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Fashion Stylist Patty Yap And Her Celebrity Muses

Patty Yap is celebrating her 13th anniversary as a stylist. And here to join her in marking this milestone are her celebrity muses Donnalyn Bartolome, Shanaia Gomez, Zeinab Harake, Alexa Ilacad, Jessy Mendiola, Yassi Pressman, and Vickie Rushton

Celebrity fashion stylist Patty Yap celebrates her 13th anniversary in the industry with Metro.Style.
Celebrity fashion stylist Patty Yap celebrates her 13th anniversary in the industry with Metro.Style. | Photography by Dookie Ducay


When it comes to becoming the person that our younger selves always dreamed we’d become, there are two kinds of people. There are those who know what and where they’re destined to be right from the get-go, doing everything they can in their capacity to become that. And then there are some who get to where they are thanks to sheer grit and hard work, a natural curiosity and love for learning, and a good ol’ dash of luck.


For celebrity stylist Patty Yap, who entered the fashion, film, and TV industries as a young stylist during a time when it wasn’t yet the thriving profession we know today, the second scenario may be a bit more familiar. “Nu’ng time na ’yun, hindi ko pa talaga alam kung ano ’yung gusto ko sa life, bagets pa ko nu’n eh,” she recalls. “Hindi ko pa talaga alam kung ano ’yung gusto kong work.”


One of Angelica Panganiban’s long-time friends (the two go way back, having been friends since high school), Patty would accompany the actress to many of her shoots, where Patty would eventually meet Patricia Coronado, who was Angelica’s stylist at the time. This was back in 2009. 


(Standing, from left) Zeinab Harake, Alexa Ilacad,  Patty Yap, Vickie Rushton, and Shanaia Gomez; {sitting, from left) Yassi Pressman, Donnalyn Bartolome, and Jessy Mendiola
(Standing, from left) Zeinab Harake (in Carl Arcusa), Alexa Ilacad (in Jan Garcia), Patty Yap (in Jan Garcia), Vickie Rushton (in Jan Garcia), and Shanaia Gomez (in Jan Garcia); (sitting, from left) Yassi Pressman (in Jan Garcia), Donnalyn Bartolome (in Joseph Palma), and Jessy Mendiola (in Jan Garcia) | All shoes by Jojo Bragais


Patricia’s work was of immediate interest to Patty, especially as someone who was already into fashion and clothes. “Sabi ko, ‘Patricia, ano ’yung work mo?’ Stylist nga daw. Naging interesado ako, so in-interview ko siya: paano magsimula sa ganyan, paano pumasok, magkano ’yung TF (talent fee), magkano ’yung kinikita, so nu’ng nalaman ko ’yung kinikita, parangAy kabog, parang kaya kong gawin ’yan,’” Patty shares with a laugh. 


Patty, a graduate of Mass Communication, initially dreamed of becoming an actress. She tried to pursue that at first, landing small roles in indie films. Though she’s creative at heart, she also did stints in call centers, both here in the Philippines and in Singapore, and even served as Angelica’s executive assistant for a time. At 16, she did stand-up comedy shows at Klownz, a famed comedy bar. But none of them really stuck—it wasn’t until she decided to give fashion styling a try that her career path began to unfold in front of her eyes.


Taking on her first-ever styling job for a Sunday variety program, Patty chose to skip the apprenticeship period that stylists—and other creatives—often start their careers with. She was able to dress Paulo Avelino, her first celebrity client. But this was not without its challenges. As a rookie stylist, with no big clients to her name, her pullout requests to borrow clothes for her clients would often get rejected by designers and brands. Patty also remembered a time when she would commute to shoot locations by herself, carrying all her stuff; one shoot in particular was inside an executive village, and she had no choice but to walk from the entrance to the house because she didn’t have a car then. Whenever she’s reminded of experiences like this, Patty is inspired to keep going, knowing how determined she was to get to where she is now.   


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Thankfully (and perhaps serendipitously), Patty met actress Kaye Abad through Angelica, who then introduced Patty to her next client: JM de Guzman. From there, she would become unstoppable. After JM came Xian Lim, then Angelica, then Kim Chiu. Patty would eventually go on to dress Kim for some of the actress’ biggest projects and red carpet moments: ABS-CBN Balls, for example (including 2018, with Kim in a custom Michael Cinco), as well as Kim’s 2016 concert at the Kia Theatre, which involved a whopping ten quick changes throughout the show. 


