Wednesday, December 2, 2009

How to clean feathers

I've got a few pieces with feather accents that are so lovely to look at. We store them in boxes to avoid the accumulation of dust and other undesirables. Feathers remain waterproof if they are attached to the bird. Now that these beautiful feathers adorn your bolero, extra care is needed to keep them looking fresh.

Here's how to care for the feathers:

Easiest is to blowdry the feathers. The air from the blowdryer hopefully gets all the dust away in a couple of minutes.

Those newborn baby hairbrushes are meant to brush baby's hair. Since newborns have hair as soft as feathers, this brush makes an excellent feather brush! Brush following the direction of the feathers so as to retain its shape.

Sable paint brushes are also excellent in brushing the feathers clean.

Three easy ways to keep feathers clean. Remember to keep your feathered boleros safe from moisture, bright light, and dust.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Dr. Katherine Duque's natural beauty and grace made her very memorable. Every fitting date with her was always a silky smooth experience. Photos by Oliver Soliva and Dr. Carlo Nasol

Cat-eyed Katherine Duque was the first bride who received a stunning complementary Michi Calica Fresh Flowers bridal bouquet made of farm-fresh roses and ostrich feathers. She booked her Mignonne Lace wedding dress within the first hour if meeting me. She was incredibly stunning on her wedding day.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Best home and office flowers
that make your heart sing

Don't these beauties simply make your heart sing? I put these statuesque Calla Lilies on my molave design table every time I meet a bride-to-be on first consult. It reminds me of how a bride looks on her wedding day - simply elegant and perfect!

Mondays are great days to bring fresh flowers to the workplace. Experiment on which flower suites your office and stick with it for a while until you feel it's time for a change. Glance at them while you go about doing your memos or making your phone calls.

Come Friday, make sure you've got your flowers for the home, setting the mood for a relaxing weekend with family. Choose different flowers than what you have at work and see what happens.

How about brightening up your living and work space with our elegant Calla Lilies (Php 1800+) or graceful Yellow Orchids (Php 2000+) arrangement inspired by Georgia O Keeffe's paintings. Just give us a call at 09178979759 or email us at michicalicaflowers[at] for your orders.

Our home and office floral collection is also available online!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Free Wedding Bouquet for You

You won't believe this sweet offe brides-to-ber! Check out these beautiful wedding bouquets from Michi Calica Fresh Flowers-they can be yours for free when you book for a wedding gown on the spot, or within the first week of consultation.!

Wouldn't you love to win my exquisite designer wedding bouquets by Michi Calica Fresh Flowers?
Brides who book the order of their wedding dress on the first day of their consult with us automatically get a free rose bouquet on their wedding day! A bridal rose bouquet retails for 5,5ooPhP.
If you prefer a bouquet of tulips, stargazers or of another variety than roses, all you have to do is add 1000PhP to upgrade your rose bouquet. This offer is only good for brides getting married within Metro Manila, Philippines. What are you waiting for?


Q: What is the duration of the promotion?:
A: Promotion will start on November 15, 2009 and end on December 15, 2009

Q: Who can join this Promotion?
A: Brides, grooms, anyone who avails of a Michi Calica wedding gown within the first week of consultation. This means booking the order with a 50% downpaymant.

Q: How do I avail of this free bridal bouquet?
A: After booking for a customized gown within the first week of consultation with Michi Calica Bridal, the purchaser is entitled to a designer bouquet.

