The month of May has been one of the highlights of this year so far. I am very honored to have been featured on Lookbook’s monthly Beyond the Hype interview for the month of May. I remember when they first introduced the concept of interviewing the ‘most hyped and popular’ members on the website, I thought I will never get the chance to be in that spotlight — two years after, I finally made it.
It feels amazing and I thank everyone who have supported and followed my looks from day one. Thank you for all the lovely comments, your constructive criticisms and even the awful ones. Your support have inspired me to continue doing what I love. Thank you sincerely.
You can read the full interview here, or you can read the transcript below.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and where you live.
My name is M’c Kenneth Licon. I’m just another fashion misfit trying hard to belong. I live in Vancouver where XXS is still too big and a size 5 in men’s shoes (38 euro) is unheard of, but that’s never stopped me. I cut, bead, glue, paint and sew things together and often strut around downtown Vancouver wearing head-turning, eyebrow-raising outfits.
I’m that tiny little Filipino boy behind littleFashionisto, where I share my random stories, DIY projects and everyday personal fashion choices to the world.
I am also an interactive media developer and hoping to get into fashion publishing/styling in the future. I am 22 years old and originally from the Philippines but moved to Vancouver, British Columbia when I was 14. This move from a small obscure place to a big city influenced me in a lot of ways especially in developing my personal style.
How did you first get interested in fashion and why is it important?
Growing up, I’ve always been very artistic and I guess that translated to my choices in clothing. I have always been very particular, careful and yet still playful in combining pieces together and creating a cohesive looks one after another.
When we moved to Vancouver, I discovered that dressing up would be a lot tougher, if not, nearly impossible because of my very tiny frame. I guess I became hungry of dressing up so I was forced to find different ways to work around my limitations. In that journey, I discovered many different things, which made me even more interested in the craft. It’s true what they say, limitations spark creativity.
Fashion speaks louder than words. Nowadays where people are busier than ever, and almost have no time to communicate, fashion is an instant tool to express ones personality. Whether fair or not, it is human nature to make automatic judgements on people based on their appearance, so make that impression a positive one because your fashion choices can make or break you.
What are your passions?
This question was asked to me 5 years ago and all I could answer was music and arts; little did I know, I would later discover another passion of mine which is fashion and styling.
During my spare time, I like to play music, draw and illustrate. I also enjoy going out and taking a stroll while photographing my city and its people.
How do you describe the fashion scene in Vancouver compared to other major cities/fashion capitals?
Like everything else in this city, style is so diverse and the range is almost impossible to classify. I suppose the laid-back feel of the west-coast is the most prevalent but that is not to say there is a lack of effort, if the low-brow/high-brow mix we see so well-executed on the streets is any indication.
Vancouver is so involved in the green movement, and our local fashion is certainly not exempt from this initiative. This eco-awareness is so deeply ingrained in the culture of our city, that the most style-savvy consumers tend to prefer eco-friendly garments made from sustainable materials. This definitely influences the overall feel of the city, and lends to the easy, uncomplicated flow and simplicity of the west coast style.
What do you love about living in the Vancouver?
I love the diversity as people who live here come from different parts of the world and bring a different flavour. This makes Vancouver a more exciting place to live in. You get to taste of different culture and have a sense of their ways of life.
Aside from that, Vancouver is an amazing place where city and nature collide.
Top 3 places to visit in Canada:
Vancouver (mix of urban living and nature), Toronto (our version of the Big Apple), and Montreal (for a slice of what is uniquely French-Canadian and one of the most fashion forward cities in Canada).
Describe your personal style and its influences/inspiration.
My style is a mix of a lot of different things; Fun, dandy, colourful, edgy (it can sometimes be risky) and it speaks to my personality. I’m always a very happy and enthusiastic person, not to mention some down times, and my looks and style show that. They reflect my mood and inspiration at that given time, but mostly they are an extension of who I am as a person.
I get a lot of inspirations from various runway shows, magazines, movies, and books. Random people on the street also inspire me. Their good and bad fashion choices are usually very appealing to me.
Favorite designers and places to shop?
Hedi Slimane, Ricardo Tisci, Christopher Bailey, Damir Doma, Kean Etro, Alber Elbaz, and Lucas Ossendrijver. Because of the fact that I don’t fit into a normal ‘menswear’ size, I am limited to shop at places where they carry kids clothes such as Gap kids, Zara kids, Joe Fresh kids, and H&M kids. However, because of my wide variety of styles, I am also very lucky to be able to shop at women’s departments as well as men’s. Depending on my mood and the situation, I find myself browsing through vintage shops in Vancouver as well.
The first thing you look at in another person’s outfit is:
The accents. I like it when you see a hierarchy of different elements coming together with a particular piece as the highlight of the outfit. I love it when I see strong colours and patterns that pop up.
What do you skimp on?
Food. It’s not that I starve myself but my little body does not really need a lot; not to mention that I always get some home cooked lovin’ from my parents.
What do you splurge on?
I love accessories – scarves, sunglasses, pocket squares, ties, suspenders, socks, belts, and hats. I feel like having all these accessories is like having a full set of brushes and colours to paint the canvas that is my outfit.