With her growing list of clientele, both men and women, Patty also got the opportunity to sign with Viva Artists Agency as one of the stylists on their roster. This is what would lead to her gigs with Yassi Pressman and Donnalyn Bartolome, who are also Viva talents.


But it was with Kim’s trust in her that Patty felt she had finally made it into the industry. “Diyan ko talaga naramdaman na, ‘Oh my god, andito na ’ko,” Patty says. 


Patty, who is also an entrepreneur with a food business called PattyLou’s Kitchen, has now been styling for 13 years. And she is celebrating this career anniversary through a Metro.Style special feature. Today, her lineup of muses also include Jessy Mendiola, Alexa Ilacad, Shanaia Gomez, Zeinab Harake, Vickie Rushton, and Maureen Wroblewitz


As a stylist, Patty always goes for an “effortlessly chic” look, choosing simple pieces that are elegant at the same time, while still being on trend. She also knows that her work doesn’t end with just choosing the clothes and getting her clients and muses dressed—her philosophy as a stylist is one of collaboration, so she prioritizes really getting to know and befriending the celebrities that ask for her services.


Kinakaibigan ko talaga,” Patty explains. “Inaalam ko kung ano ’yung mga insecurities nila sa katawan nila, ano ’yung mga tatakpan, at tsaka kung ano’ng klaseng personality silakung conservative bakumbaga, iniintindi ko sila. Ang pagiging stylist, for me, hindi natatapos sa pagsuot ng damit sa kanila. Kailangan din talaga hype girl ka nila, ’yung ibu-boost mo ’yung confidence nila.”


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Ensembles by Maison Soriano, shoes by Tutum Shop and Jojo Bragais, and nails by Paint & Style


Patty always takes into consideration what her muses want, while still introducing them to outfits and looks that may be out of their comfort zone. “Trust the process,” Patty says, knowing that she knows her stuff, and that this is something she’s good at. 


Hindi madali ang pagiging stylist,” Patty says candidly when asked what advice she’d give to anyone interested in entering this industry. “Akala nu’ng iba madali lang ’yung pag-style. Mag-pu-pullout ka lang, kakausap ka lang ng designer. Hindi ganun.”


Patty continues, “Hindi ka nag-stylist dahil gusto mong sumikat or dahil sa money… Kasi ’yun ’yung iniisip ng ibang tao, kapag stylist ka, naku, madaming pera ’yan, or easy money ’yan. Hindi ganun, pinaghihirapan din ang lahat ng bagay. Kailangan mo talagang maging strong sa trabaho na ’to, kasi minsan nakakapagod din, lalo na ’pag everyday ’yung work mo. At tsaka kailangan hindi natatapos ’yung pag-aaral mo. Lagi kang nag-aaral tungkol sa styling. Kasi siyempre kailangan mong lume-level up. Ako nga sa edad kong ’to, nag-aaral pa rin ako. Kasi laging nagbabago. Yes, paulit-ulit lang ’yung trends, pero laging may bago ’yan. Aral nang aral, huwag maging kampante.”


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Like everyone else in this life with a dream to be—or do—something great, or find out what it is that they love doing the most, Patty set out to find herself, to find where she’d thrive best in, and she found that in styling.


As a plucky young stylist in the entertainment and fashion industry, fast-paced and cutthroat, Patty knows what the hustle is like: making every single brave decision to get to where she is, and never losing her love for learning new things through it all.


“So kung gusto mo ’tong work na ’to,” Patty tells us, “kailangan bukal sa kalooban mo, mahal mo ’yung trabaho mo, para mahalin ka rin ng work mo.”


Check out the gallery below to read about Patty Yap's celebrity muses, and see some of the looks she has put together for them: 



Photography by Dookie Ducay

Sittings editors: Geolette Esguerra and Grace Libero-Cruz

Creative direction and production design by Chookie Cruz

Interviews by Carla Buyo

Videography by Bria Cardenas

Makeup by Jake Galvez (Patty and Alexa), Mikka Marcaida (Yassi and Donnalyn), Mariah Santos (Jessy and Zeinab), and Chuchie Ledesma (Shanaia and Vickie)

Hairstyling by RJ dela Cruz (Patty and Alexa), Florenz Torrontegui (Jessy and Alexa), Arvin Santos (Donnalyn and Zeinab), and Francis Guintu (Shanaia and Vickie)

Styling associate: Justine Riguer

Special thanks to Star MagicMo Nuevo, and Viva Artists Agency