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Mak Tumang Said It Took 'Less Than A Month' To Create Jillian Ward's Crystal-Inspired Debut Gown

designer Mak Tumang reveals his creative process when making Jillian Ward's debut gown
PHOTO: (left to right) instagram/niceprintphoto, instagram/maktumang

ICYMI, Jillian Ward is all grown up! She's no longer the child actress you remember from the 2010 drama-comedy teleserye Trudis Liit. Now a multi-hyphenate, the actress, YouTuber, and businesswoman in her own right (she started Wonder Tea Philippines in 2019!) recently celebrated her 18th birthday with a star-studded bash at The Cove at Okada.

And what a turnout, indeed—over 800 guests arrived to celebrate her special day, and Jillian was definitely the belle of the ball in a sparkly, celestial number courtesy of renowned designer Mak Tumang.

Cosmopolitan Philippines got the chance to ask Mak several questions about his design process in creating the stellar (pun intended!) number, and here's what he had to say:

1. We’ve seen Jillian wearing a pre-debut gown and the gown she wore on her debut. How many in total did you design? 

"For the pre-debut gown, it was a gown that I created four years ago in 2019 for a show."

Mak Tumang Aliyah gown created in 2019 for a show
"Aliyah," Mak Tumang captioned his post about this strapless starry number he designed in 2019 for a show. Instagram/maktumang
Jillian Ward Mak Tumang pre-debut gown
Jillian Ward ended up wearing a Mak Tumang creation for both her pre-debut and debut night gowns! instagram/niceprintphoto

"[I only made Jillian] one new gown for the main event."

Jillian Ward Mak Tumang debut at The Cove
Jillian Ward looked stunning while celebrating her 18th birthday in this celestial Mak Tumang creation. instagram/niceprintphoto

2. Can you talk to us about your creative process for her debut gown?

"It actually took us less than a month to create the gown. The glittery tulle material was heat-treated, colored and pleated."

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Jillian Ward Mak Tumang debut gown
The glittery tulle material of Jillian Ward's debut gown definitely helped her sparkle on her special day.

3. What was the most difficult part of the design process? 

"[For me], the most difficult part of the design process was graphic editing, material color matching, and the structuring of the gown."

4. What was it like working with Jillian? How did she ask you to be her debut gown designer, and did she have any specific style pegs/references when it came to the gowns?

"Jillian reached out to me through her stylist Van Mercado. [Van] told me that dream designer daw ako ni Jillian, and she's a big fan. We had our first meeting here in Pampanga, very chill lang siya na debutant, hindi makulit. She had specific requests for her debut gown:

  • An iridescent blue/violet color
  • The "glass shard" look
  • It had to be shiny
  • She wanted a very small waist
  • To cover her arms

We had our first and last fitting only three days before the event, this was also the first time that she saw the gown. I did not even show her a sketch, hindi naman siya naghingi, buong tiwala."

Jillian Ward Mak Tumang debut gown sleeves
Jillian specifically requested for Mak Tumang to cover her arms—and this wispy ethereal fluttery sleeve effect is an absolutely gorgeous way to do so! instagram/maktumang

5. If you were to name the gown, what would you call it and why?

"I would name the gown Crystal Shard, this was my main inspiration for the gown."

crystal shards
According to Mak, the pleatings on the gown were created to mimic the look of crystal shards! Courtesy of Mak Tumang

Jillian looked ethereal in this magnificent piece, and we're glad she sparkled on her special day like the star she is. Belated happy 18th birthday, Jillian!

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