We ask five cool Instagram bagets to dish
It feels a tad premature to be thinking about the great outdoors again—as of this writing, after all, the PH has dismally recorded upwards of 50,000 COVID-19 cases and the lack of effective government response just keeps making things worse—but the mere prospect of dressing up brings incomparable comfort. As a clotheshorse myself, obsessively planning outfits for every little necessary errand day out has become an amusement and a fun, much-needed diversion from increasingly grim headlines.
Sniff around online and you’ll find that Instagram’s cool kids concur. Here, we ask a quintet of them what they’ve been doing in quarantine, how they think the pandemic should shape the fashion business as a whole and, ultimately, to answer the question: what would you wear if you could go outside right now?
KIM ARTHUR UY, 19
On dressing to the nines no matter what
People who know me know I love to dress up for almost anything, whether it’s for school, a vacation, parties, or just Sunday brunch. Dressing up and shopping for clothes is and will always be my guilty pleasure. One outfit that I am dying to wear if I could go out of the house would be a beach outfit composed of printed swim shorts, a tropical kimono, and sandals. Going on beach trips is something I really miss. The sun and sea send me on a whole new level of calmness and relaxation.
For this OOTD, I wanted the look to be a bit Jacquemus-meets-the-African-safari, where the colors are leaning towards earthy tones and muted colors. Having this forest ranger feel with the sandy colors, jacket cut, and style of mountain boots tie my vision in really well. I love accessories, and I feel that they elevate even the simplest of looks. The sunglasses, handbag, jewelry, and—the most important accessory right now—the face mask are what tie this look together. Each accessory helps highlight the other. There are a lot of elements in this look, but a favorite of mine is the jacket. I feel like it ties all the components together, and who doesn't love a handy, stylish jacket?
On fashion’s innate ability to adapt
With everything happening in the world today because of the virus, we can see that all the different industries are affected. Fashion is one of the hardest hit. Designers had to stop fashion shows, fashion weeks have been canceled, and stores had to close to ensure the safety of everyone. But this didn't stop the creatives of the fashion industry—they prospered and propelled themselves to adapt to this “new normal” and adjust to what can be done in the given circumstances. This “new normal” has pushed the fashion industry to utilize the internet. Online fashion shows, Zoom photoshoots, online shopping, and other similar online projects have stormed social media, and all of these have somewhat put the fashion industry back on its feet. I feel like the one thing the industry should learn from this is to value adaptability. Fashion brands and people in the industry need to realize that they should be ready to adapt to whatever the world throws at them. Not everything is constant, and the future is uncertain.
SHANNEN FADEROGA, 18
On creativity in isolation
I must admit, as a woman who loves going out and hopping from one place to another, staying innovative during quarantine has truly been difficult. This made me realize one thing, though: you can’t quarantine creativity. Amidst the pandemic, I’ve had ample time to further improve my skills in both the fields of fashion and modeling. I’ve focused on making each day as productive and spontaneous as possible. I’ve been exploring new styles, thrift-flipping old clothes, and taking risks without fear of the possible outcomes of my creations. I’m not letting my creativity be limited by other people’s negative criticism. Moreover, I’ve managed to stay healthy while in quarantine, eating nutritiously and exercising regularly; it’s of utmost importance to take care of ourselves during this time of crisis when the virus can be easily transmitted.
On Asian street style as a statement
I am totally obsessed with Chinese street style and the Japanese Harajuku look, so I decided to combine both these influences to create a single bold look that represents my personality. I started with the most essential parts of this new-normal ensemble: an eye shield and a face mask that’ll protect me from the virus and look cool. What I really love about this look is this eye-catching skirt that’s divided into two colors. Since I like to promote sustainability, everything I’m wearing except for the accessories are thrifted—the turtleneck top, the skirt, and the leather boots.
An unfortunate byproduct of the pandemic is that people have developed a direct racism towards Asian culture. As a Filipina fashion enthusiast, I want to flaunt my Asian genes without feeling apologetic. I believe this is how the pandemic will impact my style. My taste in fashion can change from time to time but I will always be proud of being Asian and that’s just the type of mindset I want to spread. The Coronavirus is not and will never be an excuse to be prejudiced or racist against Asian people, culture, and even countries. Ethnicity is not a virus.
LUCAS MIGUEL LIGOT, 17
On what’s been keeping him busy
During the past couple of months during this quarantine period, I’ve really been driven to pursue and create music, and I’ve been sharing my work with people through platforms like Spotify and Apple Music under the name “Honey Blanket.” I’ve also been trying to keep up with academics, although it can be tough knowing that at any point in time, you can just ditch the books and go straight to bed. Netflix has become somewhat of a staple for me during this quarantine—I’ve developed a little bit of a love-hate relationship with it given that it keeps me up most of the night, but I can’t seem to go a day without it. Overall though, it has been a fairly productive couple of months for me.
