Though photographer BJ Pascual has taken portraits of some of the most stylish folks around, he himself used to have limiting beliefs on what he could and couldn’t wear. Prior to landing the Garage November 2016 cover, he wouldn’t have been caught dead wearing any other pant color aside from black. “Because I have really big thighs, I was always in black skinny jeans or black trousers; those were non-negotiable. But on that cover shoot, the stylist had me wear light-washed 501s, and that’s when I realized that I can pull them off.” Immediately after, Pascual went out to buy the same pair of Levi’s and has never looked back since. “That was a turning point, and I became a lot more experimental not just with the pants I wear but also with tops and even makeup.”

Suit by FRANCIS LIBIRAN, Victorian ruffled shirt and shoes, model’s own.

Tank top from BENCH, pants from ISABEL MARANT, fanny pack from BALENCIAGA, and jewelry from NAMI.

Looking back on his style evolution through the past decade, he zeroes in on the shoes that had defined his growth. “There were these Balenciaga cut-out ceinture ankle boots that I’d wear with oversized sweaters,” he recalls. “There was a time when I was always wearing plaid with black skinny jeans or shorts. Last year, after shooting James Reid for the Garage February/March 2017 cover, I started wearing these high-heeled Balenciaga boots that James had worn. Then there were the Dior brogues, ‘yung may bakal sa ilalim; after I started wearing those, puro brogues na lang ang sinusuot ko talaga for a time. There was also a time when I would wear sneakers with mom jeans. The latest are platform shoes—tumaas na siya ng bongga.”

With a style palette that runs on the unconventional side, Pascual is at home and in his element in blouses and mom jeans as he is when he’s wearing vintage tees and skinny pants. With the world of fashion open to him, he doesn’t see the point anymore in closing himself from its infinite possibilities. “Never say never, because fashion moves in cycles,” he advises. “Whenever people ask me if I ever regret anything I’ve worn, there’s really nothing I wish I hadn’t worn.”

Photographer: Dookie Ducay
Makeup artist: Omar Ermita
Stylists: Edlene Cabral and Yzza Hablado