Fully-beaded gowns, thigh-high slits, elegant trains. Ahh. Two weeks have passed since the ABS-CBN Ball 2018, yet here we are still struck over how beautiful our fave Kapamilya celebs dressed to the nines that night. The gowns obviously did much of the stunning, and so leaving out the ladies and gents who painstakingly created these masterpieces like the shy but über-talented Michael Leyva might as well count as a mortal sin.
The designer to the stars initially wanted to be a flight steward—check out that towering height! But things turned the other way in 2010 when his kuya, designer Brian Leyva, passed away. “I decided to continue what he started then my passion for fashion design grew from there,” he tells ABS-CBN Lifestyle. “My brother has been my inspiration all throughout my journey as a designer.”
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Designer to the stars Michael Leyva
From creating his best friend’s dress for an event to earning a standing ovation from the crowd at this year’s Los Angeles Fashion Week and working his brilliance on Kris Aquino’s stunning gown at the world premiere of Crazy Rich Asians, Michael has definitely come a long way. It didn’t come as a surprise then that a lot of famous faces counted on his talent yet again to make them look their best at one of the most anticipated showbiz events of the year, the ABS-CBN Ball.
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“It’s a huge honor, really,” Michael—who was also featured in last year's MetroWear—muses. “Nakaka-pressure, yes, but working with celebs ay hindi naman sobrang mahirap because they’re all nice.” As the designer stressed how enjoyable it was to create the dresses of the likes of Angelica Panganiban, Arci Muñoz, Janella Salvador, and Shaina Magdayao for this year’s ball, he also gushed that sharing over dressing ABS-CBN Chief Content Officer Charo Santos-Concio. “I remember when I was younger, nanonood ako ng Star Magic Ball and sabi ko noon, ‘My god! Ma’am Charo is the epitome of what class is all about!’ The trust palang of giving me an opportunity to make a gown for her was rewarding na, but the fact that she actually wore it on the red carpet was really fulfilling.”
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The designer admits it took moments of being stuck in a creative rut to come up with their OOTNs. “Siyempre, they were all gonna be in the same event so it was really a hard task for me to make it different from each other and at the same time, equally beautiful,” he says, adding that throwing in a dash of their personalities to his creations greatly helped him with the challenge. “Each of them has a different personality kaya naging iba-iba yung designs that I did for them as they carried a touch of Michael Leyva.”
As one of the designers who continue to flourish in the celebrity style industry, Michael swears by a mix of talent, passion, and determination. “In every move that I do right now, I always have to make sure I give my 110 percent, so every Michael Leyva piece that comes out is one of a kind. I don’t want na masayang lahat ng time and hard work ko eh.” The astounding success he has now makes his future one that shows so much promise, and we can’t wait for him to reach his ultimate dream of working with Hollywood celebrities such as Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez, and Angelina Jolie. He continues, “Like I do with all my clients, I won’t stop until they like it. I have to make sure they’d love my gown and they’d be completely happy with my piece.”
Check out the latest updates on the ABS-CBN Ball 2018, the country's biggest celebrity style spectacle, on ABSCBNBall.com! Read more by clicking on the hashtags #ABSCBN, #ABSCBNShareTheLove, #ABSCBNBallShareTheLove, and #ABSCBNBall2018 on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Tune into Lifestyle.ABS-CBN.com for other exclusives!
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Photographs by the author and taken from instagram.com/michaelleyva_