Q:What is the duration for the free wedding bouquet?
A: If the purchaser books the wedding gown between November 15 to December 15, 2009 the purchaser will receive her wedding bouquet on her wedding day. THis is for brides getting married in Metro Manila only.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Beautiful Bridal Jewelry that Won't Break the Bank

Beautiful, AAA-quality freshwater pearls. I can't get over their roundness, size and luster. You will be amazed how reasonably priced they are.
I have been in love with South Sea pearls for a long time now, collecting them mostly from pearl giant Jewelmer since I was in my twenties. I have all sorts, and colors, mostly perfectly round or baroque pearls. Name it, and I have it, white, ivory, champagne gold, peacock green. I love wearing them because they alter my mood instantly!
Over the last year, I discovered a very special quality of natural pearls - they amazingly look like South Sea pearls in luster and size, but are actually freshwater pearls! Freshwater pearls are cultured pearls, they are genuine mind you. The variety I sell in my Toccata store is from Palawan, the Philippines, and I am immnesely proud of the quality I carry. Only a very trained eye will be able to distinguish the South Sea pearls from my freshwater pearls. You be the judge.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Toccata's White Orchid Bolero Winner Revealed!

After a suspenseful five day wait, Rock 'n Roll Bride announced the winner of the Toccata White Orchid Bolero Contest! Ladies and gentlemen, here she is (and the drum roll pleaze...)
Rachael Green of Los Angeles, you are one lucky bride-to-be! Here's what she wrote:

My wedding is 3 weeks away and THIS is the EXACT item I’ve been looking for to complete my Mad-Men-meets-Indie-bride look {pearls, lace, feathers, and touches of leopard print}. Stunning! WAY over budget already {or else I would have the White Orchid Delux wedding dress I’ve been eyeing for an eternity}, so I’d be forever grateful to be gifted such a mindblowingly spectacular piece, but rest assured, I WILL have either the angelique or the white orchid bolero on my wedding day!

Check out Kat Williams post on the White Orchid Bolero winner here.

Racheal if you're reading this, you will get your size zero White Orchid Bolero just in time for your Big Day on November 20! Congratulations!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Quintessential Princess Bride

Photos by Carlo Cecilio and Toetoe of Imagination Photography

I always imagined that Dotty Gosingco-Cu was a Paris socialite incarnate. She is possibly my classiest bride of this year and here's proof: she looked stunning during her October 2009 wedding to the dashing Jerome Cu. She wore a French taffeta ball gown, sprinkled with French chantilly lace and Swarovski crystals. Her bustled skirt was blooming with handcrafted silk English roses.

Since she is an interior designer, she knows a work of art takes time - a lot of time to blossom. She would show up for fittings promptly with her creamy skin glowing and an exuberant smile of a bride-to-be in love. She knew the process of couture could take six to even ten fittings before perfection unfolded. Unlike other panic stricken, drama obsessed brides-to-be, Dotty was always a picture of cool and cheer. Ah, love. Just like the movie the Princess Bride where true love conquers all.

I wish there were more brides like Dotty, she is a rare one. Unknown to Dotty, she also helped a good number of my production staff who suffered during the Ondoy typhoon by picking up her gown a tad bit early. Dotty is indeed the timeless classy bride, beautiful inside and outside.

Star Wars Theme Wedding

Hands down I must say Issa and Tiger's Star Wars theme wedding is hard to beat! There was much buzz about this thematic wedding when popular TV host wed the dashing young doctor a few months back. I had the pleasure of creating Issa's iconic wedding dress including her Stormtrooper fiberglass breastplate.

Some behind he scenes trivia:

When the first sample was done, I showed it to my husband and he commented: "I think it's too matte, it needs some more oomph" I then looked outside my house for inspiration, and lo and behold, saw my neighbor's shiny sapphire BMW. Incidentally this neighbor of mine is Jay-ar, the Prince of R&B, I asked his driver where he got the paint job, Jay-ar had a car painting shop down the road! Then I had the fiberglass breastplate painted with frosted ivory car paint to match the chiffon of her Star Wars wedding gown - the rest is history.

Pat Dy shot these. Here's his link:

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Loving My New Work-Life

When all I have to do is design, I close my eyes for concepts, can come up with dreamily textured pieces.
I used to call myself a 'multi-tasking virtuoso': running a made-to-order bridal salon, a flower shop, a pret-a-porter boutique at Greenbelt 5 (Bonne Bouche), and for a year now my newest business baby is an booming online bridal boutique. By the way, I am also a family woman and a mother of three.

