On December 10, months long of speculation about Miss Philippines Catriona Gray’s National Costume will finally come to an end. The 94 delegates of Miss Universe will descend upon Pattaya in Thailand to share their culture through the National Costume Show.
For Filipinos, the most anticipated part of the night is the grand reveal of Gray’s national costume which have been the subject of online chatter among Filipino supporters.
The Qrown talked to her National Costume designer Jearson Demavivas to get a much closer look at how her team came up with the idea of the national costume. We also dug deep on Demavivas personal story as a designer.
Jearson Demavivas’ Humble Beginnings
What a lot of people is not aware of is that Demavivas’ interest in fashion design, “never really started as a dream.”
Demavivas’ story is one that began with humble beginnings, “I grew up from a poor family and the only way I could help my parents was to use our dilapidated sewing machine.”
“I started from making pageant dresses until I began to sew for some events like weddings and debut.”
Demavivas recounted how he joined Gray’s team. “Someone from Catriona’s team messaged me to be Cat’s designer.”
“Catriona also messaged me,” revealed the talented designer. “I don’t really know what made them decide to make me part of the team but I am thankful nevertheless.”
Creating Catriona Gray’s National Costume
“The National Costume of Catriona is a product of rigorous and thorough research,” says the humble designer.
“We traveled places. We met a lot of people. We observed cultures.”
Demavivas revealed the painstaking effort poured in by Gray and himself in creating the National Costume. “We spent months of contemplating on how we can create the whole piece without offending traditions and various cultural significance.”
When it comes to the execution of the idea, “we literally had to restart from scratch after a series of trials and errors.”
The whole experience, he says, allowed him to “explore and discover fresh ideas.”
“What should remain aside from craftsmanship is the passion to bring about a sense of satisfaction on the part of the client and the fulfillment on the part of the designer.”
Managing People’s High Expectations
Gray’s National Costume is without a doubt the most anticipated costume to be worn by a Filipina representative in any pageant so far.
“I am afraid for people to make expectations but it is guaranteed that Catriona’s national costume, too, is a product of blood and sweat.”
He reminds himself, “at the end of the day, you are not doing this for yourself alone but for the greatest purpose of bringing pride and showing love to the Philippines.”
Working with Catriona Gray
Not a lot of people can say that they have worked with a Miss Philippines let alone the caliber of Catriona Gray. Jearson has been working with Gray since 2017 when she was still preparing for Binibining Pilipinas 2018.
“‘Catriona Gray is a fighter in its truest sense,” says the designer.
“She has complete focus and unparalleled determination,” Demavivas went on talking about Gray’s preparation. “Catriona prepared for the pageant in its every aspect even up to the minutest of details.”
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Serving the Queen @catriona_gray 😍🇵🇭👑 #throwback #nationalcostume #bestinnationalcostume Make up: @chinitohosikusieho Hair: @hairbybrentsales Styling: @ton_lao @harleybarleyyy Shoes: @bragaisjojo Accessories: @farah_abu VisionConcept: @jessoncapuchino Photograp: @riaregino
Preparing with Catriona, Demavivas observed that Catriona’s “every step is a sure step.”
The preparation for the all-important Miss Universe pageant can be stressful but Demavivas says that Catriona’s “love for what she does, helped every member of the team to make the otherwise stressful work a lot easier.”
“I always listen to Catriona and the team,” Jearson emphasized. “You always have to recognize the fact that there will always be better ideas.”
The Future for Jearson Demavivas
“Working with Catriona can be someone’s rise or fall, ” reveals Demavivas. “It is so delicate that it could spark in your favor a promising career but it can also end your good reputation in the designing community.”
Demavivas has this to say for aspiring designers who wants to work with a girl like Catriona, “be open-minded.”
The project, the designer says, “is not a typical project where a designer has to cling to his aesthetics and limit himself to his niche.”
“I dream of becoming the best designer,” he says. “On the other hand, to have reached this point where I get to create a costume for a Miss Universe Philippines is a dream I never imagined I could achieve.”