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Cenon Norial III and Mav Bernardo on Authentic Couple Dressing

The photographer and stylist pair share how they dress better together.
Cenon Norial III and Mav Bernardo on Authentic Couple Dressing
IMAGE Charisma Lico for Preview.ph
The photographer and stylist pair share how they dress better together.

It's said that after a certain amount of time together, couples morph into one person. They become a unit, talking the same way, mirroring each other's movements, and in some cases, even start to look like each other. Of course, that's nothing outside of the ordinary. We're all bound to pick up things from people we spend the most time with. Thing is, while some couples grow to resemble each other's quirks and habits, the pairing of photographer Cenon Norial III and stylist Mav Bernardo is uniquely complementary.

The two often arrive as a unit, sporting the exact same hairstyle and wearing outfits in a similar color palette. They match each other so well that seeing them at a party would make you think you missed a memo on a dress code. That said, in an era where twinning has turned into a social media trope, there's absolutely no weight on Mav and Cenon's shoulders to keep it up. "Feeling ko 'yun 'yung the best 'pag magkasama kami, kasi sobrang ginagawa lang namin siya naturally," says the former.

Sharing a closet definitely makes it easier to power dress together, but Cenon's love for classic pieces and Mav's willingness to wear a blue, star-covered fanny pack every day subtly set them apart. And in our eyes, their take on couple style is anchored on the kind of authenticity that has empowerment as a byproduct, for which they undoubtedly deserve huge props.

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Cenon Norial III and Mav Bernardo for Preview.ph Best Dressed 2018
PHOTO BY Charisma Lico for Preview.ph

How long have you known each other? How did you guys meet?

Mav: "[Approximately] five years ago at a shoot."

Cenon: "May online magazine kasi kami before, 'yung ADHD Magazine. Kinuha ko siyang mag-model tapos ako 'yung photographer tapos ayon from there..." [both of them look at each and laugh]

Why do you think Mav/Cenon was chosen to be a part of the best dressed list?

C: "I think he's the best. He is, for me."

M: "Aww."

C: "Maganda 'yung fashion sense niya. It makes sense. Hindi siya pilit, parang may character dun sa binibihis niya. Hindi niya pinipilit maging iba, parang true to his character kung anong pinapakita niya sa looks niya."

M: "Madali kasi maka-adapt si Cenon, kahit saan pwede siya. Kahit saang look pwede siya. I mean, pretty boy. Cute kaya si Cenon, diba? 'Yung style din is nagmmatch din sa style ko kaya siya malakas, kasi parang nagccomplement 'yung look niya sa look ko. Feeling ko 'yun 'yung the best 'pag magkasama kami, kasi sobrang ginagawa lang namin siya naturally. Hindi siya 'yung parang iniisip mo siya."

What do you like most about how the other dresses?

C: "Hindi siya predictable, for me. Hindi siya 'yung pieces na initially makikita mong magmamatch. But it works."

M: "'Yung look kasi ni Cenon is medyo classic tapos minimix [niya] with other [pieces]. Updated siya na classic. Iniikot lang namin 'yung fashion sa classic look tapos parang uulitin, tapos gagawin mo lang 'yung style mo. Ganon kasi siya talaga. Classic look talaga si Cenon pero chic."

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PHOTO BY Charisma Lico for Preview.ph

If you were to scroll through each other's Instagram feed, what style tip would you pick up?

M: "'Yung Instagram ni Cenon is portfolio, but sa mga photos namin [together], sa party kasi lagi kaming nagsasama. Actually, parang parehas lang kami ni Cenon."

C: "Makikita mo lang siyang magwwork pag magkasama kami. Kasi pag hindi, parang medyo kulang."

M: "Hindi siya balanced."

C: "Mas maganda pag dalawa."

M: "'Yung isa medyo slouchy and 'yung isa sobrang clean ng look, nagmmatch lang talaga siya."

So the tip is, basically, dressing as duo is sometimes better than dressing up alone?

C & M: "Yeah."

C: "Parang nabubuo mo 'yung illusion, 'yung fantasy."

M: "Parang, I got you, you got me."

What does your partner's signature look tell you about him?

M: "Wala kaming signature look. Tinatanggap talaga namin 'yung change, nagbabago talaga [kami]. Kasi kung magstay ka lang sa isang look, boring siya."

C: "Kasi nagcchange kami ng hair every time. From bald to mahaba na siya, pareho lang kami. Tinatry namin kung saan 'yung limit. Binebase namin sa hair muna, 'yun 'yung pinakauna kasi parang gusto naming i-try lahat ng hair. Tinitignan namin kung saan 'yung limit ng creativity namin."

Is there a hairstyle that's memorable for you both?

M: "Feeling ko gusto mo 'yung sobrang kalbo ka, like semi-kalbo and 'yung flat-top."

C: "That was practical for me. Kasi sa shoots wala akong kailangang ayusin, paggising ko pwede na kong dumirecho 'pag late na ko."

If you could steal one thing from the other's closet, what would it be and why?

C: "Oh no, share kami."

M: "'Yung closet namin parehas lang talaga. 'Yung clothes niya clothes ko din."

