My Style Story

November 2013

It's not what you're wearing but why you are wearing it. A series of interviews with interesting people.

Mich Dulce, 32

The minute I step out of the house I have to be dressed up. I need a hat and a corset every day, otherwise I feel naked. I’m a high maintenance dresser but a low maintenance girl. I could get ready in a tent.

I grew up in the Philippines. My dad died when I was five, so it was just me and my mum. She is very feminine and old-fashioned, not independent at all. She likes to be treated like a real woman. As a child, every time I wanted a dress my mum made it for me. That’s’ probably where my interest in making clothing comes from. And now mum wears a corset every day, too. She is 62.

The last time I wore trousers was in high school military training. I don’t own trainers, trousers, t-shirts or any sort of comfortable clothing. My body is suitable for vintage, and I love the 50s pin up style. I’m also really into Edwardian and Victorian eras. I think it’s because of the hats and corsets they wore. In general women were more womanly back then, and people still had manners.

Keeping up appearances is about comfort. I recently spent some time in New York and couldn’t go out without fake eyelashes, because the place was new to me. I’m a bit more relaxed in London, and in Philippines I don’t need fake lashes at all. It’s the same with new people.

Everything about a woman is really powerful to me. I have very feminist beliefs; I think feminism is about being proud of your womanhood and not having to try to do what guys do. Femininity is an incredibly strong force and the female form is amazing.

My style has become more classic recently, but I used to be really into Vivienne Westwood. Our family wasn’t encouraged to take stands politically, and she gave me the political reassurance and self-confidence, for which I idolised her.

When I moved to London from the Philippines, I got away from the old restrictions and had more courage to be what I wanted to be. London’s energy and eccentricity are like nowhere else. I still want to promote my home country and its talent and creativity; all my hats are made of Philippine materials. But I’m not an ambassador.

Ethical issues are also really important to me, I don’t support high street and dislike the current consumerism. People think that the more clothes you own the wealthier you are. In my industry it’s still a taboo to wear the same dress twice. That’s crazy. Why should it be, if it’s a good dress?

 

Words MARIA KIVIMAA

Photography MAX WILSON