I would like to introduce to you my new obsession in the local fashion scene, Gabriela Fraser Designs.I first discovered Gabriela Fraser designs when i was invited to the Make love not war festival. Gabriela Fraser dressed me for the event.I must say i fell in love with her collection and i know you will too. She has a positive energy and a beautiful soul that is translated into her work.
I thought i would interview her so that you could get to know her better.
- What sparked your interest in fashion?
We had a massive old trunk, filled with invaluable fashionable (and faux pas) from past generations. Needless to say everything surrounding the art of dressing up became child’s play, every afternoon of growing up.
Also, the YOU magazine. I used to spend hours scrap booking red carpet looks from the back pages, categorizing the colours, designs and shapes I liked into things I wanted to make, improve and wear.
- Are you self-taught or did you study fashion design?
Sewing was a skill passed down through family generation’s further back than my young mind can comprehend.
These skills were first tested and developed on the extension of my super stylish Barbie’s wardrobe, until I begged my mom for more help and eventually built up the courage to attempt making a white gypsy skirt with embroidered lace trim, and even a zip – life size (well, kid size – I was 12)!
This practical application of design was then encouraged more actively every Tuesday of high school with fun, social sewing classes and also offered me my first taste of pattern making. Replicating shop bought styles in our own choice of fabric and detail nourished the creative spark and pleasure of custom making something to suit a style, shape and budget.
- What made you take fashion more seriously and make a career out of it?
I had to choose something to study! This was fun and deepened my creative spirit and ability, but I wish there had been more grounding in transforming passion and talent to viable, feasible business ventures.
Born out of a necessity for such a platform, I created The Avant Garden – a movement offering a platform for exposure, experience, networking and marketing to take young creatives from graduate to sustainable, evolved business entrepreneurs.
Given some time to reflect on everything I had been inspiring, I figured out how exactly to apply this to my own creative expression and am trying again at making a sustainable career out of fashion design.
- What inspired your newest collection?
Nature and people inspire everything I do, and contrast.
Succulents more specifically this time, the diverse collection of South African culture making it rather tedious to find a “norm”, and the practicality of staying on trend & relevant while struggling against production deadlines and major emerging chain stores with turnaround times of an instant message got me thinking, and inspired.
Thus, THE NON-SEASON was born.
DRY ICE offered the perfect fashion galvanization from an opposing style culmination- a range that not only transcends the seasons and weather, but styles, shapes, trends and tastes too.
- Do you have a material that you favourite?
Stretch has always been appealing for its fit and comfort appeal, and some of the new fabric developments that combine woven textures and drape with knit qualities are immaculate. Nylon crepe and lycra suede are two I have really enjoyed. Again, the contrast proves its signature within what I do, as does texture.
- What are you fascinated by at the moment and how does it feed into your work?
The notion of abundance / the “end of Capitalism”. This infiltrates all my thoughts and application of whatever busies me and has encapsulated many conversations recently.
In the context of fashion – in a completely saturated market, with the perception of abundance as a very useful tool, defining my design aesthetic and competitive business edge has changed my entire approach to the structure and operation of what I do.
What’s interesting is that with such an influx of everything new – fabrics, technology, media platforms, knowledge, access – I am taking things right back to basics and keeping it simpler than stupid.
- What is the biggest lesson that you have learned since you started your company?
Choose your tribe carefully, they define you.
- What advice would you give to young designers?
The best businesses consist of creative vision + solid business practice, whichever role you fill – identify it early and find yourself a trustworthy, loyal counterpart. It’s very easy to say (type) this, but don’t be fooled when it comes to the execution.
- What’s your motto?
Have courage, be kind and play nice!
- If you had a superpower what would your ability be?
Time travel. I don’t see sitting in traffic as “part of the journey”. This paired with my love for feathers, fresh air and setting myself free… I would please like it served in the form of flight.
I know you will love Gabriela Fraser deigns just as much as i do. Check her out on the platforms below-
Facebook-Gabriela Fraser Designs
Stay Fabulous Fashionistas/Fashionisters xxx