Sunday, April 22, 2007

Untold Pinoy Story No. 11

Oops… She Made it Again!

How much are you willing to spend for a wedding dress?

Did I hear over P2 million pesos?

You would probably ask: Who in her right mind would spend that much for a dress that would be worn only once.

And your next question would be: Who in her right mind would dare charge that ridiculous amount of money for a dress?

I know someone who would.


And she is in her right mind. And a brilliant one.

Diane was born and raised in the southern city of Cebu. Her family owns a business chain. But she could not imagine herself behind a shop counter waiting for customers while polishing grandma’s earrings, broken necklaces and stolen Rolexes.

After Diane got engaged, she had to choose from mountainous piles of original wedding dress designs before she finally settled for one. This sparked her obsession with designing wedding dresses.

After borrowing money from her mother, Diane and her husband put up a modest fashion house. Within six years, Diane’s extraordinary talent has made her one of the leading bridal fashion designers in the country. Her dresses can be found only in the most expensive stores. Or if you’re lucky, on eBay.

Diane’s designs stand out: classic yet hip, stylish yet functional, romantic yet practical. It is no wonder that the biggest celebrities flock to her shop for their dress for such big events as weddings and movie award nights. One of them was an award-winning actor who commissioned Diane to do his bride’s wedding dress in 2004. The resulting wedding dress got rave reviews from fashion critics.

However, Diane’s biggest challenge came from a young female singer who phoned her in June 2004, requesting her to do the young female singer’s wedding dress as well as all the dresses of her entire bridal entourage. Earlier, this young female singer shocked her fans when she announced that she was marrying an aspiring singer who was a single father with highly questionable reputation.

The young female singer did not want to go to Diane’s shop to choose her wedding dress’ design. The young female singer did not want to catch the media’s attention. So Diane had to meet the young female singer in the latter’s house. Forty designs later, the young female singer finally made her choice.

The young female singer’s wedding dress became the object of guessing game. Showbiz insiders speculated that the young female singer would choose the best wedding dress designer around: Vera Wang. Well, if a minor celebrity like Assunta de Rossi donned a Vera Wang during her wedding to Congressman Jules Ledesma (It does not matter whether it was just off-the-rack), a much bigger star like the young female singer certainly deserved no less than that.
A roll call of celebrities who wore a Vera Wang wedding dress was more than enough to convince anyone that Vera Wang is the obvious choice for the young female singer: Sharon Stone, Uma Thurman, Jennifer Lopez, Jennifer Garner, Mariah Carey, Jessica Simpson, Avril Lavigne, Thalia, Victoria Beckham, Holly Hunter, Sarah Micehelle Gellar and her alter ego, Buffy, the Vampire Slayer, among many others. Yes, they all wore a Vera Wang on their wedding day.

But the young female singer did not want anyone else to make her wedding dress. It had to be Diane.
Diane could only smile whenever she read in the papers various news reports linking the young female singer’s wedding dress with other more famous designers. But she kept her silence.

With only three months prior to the wedding date, Diane mobilized her five-woman team to full-speed mode. After all, the young female singer was not an ordinary client. She was paying the equivalent of about 1.5 million pesos for her wedding gown alone. Well, this is fairly a reasonable price for a wedding dress considering that another client had just paid Diane the equivalent of over 2 million pesos for a single dress.

Then Diane received a frantic call from the young female singer. The young female singer’s request rattled the otherwise cool and composed Diane. And for a reason. Anyone would have choked at the young female singer’s outrageous demand. The young female singer had moved the date of her wedding four weeks earlier. This meant that all the dresses had to be finished - - - brace yourself - - - the next day!

Diane’s team worked for 24 hours nonstop. The task at hand was really tough. They had to finish the young female singer’s Italian silk strapless wedding dress with cathedral-length train plus her post-ceremony ultra-short lace dress, five burgundy silk crepe dresses for the bridesmaids, the mother-of-the-bride’s dress, the mother-of-the-groom’s dress and the stepmother-of-the-groom’s dress.

