Bianca Willemsen: Style muse

|February 10,2018 - 11:18 PM

Photo Gerard Pareja

Like most children of mixed parentage she is good looking. In fact, one can point out that she looks like actress Alicia

But looks are only part of the story for Bianca Wilhelmina Willemsen. There is humor, strong work ethic and a creative mind.

The work ethic, she claims, comes from her mom. The creative aspect must be from her Dutch side.

Her dad comes from the country of Vermeer, Van Gogh, Bosch, Mondrian and Rembrandt, among others. Pressed for time and material, Bianca worked many nights rummaging through her closet and transforming old clothes into 22 elegant gowns for the Miss Consolacion pageant. Pure pixie magic. (GYP)

Photo Gerard Pareja

Many are prodding you to join the big league. Are you set to join beauty pageants?

If I grow a little taller, why not? Lord, please make me grow a bit taller—I would love to join Miss World.

Who would be the beauty queen that you look up to?

Definitely Pia Wurtzbach. What she said about being confidently beautiful with a heart… It made an impact to me.

She is imparting to the world that there’s more to our outer appearance.

You give importance to a person’s attitude.

That’s true. I mean the attitude is really very important because if you’re respectful towards other people, that really means so much when you grow old. Also, when you respect other people, good things will come to you.

Your mom mentioned that designing clothes is your thing. Is this what you want to do?

I started really young. I guess growing up and seeing my mom designing and making her own clothes had an impact on me. It was like, I can
also do the same, design for other people.

Do you remember your first design?

Well, back in the days when “Cut and Style” was not that popular yet I remember working on a shirt and turned it into a tube top, like a skater wear,
or turning it into a flowy top.

Who is your favorite designer?

Michael Cinco. I mean, more than his designs and conquering foreign labels, he always steps up his game to show that we Filipinos can be better. That we Filipinos could be world class, and he never lets criticisms bring him down.

Your creations have been earning raves. How was it creating 20 dresses for the Miss Consolacion pageant?

It was nerve-racking.

I remember during our graduation I had seven people that I had to dress up. I do everything by myself.

I cut and sew the outfits myself.

It was different dressing up the girls for Miss Consolacion because it is a different kind of pressure… not because I just graduated but for the reason that I’m now starting to get my name out there in public as a designer.

No one was helping, I had to pick up the clothes, I had to dress them up individually. Good thing my Mom was there.

Photo Gerard Pareja

The fashion industry is often described as a ruthless industry. There are so many aspiring designers vying for fame and success.

I don’t want to compete with them.

It’s just my dream and I want to pursue it.

And besides I am not that competitive to want to put down other people.

I have my own style, my own designs. Some may make comparisons between my designs and those of other aspiring designers.

Sad but I can’t help it if they do that.

Any plans to join Project Runway?

Oh, yeah! I think every aspiring designer would want to be in the show. However, for me, siguro that would take a
few more years.

I want to make sure that I am ready as a person and I would be satisfied with whatever collection that I come up with. I don’t want to join for the sake of joining because I just graduated.

It is a lot of pressure you know, mind and body, so I need to get my act together.

Are there celebrities that you want to wear your creations?

I want to dress up Liza Soberano, not because she has a pretty face, and we all know that she’s gorgeous.

She just knows how to play with the dress. She knows how to bring it to life. And, of course, there’s Jennifer Lopez, always elegant.

What are you like at home?

I am very lazy. I just want to lie down and eat.

But when I am motivated to do something that’s when I turn things upside down.

An ordinary day for me is coming up with new designs, checking on the internet for inspirations and sewing.

Photo Gerard Pareja

What’s your take on your generation—the millennials—getting a bad rap?

Actually, that’s true, and I just have to be honest (laughter).

Though there’s both a positive and a negative thing to it, and right now there’s just so many of the negative especially about being impatient or wanting fast recognition and missing the point of hardwork, time and dedication.

I don’t think everyone’s like that though I think it would depend on how they’ve been brought up. Almost everyone goes through a phase of being
impatient and it’s just that not everybody is transparent or they choose to not express it.

Some individuals want instant gratification because they want to move forward or pursue other things and that should be considered.

How are you active on social media?

No. I just can’t. Right now it seems that it has become so overrated, like with Facebook. I mean Facebook really helps during big storms and
all that.

But I am more intoInstagram though only occasionally. There are things that only you should know.

However, especially with my generation showing or sharing too much of their lives has become the thing. It’s just too much! My mom though loves Facebook, and again, everything has a positive and a negative side.

There’s such a thing as oversharing and I’m not in favor of it. I think one shouldn’t share too much about your personal life.

Probably because I see myself happy being single.

So you’re not ready for relationships yet?

I think it’s not the time yet. And Ryan Gosling is my exact opposite (laughter).

I mean, who knows, I may get into a relationship with a foreigner?

I think it’s because I have been living here in the Philippines all my life and because I am a foreigner doesn’t mean that I don’t like foreigners.

But while I may look like a foreigner, it doesn’t mean my heart is not Filipino. I was born and raised here as a Filipino and I sometimes forget that I am a foreigner.

(CDN Photo/Gerard Pareja)

How do you see life in the next couple of years?

I just prepare. I don’t want to think about it too much and sort of just live in the moment.

I am just grateful that I getto do the things that I love and right now I just had two happy clients.

Though kulba siya uy because these are my first clients.

So I have to cut the fabric slowly and surely kay basin masayop pero when you get to finish it on time, it’s indeed a different kind of fulfillment.

Will we see more of you here in Cebu or somewhere else?

I want to educate myself more. I believe in further education and I may be based in another country.

But of course home will always be Cebu.

I have been living here for 18 years and I think it’s the right time to discover new things, cultures, tastes, meet new people.

I have to travel and see things before I can finally decide where I want to be.

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