...hemlines & my grandma...

Gemma Linas Buquiran By Gemma Linas Buquiran, 11th May 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Fashion>Trends

*In memory of my 'mama' - My *grandmother. Who showed me that a woman is beautiful with a 'life-dress.' A life-dress to choose, measure, design, sew & 'cat-walk' the best ways she can.

For me, a dress is interestingly 'alive' - because it is 'woman' and it is 'human.'

When I saw a post of this vintage pic from Nostalgia Manila by Victorious Quiamco Bibera, I happily sighed and wow!

I remember my 'mama.' My grandmother. A beautiful lady, who I saw wearing affordable fashionable dresses - as everyday wear. My nanay & tita, share dress-taste, too; & wore adorable gowns by my 'mama' for ocassional beauty contests way back then.

Lola Vising, as she's dearly called by friends & social fashionistas of her time - showed me a fine art of measuring, how to design, cut and sew dresses and gowns.

She taught me how to delicately pick cloths, beads, buttons, embroideries, threads etc. And how to understand women who are meticulous in their unshapely manners, hehe.

Most importantly, 'mama' taught me how she designs & cat-walks her life.

Daughter of petty land owners of a small plantation in the province; she learned that life is beautiful. However, when she fell in love with a young man who worked in Manila before WW2 - she learned that life is meant to be 'changed'. DIfficult times cut easy ways to 'chat'. War ceased. She waited for my grandpa. My grandma went to Manila to find him 'gone.'

From ashes of war and loss - she managed to stand on her own. To raise her children. She studied dress-making; focusing on Filipiniana & Maria Clara gowns. 'Mama' became a costume designer/seamstress for filipiniana dance groups. And worked with one of the country's top designers. She was able to send her children to school- & buy a lot & built a beautiful house.

When my grandma died; dressing for everyday fashion seem to have lost its dress-fit. Dresses seem to find its 'sometimes ladies wear' - or 'for ocassional wear' - 'sometimes office wear' -definition.

An assistant to a 'First Lady' told me:
" Did you make this gown? This dress? "

" Po?! I 'patterned' it po after my lola's designs. I guided a seamstress and a designer po to re-create it. "

" Beautiful "... the lady seemingly hymns her words...hmmmmm...for like 2 minutes...They talked, while looking at the dresses and gowns.

" We will buy this one. BUT!! She will not wear it. Cos YOU!! did not make it. Here is my calling card, call us when you are ready. 'The lady' likes to see how YOU, yourself, create what you like to re-create on your own. We will return when you are ready."

" Po?! Yes, po. Salamat po..."


Decided to close shop for a while, go dating with eligible bachelors & be a writer again. Maybe few years?! is all it takes for me to be ready?! for the fashion business...
Cos I am noticing the women who visit are of my grandma's level of beauty hehe. And, I am ready.

Now, I am training myself in designing in all facets of designs- so whenever I remember my lola...how she pedals the machine as I play along with a pianist and ballerinas, near her working station...
- I will be happily fulfilling what she has started. Right on ... Thank you po, dear God. AMEN


Grandmother, Hemlines And My Grandma, Mama, Philippines, Up Campus Circa 50, Up Diliman, Vintage Dress

Meet the author

author avatar Gemma Linas Buquiran
Happiness! I am one of God's beautiful creations- lady@40s. Journalism Grad. UPDiliman, Ph. I write little concepts: simple leadership, influencers & speech. Enjoy life's Realities and Happiness!

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author avatar mistyleaf
14th May 2012 (#)

I enjoyed reading your srticle. Nice to meet you Kabz. Congrats on your star. Thank you.

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author avatar Delicia Powers
14th May 2012 (#)

very lovely page and memories....

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author avatar Gemma Linas Buquiran
15th May 2012 (#)

I am happy, too that I got another star! Salamat po!

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author avatar Pradeep Kumar B
16th May 2012 (#)

Beautifully written post. Thank you.

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author avatar Gemma Linas Buquiran
18th May 2012 (#)

Salamat po!

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