Northerner Patrice Ramos-Diaz On Fashion Design & Raising Kids
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.”
“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