North­erner Pa­trice Ramos-Diaz On Fashion De­sign & Rais­ing Kids

Northern Living - - Front Page - BY CEIA YLA­GAN

She didn't start off think­ing fashion was her cho­sen ca­reer path. But fate had other plans and brought Pa­trice Ramos-Diaz into the world of fashion.

“I took up Fine Arts in the Uni­ver­sity of the Philip­pines hop­ing to be­come an artist— a painter or sculp­tor. I also dreamed of be­com­ing an ar­chi­tect,” she re­calls. But her foray into the fashion world was jump­started when she joined the Mega Young De­sign­ers Com­pe­ti­tion in 1997 where she placed first run­ner-up. “Things pretty much snow­balled from there. Op­por­tu­ni­ties pre­sented them­selves, like fashion shows, fashion editorials, clients, etc. I didn’t have to strug­gle to build a ca­reer. It was more like I got pulled into it nat­u­rally,” she says.

Her foun­da­tion in de­sign is pri­mar­ily grounded on the train­ing she re­ceived as a Fine Arts grad­u­ate, but she says, “For the tech­ni­cal as­pect of dress­mak­ing, I learned the ba­sics from a pri­vate teacher, com­mis­sioned by my lola to teach me and my cousins.” They were taught dress­mak­ing, along with play­ing the pi­ano and bak­ing, skills that her grand­mother thought were nec­es­sary for any de­cent lady to learn.

These skills in dress­mak­ing and fine arts helped Pa­trice cre­ate her mod­ern ro­man­tic de­signs in her bri­dal wear and made-to-or­der line. “My in­spi­ra­tion varies depend­ing on my frame of mind or my mood. Over­all though, I lean to­wards treat­ments that mimic nat­u­ral tex­tures, sculp­tural forms, ab­stract con­cepts, and fem­i­nine ro­man­tic de­tails,” she ex­plains. With a var­ied clien­tele of brides, women ex­ec­u­tives, politi­cians and politi­cians' wives, Pa­trice makes sure to con­sider her clients' life­styles and per­son­al­i­ties in her de­signs. She is par­tic­u­larly proud of her col­lab­o­ra­tion with lo­cal weavers in de­vel­op­ing new ma­te­ri­als us­ing in­dige­nous fibers. “For ex­am­ple, I have de­vel­oped and used elec­tric pleated poly-piña or piña mixed with wool and other such ex­per­i­men­tal ma­te­ri­als,” she says.

De­spite be­ing a wife and mother to three boys, Pa­trice con­tin­ues to make her mark in the in­dus­try. Her love for the craft and her vi­sion to es­tab­lish her brand­ing are what keep her go­ing. She shares, “I have vi­sions for the in­dus­try as well, and I dis­cuss them with a few friends in the in­dus­try, hop­ing that one day we will be able to ex­e­cute them.” Pa­trice plans to slow down even­tu­al­ly­with her made-to-or­der line in or­der to de­velop a Filipino-in­spired life­style and cloth­ing brand she cre­ated, called Paradi.

On top of her work, Pa­trice makes time for her fam­ily. “It’s a jug­gling act—it is im­por­tant to be con­scious of one’s pri­or­i­ties. I would drop ap­point­ments to at­tend my kids’ soc­cer or golf tour­na­ments and Par­ent-Teacher Con­fer­ences. This wasn’t al­ways the case, be­cause when my kids were younger, I used to work long hours and would get home late. Now, I rec­og­nize the im­por­tance of my pres­ence in their day-to-day lives,” she re­veals.

Af­ter turn­ing 40 last year, Pa­trice feels that this time in her life is an im­por­tant mile­stone. “It’s time to take all the lessons learned and use them in my own per­sonal devel­op­ment,” she says. “I es­pe­cially have been con­scious of my spir­i­tual evo­lu­tion in the past cou­ple of years and I hope that I would be able to have a more mean­ing­ful life.”

“I like the North be­cause it has, aside from the usual malls, a lot of dif­fer­ent places we can spend our leisure hours in, unique places like Tien­de­si­tas, Green­hills, Metrowalk. Lots of nice restos, too. Xavier School is not so far away, and the driv­ing r

“What I love is the mu­sic. My hubby and I share this.” iPod from co-de­signer OJ Hofer, mu­sic cour­tesy of our good friend Jack Duavit

“It's light­weight, stylish, and so comfy!” Lu­l­ule­mon jacket, around $200, San Fran­cisco “Smells like a baby! Very mild, great for ev­ery­day use.” Guer­lain “These belts go with any­thing!” Gior­dano belts, P800 each, Gior­dano Con­cepts

“I love it be­cause of its color!” Ba­len­ci­aga bag, I.T. Hong Kong

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