Lauren Berberabe: Dreaming to dress idols like her old Barbie dolls


Her colorful clothing’s fun, feminine, bubbly
Laurene Berberabe (photo by DIANA JOY MENESES)

Laurene Berberabe (photo by DIANA JOY MENESES)


BATANGAS CITY—Lauren Arielle Berberabe fell in love as early as 10 years old.

It was the Barbie doll that caught Laurie’s heart, and the child-sized human hands —Berberabe’s— that touched the Mattel product’s clothing then made her feel that growing up becomes a Barbie-like fantasy, err a dream.

But while she’s armed with an International Studies degree, the echoes of Berberabe’s childhood love with Barbie and her clothing haunted her. She wanted to be like Barbie, dressed like a princess —or, should we say, dressing up princesses full-time.


Berberabe’s showcase is the bridal gown, and locally through Lauren Arielle Fashion and Couture, she’s sought after for princess-type cocktail dresses. “I loved those gowns the most,” Berberabe told The Filipino Connection, even though her mother wanted to love a career in the professional world given the daughter’s intelligence.

The coutre initially set shop in Metro Manila, and the Philippine capital region’s models started noticing her work. But competition was tough, given the presence of young and more-established designers like fashion icon Gerry Katigbak. Berberabe’s business, her “LAB” or laboratory that’s an acronym of her name, is now in Batangas City.

Then flashbacks of Laurie’s childhood love with Barbie went back, this time in the form of a beauty who wore her gown, actress Bea Alonzo. A client of Berberabe referred the designer to a friend, Osh Laurel, who was Alonzo’s stylist in the movie The Mistress. “I emailed him my works and then (Laurel) pulled out that bridal gown that Bea wore in the movie,” said the beaming 26-year-old.

3 (1)Princess-like designs that are chic, hip and trendy for today’s generation are Berberabe’s showcases. “Fun and feminine,” as Berberabe describes her designs in her blog, “her colorful palette gives an appeal that matches her young and bubbly personality. She loves to accentuate and dramatize her pieces —suggesting different stories to tell. Although she uses subdued and neutral tones, she draws attention to embellishments and texture.”

Her blog also reveals a picture with an all-time idol that, Berberabe hopes, can be her next Barbie doll: Filipino broadway sensation Lea Salonga. The Batangueña was then an intern for Marie Claire Magazine and she was part of a cover shoot with Salonga and her photographer Sara Black, with the Tony Awards winner wearing Rajo Laurel’s clothes. Rajo’s clothes are Lea’s favorites.

2 (1)“If I will design Lea’s clothes,” said the bubbly Berberabe, “I will try classic styles for her.”

Like her then child-sized hands dressing up Barbie while growing up, Berberabe’s
currently living her dream —and it’s not a fantasy anymore.

with Jeremaiah Opiniano


Photos taken from Beerberabe’s blog


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