A penchant for the weird | Inquirer Entertainment

A penchant for the weird

By: - Reporter
/ 11:39 PM June 14, 2012

SHANDII and her Chihuahua named Gucci Photos by Jim Guiao Punzalan

Mark Shandii Bacolod recalled that he was ridiculed in school because of his penchant for “unconventional” outfits.

“I wore red or brown pants long before United Colors of Benetton made them cool. I attended High School Night in Goth clothing. People used to wearing tees and denim pants laughed at me. It came to a point when I wondered, ‘baduy nga ba ako?’”


Little did Shandii know that his uniqueness would lead to his becoming the stylist and image specialist that he is now. “I’ve always been a rebel. I’m fashion-forward; never followed trends. People saw me in leggings before Folded & Hung released their leggings collection for men,” he told Living Stars when we visited his condo unit in San Juan.


Shandii styled and conceptualized the album of the girl group PYT in 2009. He was also a fashion stylist for Playboy Magazine Philippine edition. He said his parents had opposed his work as an indie actor and director: “They wanted me to be a lawyer or a doctor, so I took up political science. But I was also a jazz dancer and theater actor in school.”

ABS-CBN gave him his first break, shortly after a three-month scriptwriting course under Ricky Lee. Shandii was asked to join a pool of writers to work on Piolo Pascual’s first drama

Shandii fave books

series, “Mangarap Ka.” Shandii had left home at the time after a big fight with his mom. “This job helped me start with a clean slate.”

He was next involved in the concept development of “Vietnam Rose,” and became a member of the casting team for “Pinoy Big Brother Season 1 Celebrity Edition.” Then he was an actor in “Ysabela.”

In the movies, he first acted in Arah Badayos and Margaret Guzman’s “Mudraks” in 2006. He was also in the cast of indie flicks “Fling” and “Roomboy.”

Next month, he will be seen in the Cinemalaya entry “Ang Paghihintay sa Bulong” by Sigrid Andrea Bernardo.


gray studded vintage boots from Replay

As a director, Shandii megged his first full-length, “Fidel,” in 2009, then “Sponsor” and “Ben & Sam” in 2010.

“When I left home, I told my mom I didn’t need her money and I  wouldn’t be coming back. Everything I own, everything I’ve accomplished, are all because I worked hard, lived independently and followed my dream,” Shandii said.


“These black suede shoes are called heel-less,” he said. “I bought the pair from Surin, a Cebu-based designer, when Lady Gaga shoes became fashionable. You can’t really wear them and stay on your feet for more than two hours. At one event, photographers took pictures of my feet, not my face. That was so funny!”

He showed us a pair of pink high-heeled canvas-and-rubber shoes. “I was injured because of these. I twisted my ankle during a shoot. I had to take painkillers.”

Shandii is a fan of American designer Jeremy Scott, famous for the wings in Adidas shoes and jackets. “One of my most expensive pairs of shoes is this one that Scott designed. This is called Bones. I got it from Amazon.com for P16,000. I’ve worn it only once, to a red-carpet premiere. I’m also a fan of vintage designs. I got a 1990 Replay vintage pair for P4,500 in a garage sale,” he said.

HE LIKES Carolina Herrera for its sweet scent.

He’s also proud of a pair of graffiti Converse designed by John Varvatos. “I gifted Tutti Caringal of the band 6cyclemind with another pair,” said Shandii. “Like me, he’s a fan of graffiti rubber shoes.”

His advice to men: “Don’t be afraid to experiment with colors and designs. I window-shop all the time and see crazy stuff by known brands like Nike, Puma, Converse, Adidas and Zoo York. Even Doc Martens, known for black leather boots, now has mint green, pink, blue and zebra prints.”


His clothes are no less weird. He has a tiger coat from Adidas, designed by Scott, which he bought for P9,000.

His most expensive Scott item is pair of sweats and pants with tassels. “It’s a gift from my former boss. It cost P16,000. I don’t get to wear it often because it’s always so hot here in Manila.”

He showed us a koala bear-inspired hooded coat. “I bought this in Hong Kong from the famous shop D-Mop,” he said. “I got another one for my designer friend Ken Batino—it’s made from washed-out denim.”

Another favorite item is a military jacket from Filipino designer Tata Galias. “It’s perfect for formal events. I think it’s inspired by some creations of the late British designer Alexander McQueen.”

“THE WEIRDER, the better,” says the stylist and image specialist of his eyewear collection.

Shandii bought a glow-in-the-dark jacket on one of his trips to Hong Kong.

Even his scarves are weird, like one with fur balls. “I spotted it on a mannequin in a Hong Kong shop. I plan to use this when I visit my mom (now based in Japan) this year. Japanese girls are very fashionable, ’di ako magpapatalo.”

He pulled out a graffiti-designed trench coat, which he got it from a thrift store in Tagaytay. Then he showed us a pair of drop-crotch leggings. “This is a new collection from Bone. I wasn’t allowed entry at the Palladium bar in New World Hotel because of this. The guards thought it was a skirt,” he said.


He used to own over 60 bags. “But I recently got depressed and gave 50 away,” he said. “I just saved the memorable ones, like the one that I bought in Greenbelt for P3,500. It is made of old newspapers.”

He continued: “There was a time when the Hermes airbag was very popular. It’s a good thing I found a cheap version in Hong Kong. A local designer adorned it with cute patches.”

He has a transparent handbag with gold studs that he bought for P16,000. “I feel so exposed using it—snatchers will easily know what to get from my bag,” he admitted.


Shandii confessed to being addicted to watches: “Scott designed a special-edition watch for Swatch. It has a lightning bolt. This is the first watch I bought as a professional stylist.”

He enjoys wearing timepieces with different colors and prints. “No watch is too manly or too gay,” he pointed out.


Shandii calls his Lady Gaga-inspired eyewear “shutter shades.” He wears it to parties. For business meetings, he wears a serious-looking pair with red frame. “I removed the lenses—uso ’yan ngayon!”

His most expensive pair of shades was also designed by Scott. “It’s inspired by the television set. Everyone tries to press its buttons to see if it works. Scott collaborated with Linda Farrow on this one. I bought this from Amazon.com for P13,000.”

DVD collection

Shandii’s top 3 favorite films are George Cukor’s “My Fair Lady” featuring Audrey Hepburn; Francis Pasion’s “Jay”; and Sam Mendes’ “The Revolutionary Road.” He also loves Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio in “Titanic.”


He likes “Trip to Quiapo,” the scriptwriting manual by Ricky Lee, and the collection of “Virgin Labfest,” published by the CCP. He also has the entire “Harry Potter” collection.


“I use mousse for my wavy hair,” Shandii said. “I love Bedhead’s Foxy Curls. If I would be out for more than five hours, I use Bedhead’s Hard Head. Aquanet was popular in the 1980s. I still have a bottle of its All-Day All-Over Hold.”


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He is loyal to one scent, Carolina Herrera, but also likes Victoria’s Secret Vanilla Lace. “I tried other brands—CK One, Weekend Burberry and Lacoste Booster—but they didn’t work for me.”

TAGS: Cinemalaya, Mark Shandii Bacolod

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