THERE are those born with a silver spoon in their mouths. Mike Yapching could have very well been born with a spool of thread, instead. Raised by his family of seamstresses in Cebu City, he found meaning in his immersion in fabrics and sewing machines only in his teens. “I was pretty blasé about it, but it was during high school that I realized it was fun making dresses. The way I was able to create something that moves and comes to life from a piece of 2D material was an instant high.”
An undergraduate at the University of San Carlos – TC, he is primarily self-taught in fashion design. He credits his family experience for his early education which was bolstered by his own keen interest and online resources. “I like watching sewing tutorials because I mostly learn from there, apart from technically thinking it in my head.” He also credits friend and mentor Edwin Ao for helping him hone his research style and design conceptualization.
Mike finds inspiration anywhere and is most inspired when he is in front of his body form. “It is where I’d know that a certain dart or fold here and there would look good for my taste. I try not to limit myself to a certain point of view when it comes to doing a collection.”
For a series in collaboration with Converse All-Star, he wanted to channel that same philosophy of innovation of material while still keeping true to the base, classic form. Deconstructing classical suits and incorporating textured, shredded details to a dress, he used grommets or eyelets as inspired by the closure of the All-Star.
In one, he softened a usually stiff three-piece suit with the incorporation of varsity jacket details to the sleeves and the upper back of the suit jacket. The slouchy and very light nylon gave it a casual feel.
In another, he went for a full-on deconstruction but still kept the tailoring sharp. Sleeves were removed, and the entire back was slashed. A belt and an adjustable clip buckle cinches the front pieces to the body and emphasizes the waist for a V-silhouette. Hemming stitch to the collar and lapel is added for detail.
His dress has a very classic body-hugging and tapered silhouette. Shredded textured chiffon over the same fabric base in geometrical patterns gives playfulness to the simplicity. Lacing inspired by the shoes was channeled to its center. The oversized, belted overcoat in off-white also featured lacing in contrasting black.
Starting out as a minimalist, he makes sure every detail is subtle but compelling enough to be unique. Mike says his evening wear has slowly evolved but is still very minimal, classic, and sophisticated.
“Ultimately, I’d like my clothes to suggest power and class — something that gives confidence and a sense of authority to the wearer.”