As expected, Diane and her team finished all the dresses in time for the wedding the next day. Upon seeing the dresses, the young female singer exclaimed, “The dresses were a dream. It was all exactly as I wanted.”

Unfortunately, the marriage was also finished before anyone could make a real singer out of the young female singer’s groom. It was a nightmare. It was not what the young female singer wanted.

You probably must have guessed by now that the young female singer who had her wedding dress made by Diane was then the bride of aspiring singer Kevin Federline.

Of course, we all know that the 22-year old former bride of Kevin Federline was then young female singer Britney Spears.

Yes, Diane made Britney Spears’ wedding dress.

With this, Diane duplicated her 2004 feat when she was commissioned to do the wedding dress of the bride of an award-winning actor who is also named Kevin: Kevin Costner.

We also know that Diane did the wedding dress of Alicia Silverstone, Natalie Imbruglia, Lea Salonga and several other famous names.

And Diane also designed the glamorous wedding dresses (yes, dresses) worn by every young girl’s role model: Barbara Millicent Roberts. (Yes, that’s the full name of Barbie Doll!)

Diane is undoubtedly the current toast of Hollywood. In fact, Diane also made fabulous dresses for Nicole Kidman, Angelina Jolie, Reese Witherspoon, Halle Berry, Jennifer Lopez, Meg Ryan, Sarah Jessica Parker, Sharon Stone, Janet Jackson, Mariah Carey, Christina Aguilera, Maria Shriver, Terri Hatcher, Jessica Biel, Jennifer Connelly, Diane Lane, Debra Messing, Michelle Gellar, Holly Hunter, Carmen Electra, Marcia Cross… The list is endless.

Just watch the celebrity interviews during the red carpet show of any big showbiz event (the Oscar, Golden Globe, Emmy, Grammy, etc.) and you will be amazed at the impressive list of big-name stars who are wearing Diane’s creations. Oftentimes, Diane’s dresses are worn by more stars than any other designer.

Pinoys couldn’t be prouder of this Pinay.

And Diane is a true Pinay who was born and raised in Cebu City.

And it would have been a big loss to Hollywood had Diane chosen a less stressful life behind a shop counter waiting for customers while polishing grandma’s earrings, broken necklaces and stolen Rolexes.

Because Diane is the heir to the Lhuillier pawnshop business.

Her full name is Diane Monique Lhuillier.

And most Pinoys probably know the rest of her truly amazing conquest of Hollywood.
Image from

NEXT: The Dethroned Princess Who Built Her Own Palace in Ayala Alabang (Via Remote Control)


Anonymous said...

Sunshine Cruz wore an Eric Pineda during her wedding. It was Assunta da Rossi who wore a Vera Wang gown.

Anonymous said...

i absolutely didnt know this.



Haze said...

you write well. it doesn't come like a cheap late sunday afternoon showbiz talkshow scoop. you tell it in a positive way.

will be looking forward to more stories.


haaynaku said...

You know what? When I read your blog, I make the guesses as I go along and--when at the end of your post I see that my guesses match the celebrities you write about, I feel like I won the quiz bee :))

AJI said...

Hey there! You're great. Sobrang na-amaze po ako sa mga post niyo.

I'll link you up ah. More power! :D

SandalMan said...


Anonymous said...

i was wondering why Diane when it's Monique doing a marquee in my head. turns out it's Diane Monique. what an ending! can't wait for your next installment.

Anonymous said...

FUNtastic as always. :-)

Anonymous said...

i was wracking my head as to who the singer was. =) i had fun with this one.

keep it comin'!

Nick said...

Hey Anonymous.
Yes, you're absolutely right.
I wish though that you gave us your name. Please do so next time. I would be glad to know who you are.
Thank you very much.

Hey Pao.
I understand you for not knowing her. But she's really a BIG name here. Truly amazing feat for a Pinoy. And she's very young.
Thanks for dropping by.

Hey Haze.
Thanks for your kind words.
I hope you like my next stories, too. Watch out for them.