M: "Feeling ko 'yung mga sweater natin before. Okay, borrow mo, then ako naman. Marami talaga."

C: "Naghiraman na kami ever since."

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M: "As in mix and match nalang."

C: "Four years na ata tayong ganon eh. Kasi matagal na rin kaming magkasama sa bahay, so parang nakalagay lang sa isang lalagyan lahat."

PHOTO BY Charisma Lico for Preview.ph

In what way are your styles different?

M: "'Yung gusto ko is medyo soft ng konti, pero 'yung sa kanya gusto niya medyo sharp."

C: "Structure ng katawan or even sa face magkaiba kasi kami. Mas nagwwork sakin 'yung mas classic na looks kasi 'yung face ko parang mas hard, tapos sa kanya mas soft."

M: "Binabalance nalang namin sa ganon."

C: "Doon kami nagbebase. Same theme or color palette pero depende kung ano gusto mong mafeature, anong gusto mong mahighlight."

Do you shop for each other? What's the most memorable thing the other has given you?

C: "Parang wala. Iisa lang kasi kami ng closet so parang it doesn't matter kung anong meron, ginagawan ng paraan. Hindi siya 'yung parang bibigyan kita nito kasi maganda siya."

M: "Parang practical lang talaga dapat [when we give things to each other]."

C: "Sa iba kami nagbibigay. Hindi clothing."

If your partner could only wear one outfit for the rest of his life, what do you think he'd choose? 

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M: "Lagi mong gusto 'yung sobrang skin tone, mga browns na color, as in fitted sa kanya. 'Yung illusion na nakahubad siya, kasi maganda kay Cenon 'yung parang nude illusion. [laughs] Gusto niya sobrang comfortable saka sobrang relaxed tingnan. Naffeature 'yung skin niyang...cute." [laughs]

C: "[For Mav,] 'Yung parang button-down na mukhang breezy and then 'yung nawala niyang bag na fanny pack. May blue version siyang nawala niya, 'yun 'yung lagi niyang suot. Kaya feeling ko kung magsusuot siya ng outfit for the rest of his life nakapambahay siya with that bag."

What's Mav's typical pambahay look?

C: "'Yung para siyang nasa beach. [laughs] Para siyang magbabakasyon."

M: "Malaking shirt, as in sobrang laki. Short-shorts. Wala kasi 'yung sapatos natin na parang may heels lang na konti. 'Yun 'yung ginagamit ko pag lumalabas kami, 'pag bumibili kami ng ulam." [laughs]

C: "So 'yung bag na nawala niya, ginagawa niyang shoulder bag."

M: [demonstrates] "Ganito."

M: "'Yung sakin nabili ko sa probinsiya pa. Pero exactly the same kami, color lang naiba."

Where did you buy yours, Cenon?

C: "Sa Evangelista. Sa ukay."

M: "Vivienne Westwood 'yun. As in favorite ko talagang bag 'yon. Nabili ko pa siya nung college ako tapos dinala ko sa Manila kasi parang hindi ko kasi siya alam gamitin before. Ginagamit ko lang for styling."

C: "Saka stars 'yung print 'non. Medyo loud siya."

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PHOTO BY Charisma Lico for Preview.ph

What's the one piece of fashion advice you want to give each other?

C: "Wala eh."

M: "Ako parang meron akong sasabihin sayo." [laughs]

C: "Oh, you want to go there." [laughs]

M: "Parang feeling ko sa buhok lang. Feeling ko masyado siyang naglilimit minsan pero okay naman. Nacoconscious kasi si Cenon madalas kahit hindi naman kailangan. You're fabulous. You're chic."

C: "Bahala ka diyan. [both of them laugh] Hindi, kasi nageexplore naman [si Mav]. Hindi siya takot magtry ng iba-ibang bagay kaya wala naman talaga [akong advice]."

M: "'Yun nga gusto naming gawin eh. 'Pag lumabas kami ng bahay dapat [we're wearing the] look na gusto [naming] maexplore. Wala kaming pakialam kahit tawagin kaming bakla sa kalye kasi 'yun 'yung gusto naming movement na gawin. Walang gumagawa masyado."

C: "Marami naman ding gumagawa. Baka sa kanto natin walang gumagawa. Baka sa kabilang kanto hindi mo alam may finafight sila don." [laughs]

What do you enjoy the most about fashion?

M: "Ang sarap kasi mag[laro] sa fashion kasi parang risky, dapat sobrang nagttry ka ng iba-ibang style para mahanap mo 'yung pinakacore nung style mo, I guess."

C: "Parang kaya mong ipalabas 'yung character na gusto mong ipalabas depende sa outfit mo. For example, hindi ka niya necessarily kilala pero magkakaidea siya kung sino ka just by looking at you, so kaya mong icontrol at least ano 'yung initial na tingin sayo ng tao o kung parang anong gusto mong vibe sa kanila. Kaya mo maging in control."

Produced by The Preview Team

Photographed by Charisma Lico

Art Directed by Mark Buenaobra

Makeup by Don de Jesus (Cenon) and Jason delos Reyes (Mav)

Hair by George Aliben (Cenon) and Mark Rosales (Mav)

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