Whether or not you’re in tune with the fashion industry, it’s doubtful that you haven’t seen JC Buendia’s breadth of work. He’s been in the scene for 25 years, and his superior workmanship, flawless technical skills, and bespoke aesthetic have kept his clients—comprising some of the most photographed men and women—coming back for more.
Buendia is reserved about his achievements, though his roster of clients includes Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and President Aquino. It’s no surprise that this well-loved figure serves as president of the Fashion and Design Council of the Philippines (FDCP).
In the world of aggressively edgy, trendy fashion, Buendia has found his niche—designing elegant, feminine pieces, which would likely fill the closet of any dreamy-eyed heroine in a novel. His style is drawn from his love for cinema, his lifelong fascination with royalty, and how he keeps himself looking clean and dapper.
He’s now trying his hand as a restaurateur by opening Poppins on Tomas Morato, Quezon City.
We sat down with Buendia as he talked about his fashion aesthetic.
Inspiration for my designs has always come from… Japan. I love its culture and discipline. I always dream of cherry blossoms.
My fashion aesthetic in three words are… lean, simple and cinematic. Love that word, “cinematic.”
If I had to choose just one fashion icon, it would be … Grace Kelly, because she dressed her part as a Hollywood star and a princess!
I have always had a fascination with … royal families. I follow blogs about royalty, I watch a lot of shows on Bio and History Channel, and, of course, I love the movies made about these royal families. After watching a movie or a documentary, I’ll Google some more. I’m so fascinated with their lives!
I have a peculiar collection of… frog mementos. My collection started with Kermit the Frog, and then I found these Frog Prince figurines in Japanese stores. The Frog Prince has always been one of my favorite fairy tales, the moral of which is to look beyond physical appearances.
Lately, I’ve been excited about… designing the restaurant Poppins. I’m excited with the overall feel of the restaurant, from the interiors to music, from the plates to dim lighting. We’ll play runway music and Ryuchi Sakamoto during dinner.
My favorite dishes are… the Chicken Poppers. They’re chicken croquettes with jalapeño cheese and bacon centers served with sun-dried tomato jam.
When it comes to grooming, I’m the… soap-and-water type without any real beauty ritual. But I stock up on Evian Brumisateur. I like rehydrating my skin without the greasy feel. I only use baby cologne; my skin is allergic to musk. I’ve been using Bench Bambino for the past six years already. I like its clean, powdery scent. If I’m going to a climate-controlled setting, I use Jo Malone Nectarine Blossom and Honey cologne.
I spend good money on… Dial Mountain Fresh as a regular germicidal soap. But at night, I treat myself with L’Occitane Green Tea Shower Gel. I sleep well if I smell good.
When it comes to personal hygiene, I’m… really low-maintenance, but I want to smell fresh all the time. I take a bath thrice a day.
Since Buendia is big on taking baths, there are times when he might be forced to leave the house with his hair still dripping wet. Let’s be realistic, who has time to blow-dry on a daily basis?
Luckily, our morning woes have been answered by Goody with its latest innovation for fast-drying hair: the Goody Quik Style Paddle Brush and Water Wicking Detangling Comb. These hair tools are designed to detangle and remove 30 percent of water from your hair to reduce overall drying and styling time.
The Paddle Brush has super-absorbent micro-fiber bristles that take out excess water like a towel, while the Water Wicking Detangling Comb separates and smoothens hair while drawing off excess water.
This is also a handy tool for those who like taking a shower before bedtime.
Goody Quik Style Paddle Brush, P1,299.75; Goody Quik Style Water Wicking Detangling Comb, P1,299.75. Available in department stores nationwide.
Buendia’s choice products come from Rustan’s, Watsons, Bench and L’Occitane boutiques nationwide.
Poppins Restaurant is at Po’s Building, Tomas Morato corner Scout Madriñan, Quezon City.
Call JC Buendia’s atelier at 0917-7931378 (look for Eva). Follow him on Twitter @JC_Buendia, and on Instagram @myrefrigeratordoor.