Dominique Tiu is a twenty-something year old self-declared fashion blogger-cum-stylist. A certified shopaholic who fangirls Marc Jacobs and Lorenzo Martone, making incessant albeit futile attempts to virtually stalk Anna Dello Russo, Carine Roitfeld, Emmanuelle Alt, and Anna Wintour, sending them annoying anonymous emails with a montage of abused punctuations begging for Fashion Week tickets. Ultimately loves seared tuna, nutella, Japanese mayo, Goyard, splenda, Kinder Bueno, button mushrooms, Heinz catsup, Rodarte, and cashews. She owns a pair of Alber Elbaz’s underpants and aspires to meet Rei Kawakubo someday. Dominique loves Asian fashion and applies the Japanese style philosophy to her burgeoning Western-directed wardrobe.
What is your full name?
It’s Dominique Marie M. Tiu. Most people call me by my first name or “Domz” for short. I get called “Nikki” once in a while too, by my direct relatives and sometimes, by my boyfriend.
How do we contact you?
Simply email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
But what do you really do?
That’s tricky! But first and foremost, I am an Account Manager on weekdays (got to pay the bills somehow, y’know), personal shopper, marketing consultant, and blogger-journalist 24/7.
Nothing much really, fashion-wise. I started modeling when I was seventeen, I did a bit of ramp for Levi’s and a few other brands, but eventually transitioned to print and commercials. Then I decided I wanted to style, so I assisted Jay Tablante and Raffy Tesoro and did client work for brands such as Hang Ten, SM Department Store, and Kotex. I also styled a fashion show for UNO Magazine and consequently got featured in their magazine (and several other publications as well). I have minor blog-related endorsements that you can see on the side panel–notable ones are from Forever 21, Nivea, Mango, So Fab, and the like. Somewhere in the middle, I started contributing several fashion articles, most notably in Philippine Daily Inquirer’s 2bU section, although I haven’t been active as of late. Now, I’m re-focusing all my efforts doing personal shopping for several clients (names undisclosed).
Where are you from?
The Philippines. I grew up in a small place called Cebu City and relocated to Manila during my college years.
You don’t look Filipino?
My mum is part English, part German while my dad is Filipino-Chinese. I grew up with my stepmum however, who is Filipino-Chinese as well.
How’d you get into Fashion?
I was doodling dresses at the tender age of three, if fashion isn’t a normal transition then I don’t know what is. I could have been an interior designer too but well, I’m mathematically challenged. Admittedly however, I was a tacky tweener (I wore elevator platforms and elephant pants) but hey, it’s all part of growing up, right? Then I started reading, watching television, and traveling; I was mostly fascinated by details, by colours, by architecture, by art, by history, but most of all, I was fascinated by people’s inclination to express themselves. Fashion had all of the aforementioned.
How would you define your style?
I don’t anymore, that’s the beautiful thing! I went around declaring I was mod, I was hippie, I was rocker-chic, I was boho, so on and so forth and it was getting pretty stressful. Now, I will gladly admit that I have a fashion identity crisis–I’m in a place where I don’t know my style, where I don’t care if I have a style but you know what? I do wake up everyday knowing how I want to look, which is an amalgam of all the styles I’ve gone through, I’ve taken in. I feel that it’s the constant search for style that makes my style and fashion preferences unique.
What inspires you to dress?
If you hang on to this blog, you’ll know the various things that inspire me. It can range from random online fashion photos, internet fashion icons, magazine spreads and editorials, a fashion house’s lookbook, articles of clothing, trends, models, architecture, music videos, movie stills, nail polish colour–it really depends!
Where do you shop?
I get them just about anywhere! When I travel, I explore local brands as well as cheap markets. In my country, I get them from the local department stores. I also try my luck with online stores–they’re a treasure trove of unique pieces, and then I get the really trendy, prolific ones at High Street fashion stores like Topshop, Massimo Dutti, Bershka, Stradivarius, H&M, Ever New, Promod, Zara, Mango, Forever21, etc. I also go shopping in designer stores for classic staples or leather goods–I like Marc Jacobs and Missoni for knits, Balenciaga, Louis Vuitton, Givenchy, YSL, Goyard, Prada, Tory Burch, Kate Spade, Furla, Philip Lim, Alexander Wang, and practically all designer brands for bags and shoes.
Who does your hair and makeup?
Depends with who I work with! Most of the time, it’s just me, but when it’s a trufax shoot, I lay-out credits and from there, you can see who’s done my makeup/hair.
What beauty products do you swear by?
I’m not really skilled with makeup so I trust the really good brands to give me the look I’m after–I’m a huge fan of Guerlain (lipsticks and bronzers), Chanel (foundation), YSL (lipsticsk and blush on), Laura Mercier (tinted moisturizer and lipsticks), Mac (eyeshadows) and Benefit (primer) but I do trust the affordable basics such as Revlon (liquid foundation), Prestige (eyeliner), and Maybelline (eyeshadow). I’m not really very picky with hair products but I get mine from Hong Kong–Liese products? They’re the best!
Why did you set up this blog?
I’ve had several blogs prior to this one. I’ve always been opinionated and I love writing but they all didn’t seem to have a direction so I went on a blogging sabbatical or hiatus. When I was able to collect vestiges of myself, what I wanted to do, and inspiration in the form of Asian style philosophies, I upped and made this site. See, I’m half-Caucasian and half-Asian; ninety-eight percent of my fashion idols are form the West but rather unfortunately for me, my Asian features are stronger than my Caucasian features and so Western styled clothes are hard to come by and pair with. It seemed like something was “off”–I guess I couldn’t hammer the look. So I explored the Asian industry, found Western-inspired clothes for Asian individuals and well, fell in love. At the same time, traveling to various Asian countries made me want to adapt that Asian philosophy of dressing–that calculated need to make an outfit seem effortless and at the same time, addressing the desire to blend in a community where everyone has to stand out by loud, avant-garde dressing.
Who takes your photos?
Once again, it depends. Just check photo credits.
The Ultimate Question–why don’t you have photos with Tricia anymore, are you still friends?
Firstly, Tricia has done a lot for me, as a friend–she’s given me opportunities that never would have come my way had she not endorsed me and for that, I will forever be grateful. Likewise, I’d like to think that I’ve also managed to open a few doors for her and did my best, as her friend, to throw opportunities her way as well, because that’s just something friends do. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not taking credit of any sort, no matter how minuscule, because her success is a product of her own hard work and business sense. At the end of the day, people drift apart–they no longer share the same interests, they get to spend less time with each other, and eventually, words get lost in translation. That is what essentially happened, in a nutshell. So I don’t know the talk that’s going around the rumor mill quite frankly, I don’t care much for sensationalized gossip, but I’d like to think that the important people know the truth and that’s what matters, right? I harbor her no ill feelings, I think she is talented in her own way (I’ve always acknowledged this), and I wish her the very best. In the words of Stephen Chbosky, “Things change, and friends leave, and life doesn’t stop for anybody.”
It has a certain ring to it. I can always say cheekily, “It’s Konichiwear, bitch.”