Why Ella Pangilinan Wore Maricel Laxa’s Vintage Wedding Gown

Why Ella Pangilinan Wore Maricel Laxa’s Vintage Wedding Gown


Ella Pangilinan and Enrique Lhuillier Miranda’s wedding was a celebration that transcended time and tradition

The eldest child of Maricel Laxa and Anthony Pangilinan, Ella, and longtime partner Enrique Lhuillier Miranda have recently exchanged vows in a memorable wedding that’s sure to enthrall and enlighten with everlasting love. 

Rajo Laurel Transfroms Maricel Laxa's Gown for Ella Pangilinan
Enrique Lhuillier Miranda and Ella Pangilinan begin their journey as a married couple

In a heartfelt Filipinana-themed ceremony at the Palacio de Memoria, Pangilinan and Miranda took the step towards a shared future, promising to navigate life’s journey hand in hand. The occasion, marked by its genuine warmth, eschewed extravagance in favor of an intimate celebration of love and commitment.

The wedding was surrounded by close-knit circles of family and friends, radiated warmth and authenticity. Among those in attendance are the pair’s family, including the bride’s brother Donny Pangilina, sister Hannah Pangilinan, the groom’s brother and racecar driver Daniel Miranda, Belle Mariano, Karen Davila, Julia and Claudia Barretto, Ruffa Gutierrez, Cristalle Belo Pitt, Dr. Vicki Belo and Dr. Hayden Kho, and the Velancianos.

Rajo Laurel Transfroms Maricel Laxa's Gown for Ella Pangilinan DONNY PANGILINAN
Donny Pangilinan with the entourage
Rajo Laurel Transfroms Maricel Laxa's Gown for Ella Pangilinan JULIA BARRETTO CLAUDIA BARRETTO
Claudia and Julia Barretto attend the wedding

With heritage at the forefront, what made the bride choose her dress? Pangilinan responded, “I knew I’ve always wanted to wear a Terno, admiring the works of our national artists.”

Her mother’s offer of the Pitoy Moreno gown was significant, with the bride recognizing not just the elegance of the gown, but also the rich family history associated with the designer. She shared, “It was an honor for me, and a way to also honor my mom,” emphasizing the familial connections of Pitoy Moreno that stretch from her grandmother’s wedding to her father’s modeling days, creating memories encapsulated in fabric.

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Rajo Laurel Transfroms Maricel Laxa's Gown for Ella Pangilinan
The gown by Pitoy Moreno is revitalized, which was first worn by mother Maricel Laxa

Then, behind the scenes of this love-filled spectacle was a story of artistry and transformation orchestrated by Rajo Laurel. It began with a simple yet profound phone call, as Maricel Laxa and her daughter Ella reached out to the designer.

Trusting Laurel to bring her vision to life was a decision rooted in deep connections. Pangilinan shared, “Relationships are so important.” With the designer being a longtime friend and classmate of her mom since they were 10 years old, the choice was clear. Their relationship runs for years, with Laurel even designing her prom dress. “I also grew up engrossed with his work and visiting his studio. He even made my prom dress!” The bride’s confidence in the designer was evident. “I couldn’t have imagined anyone else being part of this story.” 

On Instagram, Laurel shared, “One day I got a call from her, both her and her mother asking if we could meet.” The meeting became a pivotal moment as Laxa unveiled her own wedding gown, one that was crafted by National Artist Jose “Pitoy” Moreno. The gown, with its intricate beadwork, held the promise of timeless beauty.

Rajo Laurel Transfroms Maricel Laxa's Gown for Ella Pangilinan
The vintage gown originally designed by Pitoy Moreno was revitalized by Rajo Laurel

Upon witnessing Pangilinan in the vintage gown, Laurel’s creative instincts took flight. “The gown overwhelmed her petite frame, but I thought it had the most beautiful and interesting beadwork,” he recalled. Determined to weave a silhouette perfectly tailored for the bride, he reveled with the idea of restoration and reinvention.

“I played around with the idea, and it all clicked. I then went into a full restoration mode, cleaning and bringing the embroidery back to life,” the designer explained. The process became an homage to the heritage of Philippine craftsmanship, a chance for Laurel to study and appreciate the work of those who paved the way for him.

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Rajo Laurel Transfroms Maricel Laxa's Gown for Ella Pangilinan
Ella Pangilinan wanted to honor her family’s ties with the National Artist

When Pangilinan saw the refurbished wedding gown, her expressive nature became evident. “I couldn’t believe it,” she exclaimed, expressing gratitude for the beauty where the old becomes anew.

From her very first fitting to the magical moment of her wedding day, the project unfolded seamlessly. “She was absolutely breathtaking,” Laurel exclaimed. In his project rooted in heritage and timelessness, he found its true expression in this transformative project. “To be part of one’s most important life highlights is a true blessing. I am so privileged [and] honoured to have been able to do this for my friends.”

Rajo Laurel Transfroms Maricel Laxa's Gown for Ella Pangilinan
The bride is all smiles as she begins the ceremony

Pangilinan and Miranda commence their future together, a confluence of love and labor. As the bride graced her wedding day, adorned in a gown that brought together two generations, merged past and present, and bridged mother and daughter, the onlookers witnessed the beauty of love and the strength of unity. History met the present in the tranquil beauty of that moment, leaving behind a trail embedded with the bonds of romance and unity in the family tree.


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