Rabiya Mateo, a living doll and queen, is the perfect muse given her stunning proportions and angelic face. No wonder this designer from Antique turned her outfits into miniature ones for dolls!
Now that the Miss Universe competition is inching closer, fashion and beauty pageant enthusiasts have been keeping a close watch on each of Rabiya Mateo’s looks—and they’re all SERVES, honestly. Thanks to her stylists, Rain Dagala and Em Millan, who clearly understood the assignment and put Rabiya in more than a 100 designer outfits made by Filipino designers, our Miss Universe Philippines has definitely been making stunning statements. But who would’ve thought that Rabiya’s style would also look gorgeous as doll versions? Reggie Baradas is the doll collector from Antique that designed miniature outfits of our Queen and he shared with us the story behind his journey as a designer so far.
When did you realize that this was the path you wanted to take?
I was in my elementary when I started to love dressing dolls. I joined dance competitions and the prizes I earned was the one I used to buy my first doll. And from that, I realized that collecting and designing doll’s outfits was something that makes me happy.
Who are the celebrities/personalities that you’d love to make dolls for? Would you want to create for anyone from RuPaul’s Drag Race?
I always wanted to create a doll version from one of the iconic outfits worn by the one and only Vice Ganda, because he’s my idol. I’d love to make doll outfits inspired by RuPaul himself, too. I was amazed by Jujubee’s Dancing On My Own performance. And I see myself so much in her. I would be very to happy to imitate one of her outfits.
How does it feel like being recognized for your work?
Everything was unexpected. I’m just doing something that is giving me happiness and peace. This craft of mine is not just merely for fun. It’s also a way of diverting my attention into something that’s making me happy rather than overthinking and be drowned by negativity around us. I’m grateful for all the attention because it is also giving me the chance to inspire and encourage others to show whatever craftmanship and skills they have.
Any advice for creatives who want to take the same path?
My advice is if you have skills or talent show it and be proud of it. Its a God-given gift that we must flourish and share. If we will put much heart to what we’re doing that is making us happy, we’ll never know how far we could achieve. More than anything else, showing our craftmanship and talents isn’t about rewards, it must be shown and molded for us to prove ourselves worthy of all these gifts.