Seven thoughts on dating a fashion girl

ABOUT A BRO - Ralph Mendoza (The Philippine Star) - September 27, 2013 - 12:00am

You could say dating someone in fashion is like a cable subscription, where the channels are endless as much as the string of times you find yourself surprised to have certain programs in the mix. So okay, I get to have Nat Geo onboard but I also get Nat Geo HD and Nat Geo Wild? Wild. Cartoons from the future, cats from hell, and local evangelists in turtlenecks — recent cable television is the strangely perfect chopsuey of personalities you didn’t expect to have but end up finding cool. The same goes for the cache of stories that surface with going out with someone in fashion. I mean, it’s a terrible analogy but you get the picture. Here’s what I’ve learned so far.

1. It takes a childlike sense of coolness to work the way she does.

I noticed she would wear various hats to work but the most essential hat she would probably wear is that of the playful kid. Not in a Jaden Smith kind of way, but something a lot more reserved yet confident. Styling also seems to require an ever-stretching imagination especially when you are to produce not only the shoot itself but visualize the stories behind it. So it takes both guts and a playground type of mindset to bring something fresh to the table, and I simply admire her for it.

2. Be ready to have your chapped lips suddenly swiped with lip balm made of some weird rose petal and organic shea butter concoction.

Being in fashion isn’t all about the clothes. It’s also about quietly taking care of your body even when the day is long over and you’re both at home. So don’t be surprised when you suddenly feel a wax-like substance quickly swiping your lips from left to right with no warning at all. I used to think it was for the image thing but it might just be me. I was failing the standards for lip health and I had to be saved. I’m all good, though, and I even have a couple of lip balms from her.

3. If you think shopping in a different country only starts when you both get to that country, think again.

It always starts with buying that special, special hat from a local Topshop. Then suddenly a whole getup comes to light. Preparation is key, I agree, but I can’t help but notice the advanced styling that ensues way before the actual vacation. I can hear her voice now telling me, “But you bought shoes, too!” I guess that voice is correct and I have been legit influenced.

4. Your girlfriend’s outfits will out-cool yours from time to time so you need to genuinely be okay with that.

There will be times when the effortless cool of your outfit will look just effortless in the not-so-sunny sense of the word compared to hers, so you need to take it easy, man. It’s not a fashion distress signal as much as it really is the way of things. Let her shine while you just dine, hoping her stylishness will somehow rub off on you in a few years.

5. Simplify.

“You post too much!” I’ve heard this more than several times from her, I think, and it’s true. Working with her on shoots taught me a great deal about simplicity. I learned how to cut down a set of photos to a 10th of its original volume so you could really highlight which to submit to publications, or post as outtakes. In a time when posting 50 photos on Facebook seems to be the coolest thing ever, the idea of posting just five has its own minimal charm to it.

6. It takes an effort to chill.

Chill times have become the norm for us not because it’s a hipster thing to choose the passive slug life but because we choose to work in a more relaxed pace. She styles in peace, I take photos in peace. It makes for a better output creatively, especially when you capture photos in between sets when everyone’s at ease. Those images turn out the most interesting ones at times. But it doesn’t mean you’re chill when you simply say you’re chill. It takes a conscious slowing down to get to where Chilllandia is.

7. You might argue that every relationship is unpredictable but a life with someone immersed in the creative intricacies of fashion brings something else to the fore.

I don’t know what exactly it is and I guess that’s the fun of it. It could be her taste in shark tooth jewelry. It could be her taste in anything. But so far, having her around is like discovering a secret underground rollercoaster below the coolest ride in the park, and I’m fortunate to have experienced something like it.

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Follow the author at ralphmendo.tumblr.com


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