Whether luxurious and grand or simple yet timeless, Francis Libiran’s pieces are a product of interwoven ideas and a manifestation of his inspiration.
Contrary to how it sounds, one of the first things that I do when designing a client’s piece is by beginning at the end.
First, I imagine how the bride looks—breathtakingly beautiful, as she locks eyes with the love of her life. Next, I imagine the look of love in the groom’s eyes when he sees the very person who made him believe in love emerge through the door. With every step that the bride takes, the scene becomes more ardently ethereal—straight out of a fairytale. And when I close my eyes, it’s as though I am in that moment. Nothing is more inspiring than this.
In this picture-perfect moment, these elements slowly unravel. And piece by piece, these components make themselves known as they’re from the image created in my mind from that awe-inspiring scene.
Of Abstract Concepts and Ideas
The thing with designing beautifully crafted clothes for my clients is that I get a lot of my drive from inspiration. Honestly, doing a variety of pieces—while incorporating new ideas and elevating what has been already produced in the market—is a daunting experience. At times, I ask myself: What keeps me going? What keeps me motivated? What makes me stimulated enough to do everything that I can for my clients?
Inspiration is my point of reference—everything starts from there. It starts with a thought and then materializes into concepts that I eventually draw on paper.
Having a background in architecture, I’ve always incorporated design elements with lines and delicately thought-out patterns and columns. But designing a dress is different. Thus, the challenge: How can I translate that into pieces that I make?
This is why whenever I travel, I consider my phone as my best friend. I make sure to take pictures of things that I find compelling. Sometimes, I even find myself in the market, where I see patterns that I really like. With no hesitation whatsoever, I take photo after photo.
No matter what kind of place it is, I make it a point to always identify things that would instigate my creativity. Afterwards, I eventually explore those images and think of how I can elevate the idea or make it much better. To me, pictures are my aces for they aid me in materializing the thoughts in my head.
Searching for Inspiration and Staying Inspired
However, does inspiration run out? Maya Angelou once said, “You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” This is why my mind needs to be constantly at work. In what I do, I simply cannot run out of creativity.
For me, mornings are sacred. Mornings signify a beginning, thus, I begin my day with what I know best. I allot a couple of minutes to think and just let my thoughts flow freely to make cohesive concepts. That way, I can protect my craft and strategize against creative blocks.
And every time it attempts to creep up on me, I go back to looking through my resources: inspiring images from the internet—from photos that I took during my travels to good ol’ Pinterest. It’s a prompt for me to assert that no, I am not having a mental block.
The Creative Process
I’m very focused on what I do, and I want to keep it that way—so that I can exceed my clients’ expectations. When they are happy, I am happy.
It’s really all about the moment when I consult with brides and grooms, with debutants, or with pageant contestants. I learn about what they want to look and feel like when they’re wearing ensembles that I make. Even then, my mind never runs out of ideas.
Sometimes during the consultation, my clients are still talking, but my hands are drawing, and my mind is too busy picturing the possibilities. It’s like I’m in a trance because I’m in my own little world—creating what I’m best at. It’s always a sequence of getting inspired, absorbing ideas, and sketching them out. And at the end of the consultation, my clients are surprised when they see that I have something planned out already.
Simple Luxury and Timeless Elegance
However, things don’t always pan out the way they should be. Due to the present pandemic, there are lesser grand events and more intimate celebrations. To be honest, my weakest link before is creating something very simple— because I’m always at the point where I should always be creative. I should always produce something grand. My mind always plays with details and beadings.
But how can I limit myself to elegant simplicity without my creations seeming too modest or too plain? After all, it’s really about creating something according to the times right now. Thus, I have to remind myself that I can still make that happen. I can still make a piece for a bride that would make people see that she’s the bride. She’s the main event. There is supposed to be something different yet so enchanting about her—captured in her dress, her appearance.
This is why I created Simply Francis Libiran, a brand that we’ve launched for that sole purpose: simple luxury. It’s the same service and experience—consultations, taking measurements, personalization, and fittings. But this time, the designs are more intimate yet impactful—with no reason to break the bank.
Aside from its affordable price and impeccable couture experience, its flexible payment terms will appeal to those who are on a budget. This is perfect for those who wish to celebrate important milestones without compromising on luxury, beauty, and quality.
Seeking Inspiration and Genuine Smiles
“Make it simple, but significant,” is a quote from Mad Men that actually captures the essence of what I am doing. To me, designing is a never-ending cycle of researching and imagining. You really have to be observant of your surroundings because you can find inspiration everywhere—especially if you have your mind and heart set on it.
The best part of this entire journey remains the same—to see the look on my clients’ faces, the glimmer in their eyes, and the genuine smiles on their faces. It fulfills me and validates everything that I’ve worked for all these years.
But most importantly, Simply Francis Libiran is luxury made simple.
Francis is a Filipino architect and fashion designer. His love for travel, nature, architecture, and patterns is very apparent in his creations. Being in the business for more than two decades, Francis is considered as one of the Philippine’s premier fashion designers and his brand is dedicated to producing original, high quality, wearable art pieces which promote Filipino beauty, artistry, talent, and craftsmanship on the global arena. Francis Libiran’s international success, awe-inspiring designs and creations, and keen eye for detail opened the doors of opportunities to dress some of the biggest stars the world over.
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