A fashion rule you always break:
I think what makes it exciting to dress up is having no boundaries and continuously experimenting with the resources that is available, so to answer this question – I don’t necessary believe in fashion “rules.”
A fashion rule you never break:
Injecting confidence into every outfit you wear. Confidence is the backbone of an outfit; without it, you might as well wear a potato sack.
What do you think is the most recent notable trend to appear/reappear, and what are your thoughts on it?
It has to be the bold colour blocking. Famous magazines will usually have their editorial shots for colour blocking but I haven’t really seen it widely translated into a big trend for everyday wear until recently. I am a big fan of colours and undeniably addicted to playing with them in most of my looks.
What is the most underrated item in menswear and womenswear?
Trousers. People tend to stick with the basics and are quite afraid to experiment so trousers tend to take the backseat in the entire outfit. Loud colors and patterns, unusual shapes and cuts are often perceived to be “too much” when such things could work with the proper execution.
Your favorite colour(s) of the moment are:
I love all shades of blue because of their versatility. As well, I love how blue is somewhat the unity of the masculine and the feminine.
What is your next “must have” purchase?
If my financial resources would allow, I would love to have suits from Dior Homme and Lanvin. I love Dior Homme’s basic colour scheme and exceptional tailoring, which brings out fantastic silhouettes. As for Lanvin, I love the luxurious feel and the slight feminine touch they add to their pieces.
What is the ultimate showpiece in your closet?
It would be my collection of accessories, numerous D.I.Y. projects and some pieces my friend and very talented designer, Mickelli Orbe, has created for me personally.
Are there any fashion icons or famous people whose style you admire?
I adore Hedi Slimane and John Galliano for being revolutionary when it comes to their contribution to the fashion industry. Hedi Slimane did not only reintroduce the slim silhouettes in menswear but is also an accomplished multi-faceted artist. In particular, I’m a big fan of his photography. As for John Galliano, I admire his bravery in terms of pushing for his vision no matter how seemingly crazy it may be. For me, his collections never fail to inspire me and bring me to a different world; it’s almost as if he takes you and pulls you into a dreamland that he creates.
What’s on your iPod / bookshelf / DVD player at the moment?
I currently have Adele, John Mayer, Lykke Li, Coldplay, Rihanna, The Kooks, Amy Winehouse and The Burlesque soundtrack on my iPod. As you can see, I have quite a diverse taste in music.
What can’t you live without?
Of course, family and friends will always occupy the top spot for this question; however, since we are talking about fashion anyway, I would say a good set of hair products. I actually have everything – putty, wax, hair spray, texturing paste, clay and other hair products for all sorts of effects – matte, shine, texture, volume, and hold. I believe that one’s hair is a big part of one’s overall look. You can even wear the simplest outfits and make a big statement with your hair.
What is your personal favorite outfit on LOOKBOOK.nu by you, and by another member?
I would have to say the very first look I uploaded. I remember being very thrilled and excited about getting my ‘letter of acceptance’ to be a LB member and I couldn’t wait to just shoot my first look.
It has now become a bookmark of my fashion journey and every time I look at it, it makes me realize how far I’ve come. Though I might have gone overboard in accessorizing, and that humble background that is my door looks very sad, and it was taken with a 3.2 megapixel point-and-shoot camera. I would still wear the outfit and parade it outside today. It still has that charm and innocence that I find quite interesting.
I love this look from Jerome C. The blazer is amazing and I love how it contrasts well with the green sweater. I also adore the silent polka-dotted tie for added detail; it’s a very M’c Kenneth look.
Next place you want to travel to (and why):
I would love to go to London! As much as I love Vancouver, I think that London—being one of the fashion capitals of the world—is a much bigger playground for me, not to mention the great possibilities and opportunities that might be available for me.
In the year 2016 you will be:
In five years time, I would love to be working in the fashion industry. As to what exactly I’ll be doing, I’m not yet sure but I am looking forward to getting my hands in styling, fashion photography or publishing. At that time as well, I see myself doing a lot of traveling as I continue to seek inspirations and experiences.
What would you say to someone seeking fashion advice?
For me, fashion is a means of self-expression so it is essential to find oneself. Once you know who you are and what you want, then you will be more comfortable with your fashion choices and the confidence will just radiate in your looks. Keep experimenting and getting inspired.
Your personal style is an aesthetic reflection of what is relevant to you and the references that influence your daily life. People on the street, models on the runway, ads in magazines are the usual sources for the little details that will comprise your look. A bold color combination, a daring silhouette, a rogue accessory even something as seemingly minor as fabric choice help define your style. Comfort and confidence come from many trials, some of which will be successful and some utter failures but both will equally inform your style.
Olivia H. wants to know: If you could go back in time to any date, when would it be and why?
I would probably go back in time when my mom and dad used to date. I’ve seen a lot of their photos back in the days where they used to put more effort into dressing up; mom in nice dresses, gorgeous shoes, and dad in skinny jeans, aviator sunglasses, leather jacket and converse shoes. Additionally, a good chunk of my closet is from my mom and dad originally, and I would love to see those clothes worn the way my parents did back in the days.
What should we ask the next interviewee?
If you had a chance to be in someone else’s shoes, and live their life for a day, who’s fashion personality will you be and why?