We have here a list of the things that you are: singer, painter, stylist, makeup artist and instructor for makeup, socialite, fan of tattoos, a Survivor, French, a product endorser and an artista. Did we miss anything?
No, but it’s actually more like designer and not stylist. I had already finished with being an instructor for makeup and I’m not doing it anymore. I will comment on being a socialite. As for being a famous artista, we shall see.
Triathlete? Extreme sports? Sexual deviance?
No, none of that.
Before we ask questions on all these things, which will no doubt fill the entire interview, let’s get this one bit of annoyance out of the way first: How can a French television crew who you said had interviewed you for a documentary say you’re a bimbo when you do all these things?
That’s how the French are. You know French journalists like to exaggerate the facts, so when they came here they wanted to show both sides of the Philippines, like how the streets are and how Greenbelt [a posh Makati mall] is, and they wanted to interview me as a socialite.
I suggested that maybe they should show how a French woman like me is able to work different jobs here whereas in France I won’t be able to do that. And then when it came out they edited it this way: They’d show me in my house with my tattoos, then they would cut to the prisoners in Tondo with their tattoos. Then they had a footage of a raid in a drug den in Pasig, and then showed a picture of my dad in the upper corner. The way they described me, it was like “Solenn only hangs out with the biggest fish in the sea…” Basically all I do there is walk from my house to the car and go to the mall. Plus the title of the documentary was Gangsters, Drug Lords and Bimbos.
Maybe the French thought it was clever.
The title was bad, but they said it was the network that did it. My sister actually got interviewed for a job offer in France and when the interviewer saw her family name, he remarked, “Oh, are you the girl in that documentary?” And she said, “No, I don’t know her.”
How did you end up here?
Oh no, I was born and raised here. I went to a French school and when I graduated [high school] at the age of 17, I moved to France for four years to study fashion design. My dad has been living here for 33 years, he has his own company in oil services, and my mom’s Filipina.
Your family name sounds like it’s from another country.
It’s Celtic. Really very deep French. But even in France they think it’s Arabic.
There are two things about French women that we need immediate answers to. First: armpit hair.
Ha ha ha! I guess they just don’t care. You’ll see older women in their 40s or 50s that just don’t shave. But everyone my age or younger is hairless in their armpits. I don’t think they ever thought it was sexy, I think they’re just too lazy to shave it off or it doesn’t bother them, but they don’t think it makes them sexy, definitely not.
Second: the appetite for sex.
They’re very sexual, that’s for sure. In France, we have a lot of nude beaches; girls are not really shy about showing anything. Walk in the streets of France and you’ll see women wearing T-shirts or sandos with no bras, for them it’s just normal.
INTERVIEW: ALLAN P. HERNANDEZ
PHOTOGRAPHY: MARK NICDAO FOR WILDBUNCH
STYLING: PAM QUIñONEZ
MAKEUP: JIGS MAYUGA USING MAC COSMETICS
HAIR: JOHN VALLE OF L'OREAL PROFESSIONEL ASSISTED BY CLARENCE ESPOSO
SPECIAL THANKS TO LEO V. DOMINGUEZ, GMA ARTIST CENTER.