Recent events have pushed me to move my working venue from a commercial boutique to my airy private home. It got sooo crazy, especially when my business became running the store. I started accepting ALL jobs from walk-ins. This was not a good decision. I had no idea where they were from and what they were like! I became a maniac of perfection as to how retail processes had to be done. I even hired a corporate 'efficiency expert' to help me out. Despite my passion for good service, unfortunate incidents with retail employees have urged me to say: enough is enough.

I had a bright solution. bring back my operations home, which is right in front of my production area. No more transporting the clothes, no more alterations and requests lost in translation. No more hungry designers trying to sell their own goods to my clients.

Meanwhile, business wise, what gave me the courage to close the Oasis boutique is the fact that my is gaining ground really fast!! It's mind-blowing. Within a year of doing e-commence I realized: this is so much more worth it and pleasurable! My brides now hail from Northern America, Canada, Australia, The UK, France, and recently Dublin. I will announce when my kick-ass goes live this month!

I must write about the three month night class at AIM called the Maven's Secrets class which was an internet marketing class taught by famed blogger Anton Diaz. I think this class changed my life. It shifted my outlook from offline, brick and mortar business to ONLINE! I met so many successful e-commerce mavens, and business people succeeding online. My classmates rocked too!

Back in my new home set up, I am relieved and liberated. It's as if I have a new lease in life. For local clients, I plan on only meeting my repeat clients and VIP's of years and years.
I'm still booked locally until December 2010 for about fifty weddings. I definitely will give it my all creatively and service-wise to these brides who have booked with me, because I made a commitment to them. I am also very big on commitment. As long as I have my signature on the dotted line, I will deliver. I will enjoy the process this time because I do not have to RUN a store. Hopefully after that I will be very scarce locally. The world is my market from now on.

It is time to enjoy my craft once again, not only for commerce sake, but for why I entered wedding design in the first place - for my sheer love of creating beautiful things from scratch. This time around, I am no longer a 'multi-tasking virtuoso - ' I am a family woman who happens to be a 'fashion e-tailer'.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Win a White Orchid Bolero

To all sassy brides-to-be -- Here is one uber exciting news for you!

To celebrate my first box-office year at Etsy, Toccata is giving away this romantic bestseller at Rock n Roll Bride, the hippest wedding blog in Europe. The contest begins right now, and ends on November 2 - my first year anniversary at Etsy.

This piece is an ideal cover up for your fab wedding dress. It makes any wedding gown come alive with that long lasting impression.

Good luck gals!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Rock 'n Roll Bride!

Photo credits go to Squaresville Studios
I am loving this super cool blog that features wonderfully unique weddings! Check out
Every indie bride will find valuable inspiration for their up-and-coming, one-of-a-kind weddings.

Korina Sanchez Wedding Dress

Just fresh off the press, this photo is courtesy of
Renown Filipina news anchor Korina Sancez weds "Mr Palengke" Senator Mar Roxas this afternoon, October 27, 2009. We are waiting for Mar Roxas to announce his candidacy for vice-presidency. The Philippines thought Mar as heroic when he decided NOT to run for president to give way to pal Noynoy Aquino.

Going back to the lovely Ms Sanchez - IMHO, brides getting married over fourty are very aware about looking appropriate for their age. Korina looked stunning in this Pepito Albert Filipiniana inspired creation, she decided not to wear veil for her big day. Good choice Korina!

Ivanka Trump Wedding Dress

Check out the first official photo from Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner’s wedding, courtesy of Fred Marcus Photography.
I always admired the gorgeous Ivanka Trump, the beauty-and-brains daughter of mega mogul Donald Trump. I keep a close eye on her in the Celebrity Apprentice, all poker-faced and so exquisitely put together. Ivanka walked down the aisle in a custom wedding dress by Vera Wang and $130,000 diamond drop earrings from her Ivanka Trump jewelry collection. I must say, her wedding dress of choice is as smart s she is! Look at the refined classic lines of this Vera Wang dress - it is sure to be timeless years and years from now.
Five hundred guests attended the posh Jewish ceremony at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey on Sunday (October 25).

