Balance Fashion Student and Designer Life in Paris with Jude Macasinag

Photo by Ritchie Jo Espenilla

Vogue Philippines converses with various personalities, who have different backgrounds and professions, to see what a day in their life looks like. From grabbing breakfast at the Sain Boulangerie to rewatching old fashion shows for styling ideas, here’s a rundown of Jude Macasinag’s day as a designer and student at the Institut Français de la Mode.

Jude Macasinag has been studying fashion for almost a decade. He started taking fashion design and dressmaking classes at the Slim’s Fashion & Arts School when he was 14, balancing it alongside his high school classes at the Philippine High School for the Arts. Upon graduating, he moved to Paris to pursue further studies—spending one academic year at the IFA Paris before transferring to the Institut Français de la Mode to finish his degree.

His creations have been worn by a variety of celebrities and media personalities, including Dolly de Leon and Nadine Lustre, and have also been donned by model Lukresia for the September 2023 issue of Vogue Philippines. Macasinag will soon release his graduate collection during Paris Fashion Week later this month, opening the semiannual designer presentations with his showcase. See below what a typical day looks like for him as he prepares for the upcoming runway reveal:

8:00: I try my best to get out of bed and get ready for the day. I take a while to get ready in the morning because I like to give myself a little while to adjust and get my gears working. I take a warm shower and think about the things I need to get done within the day, if I haven’t written them down the night before yet. It’s currently the middle of winter in Paris but I get warm very easily, so I put on light and unfussy clothes underneath then a large, beautiful vintage Sprung Frères arctic fox fur jacket that I found for a steal to wrap myself in. My philosophy on fur is that vintage fur can be one of the most sustainable ways of going about it — faux fur is plastic, often horribly made, and just overall doesn’t feel good, while new fur creates a larger demand to kill animals. Vintage fur, when well maintained, champions an old and unique craft that uses luxurious materials and still keeps you warm. I’d even argue that a good fur jacket can be utilitarian with the right design.

My trusted “utilitarian” arctic fox fur jacket, probably from the 1980s due to the cut of the shoulders.

9:30: I finally head out from my “cave” (what I call my small studio apartment with low ceilings) for a quick breakfast and coffee grab. I go to Sain Boulangerie — a three minute walk away — and get a sugary pepito (pain suisse with chocolate-dipped ends) or a hearty sandwich. On the same street, I pass by my favorite local coffee shop, The Coffee, to get my usual order: an iced vanilla latte with an extra shot of espresso. I’ve become extra caffeine-dependent over the past months and the baristas-turned-friends over there are witness to it.

10:00: If necessary, I get a couple of materials from suppliers and merceries that I’d need for the day. I’m lucky to be living in close proximity to them so it becomes a quick stop before heading to school. I often go to Fil2000 for general supplies, but my favorite is dropping by Socolatex, which has incredible quality materials and also supplies to several of the couture houses around Paris. Their staff is always friendly and welcoming, but it’s their resident French bulldog Polo who I especially get excited to see whenever I’m around.

Polo, the said boss at Socolatex.

11:00: It normally takes me about thirty minutes to get to school which I do via the metro. As of writing, I’m currently working on my Masters graduate collection at Institut Français de la Mode. I also did my Bachelor degree here, so I jokingly think I’ve been here for too long. But my class is generally great and each day is always an adventure with them. I can’t show too much just yet, but I spend several hours just either draping, doing textile experiments, stitching things by hand, or making patterns. I usually plug my earphones on as long as I’m working, and listen to a variety of music ranging from Donna Summer, BFRND, Depeche Mode, Kendrick Lamar, to Dua Lipa. For the past three weeks I’ve been unironically listening to the This is Britney Spears playlist on Spotify at least twice a day and always on full blast. If Britney can get through her conservatorship, I can get through this graduate collection.

13:00: For lunch, I often just get a delivery and eat beside my work to be quick and efficient. I normally order from Season, a really nice brunch place in the Marais. I get a light bacon and egg sandwich with a salad and my second dose of iced coffee for the day. Depending on the availability, I sometimes get the lavender flavor. I try to keep my lunch short so I can do more, and then I’m immediately back on the cutting table right after.

16:00: Third cup of caffeine for the day. My gastroenterologist is gonna kill me.

20:00: After a full day of saving the world with fabric and fittings (note that I say this jokingly), I lay my sewing needle to rest for yet another day of work. Sometimes I’m able to stay at school until 11:30 PM, but when I get to leave at an earlier time, I see some friends for dinner, especially on Fridays wherein I avoid staying home for my own social sanity. If not a nice fois gras burger at Benedict, we like to have Asian cuisine around the upper area of the Marais. There’s a whole street of groceries and restaurants that serve probably some of Paris’ best and cheapest Asian food, from the savory pork at Chez Shen to a nice cone of matcha soft serve at Shodai Matcha. For drinks on the weekend, I like to go to Andy Wahloo just nearby and have their absinthe Moscow mule that I specially request, or when I’m with another group of friends I end up at Chez Jeannette where it’s always fun to grab a pint.

12:00: Recently, I’ve been trying to be home by midnight à la Cinderella on the nights that I spend out. On weekdays, I would have probably spent the evening planning my tasks for the next day and sometimes getting some work done if I have things coming up in Manila. I haven’t had much time to full-on watch movies or series on streaming sites, which I will make time for after the collection. I often put on YouTube videos of either old fashion shows to give me ideas for styling, attitude, and the like or of fashion commentators that talk about their perspectives on the current fashion industry or of fashion history. And when I really want to turn my thinking brain off, I go on Tiktok for the next hour or so. Funnily enough, during the search for endless online memes and whatnot, my algorithm still leads me to short videos relating to fashion and general world history. When I feel like I want to act intelligent, I go through my own small personal library and see if there might be a book that I could look through for my research. I try to keep it visual, so that when something in a book appeals to me, I don’t “over-research” through it and get too distracted with the direction of a current collection. My last two book browses was Juergen Teller’s Fashion Photography for America 1999-2016 (I got it after being captivated by his series The Clients which I saw at his retrospective) and the Palais Galliera exhibition catalogue of Azzedine Alaïa’s vintage archive collection. I have an unfinished Truman Capote novel waiting to be read again.

My personal library normally consists of books on vintage fashion, Philippine weaves, erotica, and contemporary or classical art.

1:00: I take my second shower of the day, just right before getting to bed. Showers help me clear my mind and sometimes brainstorm — some of what I deem to be the best work I’ve done to date, I thought of during a shower. On a rare but good night, I’d immediately pass out as soon as I get to bed. But oftentimes, I get to finally properly check through all of my personal social media and see what my friends and family back home are up to. I’ve been living away from family and the friends I grew up around with for quite a while, and I miss them terribly, but I’m at a place in my life wherein I know I have to independently try to chase after my dreams here first.

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