Hey Jo.
So how did you do so far? What's your batting average (assuming you did not peep at the bottom of the page)? Which story was the most difficult to guess? Which was the easiest? Perhaps, I should skip the names next time. What do you think?Thanks for dropping by.

Hey Aji.
I'm glad that you read my stories.
You may drop the "po". I'm not as old as you probably think.
Yes, please do link me up. I'll be delighted.
Thanks for dropping by.

Hey Lee.
Now, this one's not controversial at all. Even inspiring. I hope you like this one.
Thanks for dropping by.

Hey Liz.
I hope that you also had fun reading my other stories.
Watch out for my next story.
Thanks for dropping by.

Hey Dylan.
Thanks for your inspiring feedback.
Watch out for my next story.

Hey Cheska.
I'm glad that you had fun with this one.
I wish I had more time to write all those other stories in my head.
Thanks for dropping by.

Anonymous said...

You're welcome Nick! :-) I was just told by someone that those were the right people. I really didn't know.

I think I already have an idea who the next one is...HAHA...had a ball reading all the other stories as well....

Keep 'em coming!

Nick said...

Hey Anonymous.
You still did not give your name.
I'm sure you know who the subject of my next story is. My description gave her away. But that's not really the point of my next story. Intrigued? Watch out for it.
I'm glad that you enjoyed my other stories. And I really appreciate your feedback.

haaynaku said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
haaynaku said...

no, don't leave out the names, that's the novelty of your site. hehehe

the moment you mentioned diane was raised in cebu and "could not imagine herself behind a shop counter waiting for customers while polishing grandma’s earrings, broken necklaces and stolen Rolexes", that's Monique Lhuiller.

I was at first wondring why you called her Diane but you answered my question at the end of the post.

and of course, only one pop star was caught with her pants down and no panties underneath...

i don't peep ha? hehehehe

Nick said...

Hey Jo.
Why did you delete your other comment?
On second thought, I think I know why.

TheDesolateAmpalaya said...

ang galing ng blog na to. madami akong natutunan. interesting.

there's a story about a certain band vocalist who recently sang about a geometrical figure. have you heard about it? me relasyon ata sya sa isang ding dating model/actress, married na ngayon, but just recently joined a shampoo commercial kung saan nakaaway nya ang isa nyang kasama.

ok, i was hoping to try one kaso i don't have the facts. but it seems you have the inside scoop for most of the stories. anyways, kudos to you! galing.

Anonymous said...

i'm so excited on your next story! i have the feeling i should know about it, or knew about this before, but i just don't remember it. hahaha! =) can't wait! Ü

Anonymous said...

another amazing story from nick.. wow. i was waiting day after day.. too bad i was confined in the hospital the day you posted your new entry..:( arghh... anyways, i really enjoyed this one..

more power..:X


haaynaku said...

i deleted it due to a lot of wrong spellings, hahahaha!

Anonymous said...

Dear Nick,

I've read all your stories. It is very well written. You used the appropriate words and ambience for every entry. The facts are quite precise as well. You must know many Philippine influentials to have put true parallelisms together. Please write some more. I've referred this blog to so many, and they all felt the same way I do.



iFred said...

im looking forward for the next one.

Nick said...

Hey Kievin.
Thanks for your kind words.
I'm glad that you like my posts.
I've got more stories. Watch out for them.
Why don't you write that story about a band vocalist? I'm looking forward to reading about him in your blog.
Thanks for dropping by.

Hey Cris.
I'm sure you know the subject of my next story. She made quite a splash a few years ago.
I'm equally excited to hear your comments on my next story.

Hey Blacklace.
I hope you're doing fine now.
I'm glad that you enjoyed this story.
Take care of yourself.

Hey Jo.
I think you deleted it for another reason. I didn't see any misspelled word.

Hey Chere.
Thanks for your kind words.
I'm very glad that you read all my stories. You made my day.
I have many more stories to tell. I just can't find the time to write them.
Thanks for helping me reach out to others who might have not heard of my stories. I hope I did not disappoint them.

