Quote for the Week..

"Why are the country’s political leaders quick to act on amending the Constitution to change nationalistic provisions for the benefit of foreigners or to extend their terms of office but are allergic to amending the Constitution to address the people’s aspirations for self-determination?" - Marvic Leonen,Dean of the UP College of Law, in a keynote address delivered at the 1st International Solidarity Conference on Mindanao; March 16-18, 2009 in Davao City, Philippines.


Friday, July 11, 2008

Another RP designer wins acclaim in London

(Apart from reports on killings, kidnappings and disasters, we feel obliged to post the brighter side of events and happenings like success stories and astounding feats of compatriots especially in foreign lands.. blog author)

It is always a happy occasion when one chances upon a winner, and an even happier occasion when that winner happens to be a Filipino.

Jasper Garvida is a 31-year-old Filipino-Canadian (dual citizenship) who won a hotly contested reality competition over Sky One Television prime-time known as Project Catwalk in London.

The show, now on its 12th year, gives 12 talented fashion designers (chosen from some 3,000 applicants) the opportunity of a lifetime—a chance to have their collection shown at the prestigious London Fashion Week.

After nine grueling weeks of various challenges, three remaining finalists are made to create a 12-piece women’s wear collection on the final week.

Each of the three finalists are given £5,000 to purchase all necessary materials including fabric, accessories and additional labor components. They are also taken to a place of their choice whose architecture, atmosphere, colors and history are expected to inspire their final collection.

The judges faced a very tough decision, but Garvida’s talent, flair for detail and passion shone through. He won an exclusive deal with online style boutique Oli, a £25,000 cash prize, as well as a spread in Grazia—the iconic, world-renowned fashion magazine covering top designers and trends.

Oli.co.uk is fast becoming a leading name in fashion, forming major partnerships with top designers such as PPQ, Jasmine Guinness, Thomas Vicary and OnIOff Boutique. Oli offers 20 new lines each week.

Reaping success

At the time of our visit to London and Garvida’s atelier, it was obvious he was already reaping the fruits of his achievement. He was rushing from one appointment to another, finishing commissioned clothes, working to complete his 12 designs for a capsule collection for Oli and 50 pieces more for a Menswear boutique in Regensburg, Germany near Munich, and he had just been called by Michael Caine’s wife Shakira to do some clothes for her.

He has done pictorials for Draper’s Magazine, his creations have been featured on television shows, and he’s been fielding press interviews.

“I am really a very private person, and some of the demands of the trade I really don’t like,” he confessed. But he is mature enough to acknowledge that some things come with the career he has chosen, and that they are important if he is to reach more people.

All sorts of invitations and inquiries are now at his doorstep that he has had to hire a secretary, a PR person, and student designers who go on internship with him just as he did after graduation from Central Saint Martins in 2004.

Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, created in 1989, remains one of London’s most revered art institutions, with strong research and teaching departments in Fine Arts, Fashion, Graphics, 3D design and Performance. It has produced the likes of Gilbert and George, Richard Long, Jeff Banks—designer and presenter of BBC’s The Clothes Show, 007 Pierce Brosnan and fashion designer Paul Smith.

As a young boy of Ilocano parents growing up in a house in Project 4, Quezon City, Garvida was already into designing clothes. When he was 12, his parents migrated to Canada, but he had that nagging dream to study at Central Saint Martins, which he says is every fashion designer’s desire.

Undaunted by the fact that the school has 7,000 applicants each year and that its standards were so strict that acceptance would be difficult, Garvida sent out his application and in three weeks received a positive response. At 19, he left Canada for London.

Garvida’s parents are very proud of their son. His mom was present during the finals of the competition, and Garvida has given her half of his prize money to start a new business in Toronto. He also hopes to visit the Philippines and hold a show here.

Garvida’s talent for designing was first noticed when his graduation collection for Central Saint Martins, which centered on fantasy, was reviewed by The Telegraph’s Hilary Alexander as “a dazzling debut.”

The young designer then went on to sell pieces all over the world to various influential people and boutiques such as Nicola Formachetti, Fashion Editor of Dazed and Confused magazine; Kokon To Zai boutique in London; Side By Side boutique in Tokyo; Quartier Gallery and Boutique in Vienna; Museum Dusseldorf in Düsseldorf, Germany.

To date, international press coverage of Garvida include features in I-D Magazine, Dazed & Confused Magazine, V magazine, La Republica Moda, Vivid, 34 Magazine, Evening Standard and The Telegraph.

Garvida said his style has developed through the years. “I used to be outlandish, but during the last four years, I have matured, although my clothes still have that element of fantasy plus a lot of intricate attention to detail.”

After serving as Head Designer for Michiko Koshino Couture, he decided he was ready to go solo. His current look is inspired by surrealism, based on images of Salvador Dali’s wife Gala. The collection reinvents classic shapes, meticulously put together using a rich range of materials from feathers and sequins to glass beads and exotic shells.

“It’s a highly wearable High Street version of the clothes that I designed for the Project Catwalk finals,” he explained.

What comes next after all the buzz created by Project Catwalk? The next five years, said Garvida, will be devoted to further honing his craft, participating in the London Fashion Week.

And after that? “After five years, I will be in Paris,” he said with a confident smile. (Bibsy Carballo; INQ.net)

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