Sfdoubletake's Blog

The Romantic

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Maureen Clemente, a current fashion design student at the Art Institute of San Francisco, California, encompasses a sense of Hawaii romanticism, which warms up the city during what Mark Twain famously quotes as the coldest winter he ever spent during a “summer in San Francisco.”

 Hawaiian born Clemente grew up pattern making and sewing in her family’s Filipino style dress shop learning to create custom evening and bridal gowns.  Her inspiration to learn the art of design as well as the pull toward bridal wear budded early in her life.  Being from a large traditional Filipino family–“[she] has eight uncles, 11 aunts, 32 cousins, four nieces, and four nephews”–Clemente recalls that almost every weekend growing up held a wedding, a pageant, or event, which required the festivities of dressing up.

 Attracted to the culture, diversity, and overall heart beat of San Francisco, Clemente left her family and warm beaches in Oahu and moved to the Bay Area four years ago.  Eager to begin her studies in fashion design, Clemente planned to eventually open a sister shop to her mother’s Oahu based store here in San Francisco specializing in cocktail, wedding, and evening dresses with a traditional Filipino aesthetic.  

 In fall of 2006 Clemente studied fashion design in France expanding her expertise in the field of design.  She instantly fell in love with Paris and realized that creating garments for bridal parties was her true calling.  She has an immaculate eye for coordinating colors and details to help women bring their dream weddings to life.

 Her inspiration for design stems from fantasies and fairytales, the idea of making every woman a princess on her big day.  Disney princess characters as well as Vera Wang designs collectively describe the style in which Maureen creates her designs.  Although she creates extravagances for other women, her own ideal wedding would be “a simple romantic reception with a view of the sunset at Koolina Beach in Hawaii with close friends and family and with tropical flowers everywhere.”

 Clemente recently moved out of the city and its constant flow of noise and raucous to San Pablo in the East Bay, where she enjoys the mellowness of nature, long walks, and reading Brit-Chick-Lit (an abbreviation for the subculture of British chick literature).  Her boyfriend of two years, Mark Ammay, 24, of San Pablo, recalls that his first impression of Clemente was that she “was very very shy, independent, and loved to smile and laugh a lot.” 

Turning 22 years old in less than a week and with the recent approach of her college graduation set in September, several huge milestones begin appearing on the horizon for Clemente.  With a strong foundational aesthetic and style Clemente is set to face the real world, sewing scissors and needles in hand.

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