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Tuscany Wedding for Marie Claire Editor

Myrza Sison must be one of my most interesting brides for this year. She was a celebrated international model in the 1980's - so with her height and figure, it was so easy to design this wedding dress for her. Myrza is an even more celebrated fashion magazine editor (think Marie Claire).For years now it was known that Myrza was too much of a career woman to even think of marriage. One day, destiny introduced Myrza to her perfect match, and fast forward to two years after she and her husband Andrej had a beautiful wedding in Tuscany, Italy.
Her wedding dress is of ivory fine chiffon, it is electric pleated and appliqued with bronze lace. It is also now available at Toccata.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Toccata for Etsy

Check out this awesome video created my Pink Lemonade Films. Catch her at

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


I have been bringing my own shopping bag around for years even before being 'green' became fashionable. There are nine billion shopping bags that go to the trash every year!
This is probably why I ended up being offered this opportunity to design a reusable bag with the Ayala Malls. We were asked to choose our NGO to produce the bags for us. I chose Earth Day Network to do this with me, because I totally believe in their passion for educating big corporations to manage their waste wisely. I, alongside five other very talented designers joined forces for this event.
Here is the story of my bag:
"The random wrinkling on this bag symbolizes cracks on Mother Earth caused by our collective abuse. But here's good news: Choose to reuse, reduce and recycle resources today, and we can help reverse the effects in 10 years. Made with love, repurposed cotton canvas and tarpaulin, this reusable tote by Michi Calica works and looks better than any plastic bag."

Sunday, July 26, 2009

What's Your Recent Inspiration?

Almost two years ago, was the beginning of my deep love affair with fresh flowers. I was looking for a way to ease my frazzled nerves while constantly meeting antsy brides-to-be. I discovered that arranging flowers was a truly relaxing experience, it was easy to slow down my day while arranging white orchids en masse.
Over the last year, I started arranging wedding bouquets for my brides-to-be. I was still pregnant with my youngest daughter Amanda when I started frequenting the fresh flower market, all the way until the week of my delivery!
This centerpiece is my Parisian bouquet created for a lovely bride and old friend, Myra Arenas. She ordered twenty five of these for her reception held at the quaint Conservatory at The Manila Peninsula Hotel.
Check out more of Michi Calica Fresh Flowers at

My First Items Online

When I was very new at, it took me two whole months before I made a sale! Right before I started selling wedding boleros and cover-ups, my very first product line was elegant evening bags. I figured bags did not need 'fittings' and it would be easier to sell them. I have since shelved these pieces, but I may decide to release them soon.
This wedding bag is called Something Blue. I was quite taken by Filipino bag designer Bea Valdes' beadwork, hence the adaptation of these medallion like patterns.

Hello Etsy!

I am absolutely tickled pink to kick off this Toccata blog! Why am I so excited about this? I have been designing customized wedding gowns and dresses for more than fifteen years to date. It is an understatement to say that this business is both exhilarating and exasperating at the same time. Trying to please every whim and request of the bride-to-be is no walk in the park. I have done classic weddings (hundreds of them), themed weddings ( including the famed Star Wars wedding of TV host Issa Litton).
One thing rings true: all brides-to-be have very high expectations of their dream wedding dress, and they want to see it NOW. I started looking for a creative venue doing what I do best and enjoy most - minus the high stress of daily having to assure the bride that their dresses will reach their expectations.
Enter Toccata at - I started designing wedding cover-ups and wraps here. I thoroughly enjoy how coordinating with brides is silent and as easy as 1,2,3 using the CONVO button at etsy.