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Highly Mental

Style Bible takes a tour of new lifestyle shop, Mental.
Highly Mental Style Bible takes a tour of new lifestyle shop, Mental.

Promising designer, Mike Lavarez, took the Style Bible team to a tour of a new lifestyle shop, Mental. Mental is the brainchild of the same people behind Maldita, Black Sheep and Diego. Mike, on the other hand, is the store's in-house designer, showcasing his signature style—edgy yet versatile. Here, he spills the beans on Mental. Read on!

What's the story behind Mental?
“Mental is a lifestyle store. We wanted it to be a hotbed for designs that delve into one's imagination. Mental is a fashion state of mind where expression of one's individuality has strange and different boundaries. Mental is all about who you are and how you see the things that surround you. It is what you are and what you want to be. We wanted a place where you can find the unexpected that all types of people can appreciate. It's really all about versatility (and is) at the same time, edgy.”

Who is Mental?
“The loveable deviant. She is different in a good way. She is a successful artist; someone who effortlessly dresses up but stands out in the crowd. She is respected and is well-known for her craft; she parties hard but works hard, as well. Our styles are actually ageless and genderless. They're season-less and barrier-breaking, too.”

Which ones are some of your favorite products?
“Our shirts remain the best-sellers at every branch. The designs of the prints are very versatile and uniquely deviant—even in Black and White. It makes the wearer stand out in a sea of norms. Not to mention that the fabric is of top quality, the Mental shirt is very comfortable and soft to the skin. You'd also be surprised to find our products very affordable.”

What are your other products aside from the shirts?
“Our dresses are worth a try. Because of the strange cut of the patterns, they may appear unflattering when hung but one will be surprised that this tells the opposite when worn. We have stand-out accessories, too, like a string of blades, cute skeleton keychains, funky earrings, bags and belts. You'll also find some drop-crotch pants, skirts, trendy tops and a lot of Black, Gray and White. However, the shirts remain our best-sellers.”

Entering the store is an experience itself. What's the concept behind it?
“The store's interior is patterned with the structure of a clinic—bright lighting, white tiles and unique nesting tables made out from military double-deck (bunker) beds. A row of matchstick fives can also be seen on every wall of the store. The staff members are dressed in vintage nurse and doctor outfits, too. You can find some wheelchairs in the store also.

Our products don't stop at being nice and pretty to look at. They all tell different stories. They make you think. So to make the concept more cohesive, we decided on designing the store this way. Cerebral yung level.”

Who are your patrons?
“People who are not afraid to try something different and those who want to veer away from the mainstream, particularly Art students, adventurous individuals and people from the Art industry. Anyone cerebral!”

Mental is located at TriNoma, SM Annex, SM Megamall, Market! Market!, SM Davao and SM Cebu.


-Nikki Santiago, Fashion Assistant

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