Hey iFred.
It's coming.
Thanks for your interest in my stories.

girl named shai said...

Jo said...
You know what? When I read your blog, I make the guesses as I go along and--when at the end of your post I see that my guesses match the celebrities you write about, I feel like I won the quiz bee :))

Monday, April 30, 2007 1:35:00 PM

--DITTO! :)

kubiyat said...

i am officially a fan. i didn't know about this. so cool. 0_0

Nick said...

Hey Shai.
I'm glad that you were having fun while reading my stories.
Thanks again.

Hey Kubiyat.
Thanks for your inspiring feedback.
Watch out for my next story. I hope you like it, too.
Thanks for dropping by.

Anonymous said...

ang tatanga kasi ng readers niyo, hindi updated sa latest. ayan tuloy, proud ka that the news came from u, heck tagal nang designer si monique to some hollywood celebrities, ano! tse.

Anonymous said...

o ayan, dagdag mo pa sa kaekekan mo! Her collection has been worn by megastars such as Sarah Jessica Parker, Jennifer Connelly, Janet Jackson, Debra Messing, Angelina Jolie, Sharon Stone, Mariah Carey, Sarah Michelle Geller, Garcelle Beauvais-Nilon, Marg Helgenberger, Amber Tamblyn, Elisha Cuthbert, Jorja Fox, Holly Hunter, Tiffany Thiessen and Jamie Lynn Discala, etc etc.

bebe ann said...

bakit ba nag aaway ang isang ito?
alam ko na rin ang balitang ito nuon pa......pero ok lang..maraming mas may nakaalam. nagkaroon pa nga sha na courtesy call kay pgma...don't mind this "someone" nick.....

Anonymous said...

I knew it was Monique when I saw the Barbie pic.

I really enjoy this site! Keep it up. :D

Nick said...

Hey Anonymous.
There's really no reason to insult the readers of this blog. And you don't have to read these posts if you don't like them.
Thanks for dropping by, anyway.

Hey bebe ann.
I have many more stories to tell. Please watch out for them.
Thanks for dropping by.
I'm looking forward to hearing from you again.

Hey cherie.
You must really be a true-blooded Monique follower.
I'm glad that you enjoy my posts.
Thanks for dropping by.

Anonymous said...

Hello Nick!! I am so glad that you finally brought this blog back to life!!! I received several through email without a source and I posted them all on my blog because of how amazing the stories were. Someone visited my blog and pointed me to your site and I linked it up as the SOURCE.

However, a couple of months later, it was removed. I was so disappointed. But now, I am ecstatic to see that you continued writing! Love love love it.

Can I link you up?


dyeibee said...

hi! i came across this "pinoy untold stories" as a forwarded email. i'm so amazed and amused by the untold stories by the filipinos. very well-written sir! i would also like to add for those tube addicts: monique lhuillier also made the wedding gown of lana lang in smallville worn by kristin kreuk and the wedding gown of Kate Walsh (Grey's Anatomy) when she got married in real life.

Ling said...

Some facts about Monique:

1. She spent most of her teens in a boarding school in Switzerland.

2. Aside form owning a pawnshop and jewelry chain of stores, they have a chicken farm, mango orchard, orchard, restaurants.

3. Her parents shops during the weekdays in the malls here in Cebu. They don't have an entourage and are very polite.

Monique was taught that hardwork and perseverance pays! Thanks to her Dad Michel and her mom Amparito who happened to be Miss Caltex during the 60's or 70s.

Anonymous said...

hi! i just finished reading posts 1 to 12. this blog is so addicting! i can't wait for the next post. keep it up!

crazy4lefties said...

i like your posts, just would like to leave a comment re. Monique Lhuillier. she was introduced in Project Runway as French designer. As if she's not proud to be Pinoy

Anonymous said...

wow.. it's nice diane is my "Tukayo" in Filipino... i hope i could be like her too..