treasured. But these are clothes meant to be worn with much confidence and not stashed away in the closet.
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on January 06, 2013.