To anyone familiar with the work of fashion designer Jo Rubio, they're probably wondering what he's doing here on SmartParenting. After all, Jo is famous for his bridal gowns with its attention to detail and painstaking yet seemingly effortless design. He is also well-known for dressing celebrities. Last March, jaws had dropped when actress Maine Mendoza attended a birthday party in her honor wearing a raspberry couture gown Jo designed for her.
Jo, however, has found another creative outlet for his fashion designs: christening gowns. Although one could say he's a newbie, Jo has been doing them for the family -- all his five nephews were christened wearing his designs.
In an email interview, Jo tells us, "When I get asked to become a ninong by my friends and brides, I create baptismal gowns for their babies as gifts. I didn't take into consideration that there was a particular market for one of a kind baptismal gowns."
It was one of his Cebu-based brides, Carie Anne Banate-Jorge, who gave him the idea. She asked him to make one for her baby in the same color of her bridal gown. Jo didn't consider the request as an order.
"I just wanted to give [the baptismal gown] as a gift since she entrusted me with her bridal gown. When she picked it up, she was ecstatic. She said it would be a family heirloom."
That's when Jo and his business partner, sister Helen, decided to create a "design capsule" called CheRubio, which they marketed via social media only. The gowns' prices start at P3,000 and up.
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"We have only done 10 or so orders so far, and it is just spreading through word of mouth with my brides, which is how we started with our bridal gowns."
Jo brings CheRubio the techniques, aesthetics, and the collaborative approach he is known for with his bridal gowns. As you will see below, he uses embroidery, lace appliques (above), or even laser cutting techniques (below) on fabrics like Italian Silk Mikado, Duchess Satin, Silk Organdy and Egyptian Cotton.
Jo, who sometimes incorporates fragments of embroidery from the bridal gown on christening gowns, says he would love to do more hand painted and colored baptismal gowns, just to offer something fresh and different, but parents "still opt for something classic and timeless." Throughout the process, of course, Jo has the baby's comfort in mind when it comes to material and design. "They are often only a month old, so that is the challenge."
Don't think, however, the load of work is lighter, compared to a wedding gown. You're thinking about size, but a christening gown takes the same amount of meticulous work, probably even more so because you're talking about a baby. As Jo points out, they're both done "with equal amounts of love."
And like wedding gowns, "these baptismal gowns can be considered heirloom pieces. They can be passed on and last for several generations of the family."
Call Jo Rubio Designs at 0917.637.5654 / 0917.554.8399 / 0917.516.2784. Check out his Facebook page here.