BENCH/ tackles the whimsy with designer Mich Dulce, creating a collection unlike any other before. Introducing a collaborated line for BENCH/ that is nothing short of quirky and cute, the designer gathers inspiration from the 50s. “For this line, I thought I would do a nautical sort of rockabilly collection,” the designer explains. She still keeps her trademark cute touches of bows and puff sleeves and has referenced a lot of pin-up illustrations from the 50s.
Her collection with BENCH/ is a work of art. A story of fantasy—with paper boats and perhaps magic fruits—comes to life for the collection’s campaign. “I just wanted to do something quirky and cute, and wanted to veer away from the usual pin-up clichés associated with rockabilly and nautical,” explains Mich.
When it comes to collaborating and designing for the retail brand, Mich recalls her first major projects with BENCH/ for one of their denim shows. “When they rang me up, it was a dream, and even more so when they said they wanted me to do headpieces,” she says. She has always wanted to do more accessible headpieces as her personal price points are quite high. Expect a lot of stripes, spots, hearts, and aces from the collection of headpieces as well as tops. “The girls’ line is very vintage and sweet with hand drawn bow prints,” she describes. “The men’s line is basic and simple, playing with stripes and anchor motifs.”
Other than being a designer and milliner, Mich Dulce is a corsetiere, an actress and a vocalist of the bands Death By Tampon and Us-2-Evil-0. Her CV couldn’t get any more creative having worked with designers like Jessica Ogden, Marjan Pejoski, and Cecile Zamora. Her alma matter is traced with a series of short courses at the London College of Fashion and Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. As soon as she stepped back to Philippine territory, she pursued further studies in design at the University of the Philippines and the Philippine International School of Fashion. As if those weren’t enough, she packed her bags once again for New York to study Merchandise Planning at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Adding to her credibility as a person of art and design is her nomination in 2004 as Revolutionary Designer of the Year at the MTV Style Awards. In 2007, she won the Fashion Designer of the Year Award for Streetwear at the MEGA Fashion Awards. Three years ago, Mich received the prestigious International Young Creative Entrepreneur award for Fashion at the London Fashion Week. Mich Dulce’s designs have been seen on international celebrities like music icon Adam Ant, Vogue Nippon Editor Anna Dello Russo, and Gossip Girl’s Leighton Meester.
BENCH/ truly takes pride in its roots collaborating with Filipino designers like Mich Dulce. Likewise, the designer returns the same sentiment to local label that, like her, has gone global. “BENCH/ has set a standard for local brands as one of the ready-to-wear pioneers. I am very proud to be part of the BENCH/ legacy,” she says.
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