Couture Designer Jorge Manuel: ‘Lovella is not a space, it is an experience’

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It all began with a visit to couture designer Jorge Manuel’s personally designed factory and design headquarters in Miami last November.

After witnessing the efficient and organized space that was at the same time stylish and conducive to creation, we had to tap him to design our new luxury salon. Though he was “hesitant” at first, he accepted… and we assure you the results are sensational.

On November 20, 2013 we will unveil the mastery of his creation that is the new luxurious Lovella salon. Manuel will be present, and you’re invited!

Manuel is somebody you want to speak with. He is inspired, has incredible energy, and has found that elusive design balance of logic, lore, aspiration and talent. That said, he answered questions about his latest collection, the inspiration behind designing our new space (complete with a wet bar and a “dream home” feel), and the thing that’s most important to him.

Whether you’re a bride, artist, or are simply looking for a great read, prepare to be inspired. Scroll down and enjoy!

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Lovella Bridal’s Kristina and Nayri with designer Jorge Manuel in November 2012.

LB: Your bio details that your first job was as a wedding planner. Share more!

J. MANUEL: At the time my friends worked in local movie theaters and fast food restaurants. I wanted a job that would challenge my creativity. It started with a friend’s wedding and spread like wild fire. Then every weekend [I was] orchestrating and designing weddings from 50 to 1000 guests. All these vendors actually trust[ed] a 15 year old boy with someone’s most important day. Ultimately, this empowered me to push myself in order to prove that creativity comes at any age and the only thing you need to make things happen in life is a little bit of trust in yourself and a great deal of passion.

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LB: Where do you find inspiration for your designs?

J. MANUEL: From anything really. Design is all around us and it is always there. The secret is in the details. If you look close enough, the normal in things become the fascinating ideas born out of the simplest concept.

LB: What’s your favorite feature/element in the 2014 Fleur Collection?

J. MANUEL: Lines and Flowers. I researched before sketching the collection, and the end result is a gorgeous array of dresses that mimic the design of flowers found in gardens like those of Versailles or the gardens of Monet.

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Gowns from Manuel’s Fleur Collection 2014

LB: What is the highest compliment a bride has paid you?

J. MANUEL: When a bride chooses my design for her big day, that in itself is the biggest compliment given. Trusting me for such a special day humbles me.

LB: You’ve designed Lovella’s latest luxury boutique. What was your inspiration?

J. MANUEL: When I was first asked to design the store I was a bit hesitant. [But] when I stood among the skeleton walls, the empty space, and the bare ceilings, I knew this was a project I would love to be a part of. The design for the store would become like painting on a blank canvas. I was given a brush and asked to paint the most beautiful picture I could think of.

I wanted the new Lovella store to be a place of luxury and beauty. Firstly, I was able to create space. This space would have to be fluid and practical and accommodate the needs of brides with the needs of employees in the store. The set up would have to flow so that the wedding dress shopping experience would be the best in the area. have been able to witness what works and doesn’t work in bridal stores first hand [with trunk shows]. This created a launching pad to the beginning process of the design for this store.

LB: What was your biggest challenge?

J. MANUEL: The biggest challenge was marrying esthetics with practicality. It finally came together and the store has now become a bride’s dream place to shop. The store has a familiar feel, as of those entering in it have stepped into their dream home with 12 foot ceilings and stunning chandeliers. The bridal room feels like a gigantic walk-in closet! Brides will feel as if they were shopping in their own closets, making finding the perfect dress that much easier. I also designed a wet bar for those grooms and father of the brides to relax and have a drink while the girls play dress up. The store is equipped with 9 fitting rooms and various stations throughout to accommodate various brides and their groups at one time. There are so many wonderful aspects to this store that I am truly proud to have been part of this amazing 8 month journey. The place to visit and shop for the “one” celebrated with champagne on every bride’s find, along with all the wonderful memories that awaits, will definitely be the new gorgeous Lovella Bridal store.

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Manuel’s own design space.

LB: How did you approach designing Lovella’s space?

J. MANUEL: I designed Lovella’s space with the bride and her family and friends in mind. The store had to serve as a place for the making of memories. In the end, what really stays behind after the wedding is over is the wonderful experiences and people you come across. Brides will remember those who helpedquote-2 them shape and make their dream wedding dress process unforgettable. Lovella is not a space, it is a memorable experience.

LB: How do interior design And bridal fashion design differ?

J. MANUEL: Design is design. Interior Design deals with creating an experience with space while [apparel design] deals with using fabric in fluid form. They both tell a story.

LB: How do Miami and LA compare?

J. MANUEL: They don’t. They are pretty parallel in mentality and lifestyle. LA is more picturesque with its gorgeous natural environment.

LB: Work aside, what do you enjoy/value?

J. MANUEL: Family. They play such an important role on my emotional health by keeping me grounded, leveled and humbled. I understand now more than ever that to enjoy life, it must be accompanied by those you genuinely love and appreciate. I have been fortunate that life’s little gifts have been given to me in family.

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Jorge Manuel, and model, with Lovella’s Nayri (left) and Angie at bridal market in October 2013.

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