On how small details can elevate an entire outfit
My outfits are usually pretty simple. Nothing extremely loud, but not too boring. I get most of my clothes from thrift stores and the ukay, so I don’t feel too bad when I get bored of a shirt or a pair of pants and decide to cut them up. I try to play around with different shapes and colors. For this outfit, though, I went for something subtle. Up top I have a regular red beanie (you can never go wrong with a good beanie). The t-shirt is white with red printed graphics, to match the hat. It was originally a long-sleeved shirt that I got bored of and decided to cut up. Then, a pair of denim jeans, straight cut, in a nice off-white color. I decided to crop them a little without hemming them so that there’s an interesting bit of fraying at the ends. Next is a regular pair of black socks and a pair of black derbies. Lastly, some rings and accessories to add a little extra something to the overall ‘fit. Some of my favorite bits are the red graphics on the t-shirt that give off a cool vintage vibe, as well as the fit of the pants and how the hems sit on the shoes. Reminds me of something you’d see in a Bare Knuckles outfit.
On how the fashion industry should change post-pandemic
I think this pandemic should be prioritized by everybody. I think the fashion industry should start making more masks and protective suits for health workers…and why not make them fashionable? Maybe if they look good, more people will start wearing them. There’s no question that masks were a trend even before the pandemic; certain street style accessories have a similar look to the masks and protective eye glasses being used today.
I do think that there are some unhealthy practices in the fashion industry that should not be continued. From the perspective of someone young who isn’t quite fully exposed to the fashion industry as a whole yet, even to me it’s obvious that a lot of money and resources go into creating pieces, and I think some healthy alternatives are available—recycling older materials and turning them into something new and exciting should be tried more often.
ANTONETTE CAYCO, 22
On high-low inspo
Currently, the outfit combination I’d choose to go out in consists of a midi skirt that I got from a thrift store, a tucked-out polo shirt, and my favorite Doc Martens 1461s. That, plus my favorite pearl-studded bag and a bucket hat. (I carry a face mask around, of course!) Recently, my looks almost always include a bucket hat. I do my best to add color when my outfit’s in neutral shades, so in this case the bucket hat is probably the most colorful part. I am a big fan of thrift shops; for me, being able to score designer finds is a big plus! In fact, this look was inspired by Prada’s Spring-Summer 2021 collection. I saw a post on their Instagram page and I instantly loved the outfit on the model, which gave me the idea for this look. Adding to that, some details were also inspired by some ‘90s Japanese street fashion photos I saw online.
On welcoming more color into her wardrobe
Post-pandemic, my style will probably change because I will be able to shop more. Before the pandemic, I wanted to start incorporating more colors and patterns into my style while still being able to keep the essential basics—think straight-cut jeans paired with a loose, brightly-hued shirt, a plain white cotton t-shirt and sequined heels, my New Balance 990s plus a colorful jacket and wide-leg pants. That was the kind of style I hoped to wear. Probably, after the pandemic, I will be able to revamp my closet and have better ideas in terms of mixing and matching colorful patterns along with my neutral outfits. At the moment, though, I feel like my personal style is still growing. I have gained more knowledge about fashion since the start of the pandemic, and I am currently in pursuit of more knowledge. I think my style will change for the better by [simultaneously] staying true to myself and being open to many more ideas.
DAINNIE LOPEZ, 20
On pop culture references and DIY diaries
In between making beaded accessories and a new graphic design project I’ve started with my friend, I would say dressing up also keeps me busy because it makes me feel more put-together, even at home. Clothes get me in the vibe.
I like colorful, vibrant outfits usually. My P20 top is from the ukay—I visited Anonas to buy clothes to sell at a school org fundraiser, but ended up getting this for myself, too. What intrigued me about it is the print! It reminds me of Bikini Bottom, you know, where Spongebob lives. The Kamiseta skirt is a hand-me-down from my mom, and it looks like something Mandy Moore’s Lana would wear to sing “Stupid Cupid” at the Baker Beach Bash in the first Princess Diaries film. These socks were a Christmas present from my sister (who’s actually writing this article). I find it really cute that there are Disney characters subtly embroidered on the sides, and I mismatched them on purpose to make things more interesting. The sneakers are the last thing I bought right before lockdown began in March, for the simple reason that I’ve always wanted a pair of sock-sneakers with off-white truck soles.
All of my accessories are DIY-ed! In fact, I made the earring I’m dangling from my left ear on the same day I shot these photos. The one on my right was made by my sister ages ago, in probably, like, 2007. The starry necklace was the very first beaded choker I ever made, so it’s special. The one above it was inspired by the total curveball 2020 has been so far—if you zoom in closer, you’ll see what I mean. The gold necklaces are fun heirlooms from my mom’s jewelry box.
P.S. I based my quarantine haircut off of Japanese Twice member Momo’s layered bangs look. It’s called a hime haircut. Red Velvet’s Irene did it too, I think.
On personalizing a dress code
Because of my nonstop beading and accessory-making, I know I’m going to be wearing a ton more accessories after the pandemic. Style-wise, though, I think I’m always going to dress as brightly as I do…although when school starts again, I’m going to have to start wearing business attire (it’s a junior-year requirement for my university course) so I’ll have to figure out how to incorporate the loud colors and prints I love into a more corporate sort of look. Also, I’m really uncomfortable in heels. Spinning the dress code my way is a challenge I’m both dreading and looking forward to.
This dinosaur’s taking notes from these zoomers who definitely know a thing of two about how to dress. Describe your best post-quarantine look in the comments!
Words and Images Yanna Lopez
Art Alexandra Lara