Stylist Danae Dipon on IV of Spades’ Fashion, Style Identities and Getting Experimental
Get to know Zild, Badjao and Blaster’s go-to stylist as she walks us through the looks from the #WonderxIVofSpades cover shoot
While her career as a stylist officially began at 22, this should not discount prior days spent volunteering as part of the wardrobe team for her high school plays and styling for her friends’ photography plates in college. It required mustering up all that she’d learned on her own along with a little courage to respond to a post by Uy’s styling agency Stylized Studio, calling for fashion assistant applications in 2013. The rest, as they say, is history––and for Dipon, this includes a break from commercial and editorial work to collaborate with the fellas of IV of Spades.
Wonder: The last time we featured you, you shared with us that you previously worked with Stylized Studio and one of the country’s leading fashion magazines. How did you find yourself working with these brands?
Danae Vernisse Dipon: My best friend was scrolling through Instagram and saw Liz Uy’s post that said she was looking for a fashion assistant and she tagged me in a comment. As soon as I learned about it, I applied for the position. I was confident about my styling work from college, so I sent over my résumé and portfolio straight away, got interviewed, got the job as an intern first, was then absorbed as a Fashion Assistant and then promoted to Senior Styling Associate.
It was kind of easy for me to book projects with Preview since I was already working with Liz Uy, their Fashion Editor-at-Large at that time. I’d say she was my ticket to working with the magazine. I’d always ask her to get me to assist her for cover and editorial shoots, so I eventually became familiar with working with the editors. From then on, Liz has allowed me to work with Preview as a contributing stylist.
W: What would you say is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned over at Stylized Studio?
DVD: A LOT, actually. I think the most valuable lessons I’ve learned from working there are: (1) don’t be late, (2) believe in yourself––because how would others believe in your work, if you don’t? (3) make every mistake a lesson, (4) learn to separate your work life with your personal life, lastly, (5) be passionate about what you do because it will always reflect on how you work and how your work turns out.
W: Let’s talk about IV of Spades. We saw the synergy you guys had at the August cover shoot and it’s obvious there’s history there. How did your working relationship with the band happen?
DVD: My best friend, Faith, is Zild’s sister. I’ve known him since he was 13, actually. Back when he was still with his first band, I was already helping him and the rest of his group put together outfits. That dynamic spilled over to styling IV of Spades.
Photo Daniel Joseph Aguilar
W: What would you say is your favorite part about working with IV of Spades?
DVD: When I ask them what they want to wear, they have a clear idea of what that is. I also love that they have their own takes on style which are different from one another.
W: Having worked with the guys regularly, what can you say about each of their personalities?
DVD: This is such a hard question (laughs). Zild has that leadership vibe where, when you see him or talk to him, you know that he’s inspired by the people he looks up to or the people who are relevant to him in terms of style or fashion. Badjao is very chill and quiet, but artistic and expressive in his own way. Blaster is like the baby brother; he just says what’s on his mind and rides on whatever topic you talk about.
W: How do you highlight these when you style each of them?
DVD: They all [tend to lean towards something] retro that’s still fashionable in their own way. Zild is more open and experimental with how he dresses. He listens to and considers suggestions. When I dress him, I try to mention influential artists I can compare his look with to make him more comfortable with the outfit. Blaster is the easiest one to dress up, so anything that’s fashion-forward or stylish, [he’s receptive to]. He knows what looks good on him, so I’m always relieved when he doesn’t comment on the outfit and just nods, because, then, I know he likes it. Badjao is more classic-retro but is into accessorizing as well: usually with sunglasses or a neck scarf or a chain necklace.
On Zild Striped suit jacket and striped trousers, LORICO, graphic printed t-shirt, JW ANDERSON, skull ring, 13 LUCKY MONKEY. On Badjao Monogram button-down shirt, BALENCIAGA, white button-down shirt, COMME DES GARÇONS, striped suit jacket and trousers, LORICO, stud bracelet, FALLON. On Blaster Striped suit jacket and shorts, LORICO, metallic neck cuff, KOKET, layered chain necklace, AC+632, skull ring, 13 LUCKY MONKEY, layered rings, NATALYA LAGDAMEO
W: As a stylist, how do you ensure that their looks are cohesive yet unique in their own way?
DVD: I [always] consider their own personal styles before I share style references and then make sure there would be a shared or similar element that ties their looks together: like the colors of their outfit or a similar print or the exact same wardrobe pieces. They can all be in suits, but wear different styles of shoes, inner shirts and accessories, for example. Although––and this applies especially to looks they wear at performances––they dress up distinctly different from one another. Even if one outfit doesn’t match with the rest, at the end of the day, it’s their connection with each other as a band that ties their look together. I think it’s a band thing.
W: Which outfit from the cover shoot was your favorite on Badjao, Zild and Blaster?
DVD: My favorite looks on Zild from the cover shoot are the ones with the Vetements tattoo-printed top and the Balenciaga ensemble. I got to experiment with the pieces here in the same way Zild was really game to try on those looks at the time. My favorite look of Blaster is the Modesta look because cropped blazers work well given his height and build. My favorite outfit on Badjao is the Comme Des Garçons look because it’s a good balance between urban street and classic and relaxed, which is very Badjao.
W: Let’s talk about this group shot: What are the style elements you considered when putting together each of these looks?
On Zild Red button-down shirt, graphic printed t-shirt and monogram shorts, BALENCIAGA, color-blocked suit, ANNA RAYMUNDO. On Badjao Eye-hole long-sleeved shirt, COMME DES GARÇONS, distressed suit jacket and shorts, COMME DES GARÇONS HOMME PLUS. On Blaster Monogram knitted sweater, BALENCIAGA, oversized jacket and trousers, OFF-WHITE
DVD: For the band’s third look, I wanted to put together something that channeled a little urban street style. Zild used to wear a lot of printed shirts before, so I thought of layering one with another, which he hadn’t done before. I also told him that the style is something Billie Eilish would maybe wear. In real life, I would style the printed button-down shirt with a pair of relaxed pleated cropped trousers with a silver link chain, white socks, black or red Adidas Gazelle or Campus sneakers, thin silver chain necklaces and black bucket hat.
Considering Badjao’s classic retro style, the coat, shirt and shorts were a good combination. The clothes themselves already have that urban-ready look. Alternatively, I would style the Comme des Garçons sports coat and shorts with an untucked white button-down shirt buttoned all the way up and black Converse Chuck 70 High-Top sneakers
Lastly, I thought Blaster would look good with an oversized sweater since he’s rather tall. My favorite part was styling this with the Off-White chinos and industrial. Unsurprisingly, he carried streetwear well. I would otherwise style the printed knit pullover with gray army or cargo pants, white chunky sneakers, a white cap and a black belt bag.
Photography Ed Enclona
Art and Art Direction Alexandra Lara
Fashion Direction Nicole Blanco Ramos
Beauty Direction Cessi Treñas
Hair JA Feliciano
Location Creativx Studio