Dear Shaded Viewers,


I met Mich at the Jeu de Paume in Paris just before the ASVOFF screening. She looked great, gave me her look book and I thought that I'd share some news on her with you.


DP: When you were a little girl, did you choose your own clothes and if so, what did you wear?

MD: I was a very girly little girl who loved pink and frills and lace and bows. I had always worn tights, kneww socks and stockings even in warm weather because my parents were always worried I would always be bitten by mosquitoes. I chose my own clothes but with guidance from my mother who always insisted that I was always dressed perfectly like a doll, every thing had to match, from the bows in my hair to my dresses and my shoes which always had to be squeaky clean. (To this day I am uncomfortable going anywhere with bare legs, tights are kind of my security blanket, and I still do not wear jeans, I always wear skirts or dresses).

DP: Before you were a designer did you make your own clothes?

MD: When I was young, I grew up with my mom having her own seamstress, so as I was growing up if I wanted something to wear I would just point it out in a magazine or doodle my own 'design' , go favric shopping with my mom and have it made up by our seamstress. When I was about 17 I started to get into Japanese streetwear and became totally obsessed with Harajuku and dressing up and back then there was onnly one cool shop in all of Manila and aside from that there was just nothing around that I wanted to wear, so I started to just make clothes for myself to wear.


DP: How did you get started in fashion?

MD: Some of my older friends were club wear designers (this was the whole rave era), and so when I started tomake my own things, I thought, why not, maybe I should maake clothes since I like dressing up anyway. I started by doing sale or return in a shop called Milkwear that sold young designers, then I interned for a Filipino designer, Cecile Zamora (who owned that one cool shop in Manila which I frequented as a teenager in the 90's). I did some courses at Central St. Martins and London College of Fashion in 2001 after I finished my college degree in Manila, and while I was there I did a very short internship with Jessica Ogden, then an amazing internship with Marjan Pejoski. then I came home, joined a few design competitions in the Philippines, and started my own label.


DP: How do you work, do you drape on a human model?

MD: I am really quite horrible at drawing flats and illustrating what is in my mind, so I tend to work in 3D. Mostly I drape on a stand, or draft a basic pattern and ten cut or add to it when it's in the fabric. I do a lot of work on Barbie dolls as well when I play with new shapes and patterns. I make small things in fabric so I can see how they fall on a Barbie to get the basic idea, then when I grade up I adjust it to fit to real people proportions.


DP: Where are you living and have you always lived there?

MD: I have always been based in Manila, Philippines. But I lived in London when I was studying and I love it there, and I really hope to live there some time in the future.


DP: If you had to describe your work in a few lines, how would you define your aesthetic?

MD: Feminine and girly with funny shapes, odd drapes and original prints. A little bit kitsch, a little bit vintage, occasionally a bit rude. Definitely puffy.


DP: Do you have any fashion idols/icons?

MD: My idols are so typical! I love Vivienne Westwood, the first time I met her I cried and told her I loved her and I would lick her toilets. It's my life long dream to be able to work withher. Dita Von Teese and Bjork. Also I am forever greatful to Marjan Pejoski and Sasha. Marjan is a genius, he's really one of the most talented designers ever and I learned most of what I know about the fashion industry from both of them and I love them to bits. I would work for them forever. WHen I was a fashion student in 2001, I was also in awe of their Japanese friend Mari who always had this jumbo bow in her hair, and now 7 years later, I still think she is amazing because she's like this living Barbie doll. Oh and would really like to meet Mr. Pearl.


DP: How did you meet Bryan Boy and what is your relationship with him?

MD: Bryan and I met in 2001, right before I left to stydy in London through our common friends in the tiny underground fashion scene in Manila. We made plans to see each other in London as he was this teenage world traveller, haha. But he never made it to London while I was there. We lost touch then somehow at some party years later we saw each other and soon after he had some clothes made and then he started to come over regularly to play dress up and 'pictionary' for his blog (he'd wear the clothes and hats I would have in the studio and cam/whore and I'd just take pictures all over my neighborhood).  When we were planning the lookbook shoot, my photography team (EverywhereWeShoot) and I were racking our brains for someone distinctly Filipino to model alongside a white girl, and I thought, why not Bryan, I mean he always loves playing dress up in my clothes anyway. So I called him and in classic Bryan way he was like, "but I'm so fat!" and I told him to shut up and that it was just 'pictionary' to a higher level. So he agreed and worked it like a pro and became the other model for my first ever lookbook.


.DP: How was your trip to Paris, what did you enjoy the most and what was the most disturbing?

MD: Paris was fun, I normally go for a week max, but this time I stayed for three weeks and so I got to explore a bit more. At first I was a bit lost because I didn't really know anyone in the city. (Bryan was meant to meet me there, but he had work in Sydney) and I got there a week before Marjan and Sasha so I was mostly by myself, but eventually I met a lot of lovely people, yourself and Susie Bubble being top hightlights as I have been a lurker in both of your blogs for quite a while. I was working at Rendez Vous for KTZ and had a super time at the Gareth Pugh Andam party. I was able to go to Nuit Blanche for the first time, which I loved despite having pneumonia and I took a trip to see the Jeff Koons exhibition in Versailles and it was breath taking. I had a very strange encounter with a guy who whipped out his dick in a park at 4 in the afternoon and told me to put it in my mouth, which sent me running home screaming but aside from that , it was pretty good and I hope to come back more often.

DP: Future plans?

MD: Well, this season is the first season that we are selling internationally and we will have some pieces in Kokon to Zai in London and Paris and possibly a few other shops in Europe plus Delay No Mall in Hong Kong and Black Mark in Singapore. Hopefully I might be doing some work in New York next year. I would like to do a lingerie line since I love lingerie, but at the moment I'm just keeping it basic and working on selling my womenswear collection and my hats.



Diane Pernet

A LEGENDARY FIGURE IN FASHION and a pioneer of blogging, Diane is a respected journalist, critic, curator and talent-hunter based in Paris. During her prolific career, she designed her own successful brand in New York, costume designer, photographer, and filmmaker.