”IF YOU HAD ME CHOOSE BETWEEN ART AND FASHION, I WOULD DROP FASHION IN A MINUTE.“
Designer/milliner Mich Dulce hates the uppity idea of fashion, and emphasizes her vehemence with a firm tap on the table and some sneering profanity. “I hate fashion. I can’t deal with that [sic]. I hate the word ‘ fashionista’.” When she got casted in
Pinoy BigBrother in 2008 and got labeled ‘ The Fashionista’, Dulce exclaims that she wanted to die. “I hate that word, I think it’s the dumbest word on the planet.” She was angry, and was cursing at the cameras. “I hated PBB. It was the biggest mistake of my life, and you can quote me on that.” When people come up to Dulce and ask, “Are you that girl from PBB?”, she flips out. “Once, a cab driver asked me that and I answered, ‘ Yes, but I’m talking to someone on the phone.’ Even if I wasn’t!”
Dulce resents that two-week television stint for one reason: She is an international brand, a lauded milliner, a feminist band frontwoman and an artist that just recently produced an attention-grabbing, controversial solo art show. She does not appreciate being remembered simply as “the girl from PBB ,” and understandably so. Show business is just too small for a woman like her; Dulce speaks with such immense spunk, energy and honesty, this writer wouldn’t be surprised if she conquered the world.
“I can’t say I’m into fashion, because I don’t know anything about it except the things I like, such as vintage.” Dulce sees fashion as an art form. She does not give a damn about its jargons, runway seasons or politics. She simply loves to create. “I love making hats, but I hate the fashion part of it. I hate the business part because I’m not very good at it. I just want to make hats.”
Her venture into the industry began during a trip to London when she flew there to take over the family business. “It was like insurance or something, some huge moneymaking thing. But instead, I applied for an internship and got an offer to help make a dress. Just one dress.” She phoned her mother and dropped the bomb, “Guess what, I quit. I’m not doing your business. I’m going to study fashion.” Dulce expected her mother to be upset, but she wasn’t. “I have the most supportive mom ever,” she says proudly.
Her mother raised Dulce alone. Her father passed away when she was just five years old. “My mom is very conservative, but she is also very concerned about my happiness and well-being. She’s open-minded when it comes to things that she knows will make me a better person.” Dulce is disappointed when some people misunderstood her recent art show, “One Day I’ll Be Everything You Ever Wanted,” an ode to the contrast of Dulce’s feminist ideologies against her mother’s more traditional ones. She states fiercely, “[Some thought] I had issues about her, but I don’t. This is what I am, and maybe the way I am now is because of what she taught me.”
Her mother was so strict, Dulce had no room to rebel. “When we had school field trips, I couldn’t even ride the bus. I had to be in a car behind the bus. I didn’t have a yaya , I had a midwife. That’s how bad it was.” Dulce’s acting nanny was the same woman who pulled her out of her mother’s stomach, and she’s still with her to this day. “She would wait for me outside of school every day. I couldn’t go out. I think that’s why I’m so interested in taboos.”
Dulce has a fondness for reading about unmentionables. “If you ask me about S& M, I can give you the whole dictionary of it,” she says matter-of-factly. She comes from a very conservative family, so when she grew older and realized that such illicit