Muse: Joyen


JOYEN performing at the New York Asian Burlesque Extravaganza // Photo by Green Bag Photography

Rarely in a designer’s life would we’ve met a woman who embodies all their guiltiest, kinkiest, dirtiest design pleasures – you know, those pieces in your mind the nuns from your catholic high school would expel you for even thinking about?  That’s why I could say out loud I’m hella lucky to have met Joyen.

And who is she, you dare ask? Only the Queen of Philippine Alternative Entertainment; she’s that tasteful, graceful lady strutting and dancing with confidence, tantalizing, hypnotizing, taking over your dreams in bed tonight. She will grab you by the neck and leave you breathless in every performance.


Video by Tricia Hickman

And oh, I probably made that dress she’s wearing.

This dress is just one of them.


@Stella Artois Draught Masters Bartending Competition 2017

And this dress.


Video by Franck Deron

And this.

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Video by Franck Deron

And this.

It’s unbelievably magical how easy it is for me to design for this girl. Even long before we’ve reconnected after getting acquainted once, a completely unrelated piece made from something else somehow turns out perfect for her personality, body type, and burlesque routine needs.

harness sketch

Costume Study/Sketch

But that isn’t all that thrills. It is the experience in the design execution itself that makes me want to cling to Joyen and never let her go. Ever.  Commissioned or a purchased work, re-engineered for burlesquesification, it is always a blast to produce a piece for her.

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Draping in progress~

There is a certain ‘science’ (Let’s just say) to the sewing of a burlesque ensemble. Not only would the pieces have to have the performer’s aesthetics – they also have to be designed for taking off! Choreography and textile physics all need to jive. The closures should be just right, and the outfits absolutely must hold up seamless when worn together, so as to give the audience the surprise when the performer yanks them off to the beat of the song one by one. It’s a total challenge, you bet – one that’s always different for every ensemble. But always, a challenge worth conquering. Because when Joyen does the thing? It won’t ever cease to amaze.

Watch her dance to El Tango de Roxanne in a Cabaret-themed night at Stella Artois’ Draught Masters International Bartending Competition. Video & coverage by Wazzup Pilipinas.

You can request an audience with the Queen by contacting her through her email address:! Don’t forget to like her at Facebook and follow her at Instagram.

If you’d like to bring Manila’s premium Burlesque entertainment troupe to your events and private affairs, head on over to Burlesque PHs website for inquiries and bookings.

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