Zandra Lim-Imasa of Zandra Lim Designs wanted more for her 15 th anniversary as a fashion designer than a gala or an announcement. She wanted it to be special. Her wish was for the anniversary to be personal and convey to her family members, friends and clients how grateful she was.
And that’s how Crystal Bridal Fair was born. Held on September 15-16 at Discovery Primea in Ayala, Makati City, the event gathered over 40 of the top wedding suppliers in the Philippines, including photographers, makeup artists, giveaway suppliers and many others.
“The initial plan was a fashion show and a silent auction of the pieces worn by the models. But as Discovery Primea events manager Jayjay Hega and I were conceptualizing it, Crystal just got bigger,” said Lim.
So what was supposed to be a show and silent auction became a bridal fair with suppliers donating part of their sales to charity. The proceeds of ticket sales to the fashion show and the auction would also go to Lim’s chosen charity, the cancer patients in social service of the Cancer Institute at St. Luke’s Medical Center, Quezon City.
Zandra’s husband, Dr. Mars Imasa, is an oncologist. One of his frustrations is when cancer patients terminate their treatments due to financial constraints. She has been helping cancer patients in funding their treatments even before Crystal Bridal Fair came to be.
“The 15 th anniversary of my presence in the wedding industry was a good opportunity to push a cause bigger than what we have been doing,” said Zandra.
Before the start of the Crystal Bridal Fair fashion show, a video showing footage of Vinagre, Tigaon in Camarines Sur was shown to guests. Zandra Lim commissions the women of Vinagre to do the embroidery and beadwork for her gowns to supplement the incomes of families, who rely mostly on farming.
“The latest bridal trends are very grand and gowns mostly have beading and embellishments. But we will see less of this in 2019. For next year, I see simple, sleek silhouettes incorporating colors, structure and/or uniqueness in each and every piece,” said Zandra Lim.
Also a big trend is that of matching mother and daughter dresses or gowns.
In the years that she has been in the wedding industry, Zandra Lim has seen a lot of changes in trends. One is the influence of social media, where soon-to-weds can see thousands of pictures.
“In this sense, brides are exposed to different styles and it’s up to them what appeals to them aesthetically,” she said.
For the Crystal Bridal Fair fashion show, Zandra Lim Designs didn’t go for models to walk down the ramp. She tapped some of her clients, cancer survivors and social media influencers like blogger Nikki Tiu, transwoman Toni Aviles, photographer RV Mitra and Miss Earth 2017 Karen Ibasco to wear her beautiful creations.
“I wanted the audience to see the clothes worn by people who aren’t model thin so they could visualize how it would look on them and the clothes would be less intimidating,” said Lim.