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Designers Finalise Preparations for Big Fashion Festival

Designers Finalise Preparations for Big Fashion Festival
Jadeine Whiteside (fifth from left) with her models at the Taste of Paradise Fiji launch in Shanghai, China.
May 09
11:00 2018

With the Bottega Gold Fijian Fashion Festival just around the corner, de­signers are on the final stretch in terms of their preparations for their collec­tions.

The event is less than a month away and each designer has been asked to be ready with cata­logues and fittings.

The event’s organising committee sat down with two designers to talk about their experi­ences and exposure to the fashion industry.

[1. Jadeine Whiteside]

Jadeine Whiteside is the designer behind the label JW Fiji. Ms Whiteside joins the festival in June as a Moana Designer.

A Moana Designer is one that is visiting to participate and showcase their collection at the Festival.

Currently, Ms Whiteside resides in Shanghai, China.

Here’s what Jadeine had to say:

Tell us a bit about yourself and your back­ground.

“My name is Jadeine Sotiana Whiteside. I am the owner and designer of the brand JW Fiji. I grew up in Suva and I am currently living in Shanghai, China. I have been designing for about seven years.”

How did you first get interested in Fashion?

“Being surrounded in a world of design and fashion at a very young age quite possibly brought out the design instinct in me. I’d like to think it’s in my genes.”

What is your definition of fashion?

“Fashion is my personal statement, my mark left in this world. It reflects my aspirations and self-image. Style is a reflection of your attitude and your personality.”

What motivates you as a fashion designer?

“I get a kick out of doing things better, learn­ing more and refining my tastes.

But the point that fashion should reflect life­style, utility, and values is true for all of us.

Living in China, meeting people from all over the world and educating people about my Fijian culture and heritage through my designs en­courages me to continue designing every day.”

Judges- 2 columns small PIX LOW RES

How do you stay up-to- date with fashion?

Fashion brands and designers have shows twice a year at designated “fashion weeks” in various cities around the world.

I love keeping up to date with these shows. Social media is also another big factor in fash­ion today.

Many bloggers, models and designers use Twitter and Instagram to share information about their favourite trends and sources of inspiration.”

What are you fascinated by at the moment and does it influence your work?

“Something that I have been very interested in lately and has influenced my work is global warming.

Last year, I had the opportunity to showcase my HANISI collection here in China showcas­ing Fiji’s beautiful marine life in an abstract way, which got a lot of attention.

A lot of people do not realiSe the impact global warming has on us, so if I can educate 2-3 people through my shows; it’s a start.”

Where do you see yourself/your brand in 10 years time?

“I’d love to have more international clients.”

If you could go back and tell yourself one thing before beginning your career, what

would it be?

“Never doubt your design, just improve it.”

What was the biggest rookie mistake you made when just starting out?

“Instead of concentrating and mastering one form of design I wanted to explore eve­rything.

What drew you to show your designs at the Fijian Fashion Festival?

“I have a huge social media following and my clients are always asking when I’m com­ing back to showcase.

Also I have a select number of designs sold locally at House of Design.

The last time I took part in a fashion event in Fiji was a few years ago so I decided it was time to return.”

What do you do in your free time?

“Most of my free time is taken up by my lit­tle Pomeranian dog, but other than that I like to go to fashion shows, exhibitions, musicals, and workshops.

What are some comments that you’ve re­ceived that sound like compliments but are

actually insults?

“Why my clothes are made in China,”

If you could choose only one song to play every time you walked into a room for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen

Any Advice for aspiring and young design­ers?

“To all the designers in Fiji, you should be thankful that you now have these amazing platforms to showcase your talent or explore that talent.

Always try to be unique, take all criticism as constructive criticism and never give up.”

[2. Honson Chan]

By day, Mr Chan is a Sub-station Technician for the newly-named Energy Fiji Limited (EFL); and by night (or in his free time), he chooses to design.

Mr Chan is coming out with his first collec­tion at the festival under the brand ‘Margin’.”

Here’s what Mr Chan had to say:

Tell us a bit about yourself and your back­ground.

“My name is Honson Chan and I’m 33 years of age.

I’m originally from Nadi, a first generational Chinese born and bred in Fiji.

I love to illustrate and design stuff and I work as a Substation Technician for the new­ly named Energy Fiji Limited.”

How did you first get interested in Fashion?

“Well I have always been interested in de­signing since I was a young, drawing and such.

So, when I heard the ads on the radio I thought it was a good opportunity to for me to grab to see how far I can go.”

What is your definition of fashion?

“Essentially fashion is a holistic component of the lifestyle that we choose.

It is a means to express oneself without so­cial confines.”

What motivates you as a fashion designer?

“Heritage, streetwear, pop culture and local culture.”

How do you stay up-to- date with fashion?

“Well fashion houses and news have their own subscription on the internet in terms of YouTube, Facebook and Instagram.

Fashion is such a huge diverse subject I can only keep track of only certain trends on­line.”

What are you fascinated by at the moment and does it influence your work?

“Steve Jobs. I believe he was a visionary and was able to change the world we live in today.

He was able to assemble a creative team to materialise the iPod, iPhone on which the whole ecosystem apple is built on.

The outlook and the charisma that man had is hard to beat.

Some brands and designers out there that I keep a lookout for are Supreme, Off-White (Virgil Abloh currently also the designer for male wear at Louis Vuitton), BAPE (Bath­ing Ape in Luke Warm Water) is a Japanese brand that was started by Nigo who some may say is the Godfather of streetwear. Fear of God, Yeezy (Kanye West) as well as Pharell Williams who has also put out some awesome shoes.”

Where do you see yourself/your brand in 10 years’ time?

“Ultimately, I want to see a legacy where the pieces released under my brand creates a source of pride and identity for many Fijians as well as a gateway for foreigners to sample Fijian culture.”

If you could go back and tell yourself one thing before beginning your career, what

would it be?

“Well, when you start off as a designer, it is very hard to get the attention of factories or a reliable tailor.

It is also hard to find a fashion consultant who understands what works and at the same time “feels” of your brand.

I was lucky to find a company called Allied Print Design to help me out which has be­come an essential partner of my brand.”

What was the biggest rookie mistake you made when just starting out?

“Thinking that it was easy in some sense. Fashion needs some real technical learning as well as forecasting.

Its a whole different world at the Seams. Ma­terials, pattern making and such has been challenging as well as very interesting.”

What drew you to show your designs at the Bottega Gold Fijian Fashion Festival?

“I guess the vibes that BGFFF had from the beginning and a vibe that still rings true.

It was very approachable and accepting. I truly believe that the BGFFF is trying to foster an environment where we can explore fashion for everyone.

The trustees are also Intune will the coming generation being very present on the internet and such.”

What do you do in your free time?

“I watch movies, anime, read manga, kava with friends, spend time with my family as well as draw.”

What are some comments that you’ve re­ceived that sound like compliments but are actually insults?

“I think I’m too dense for that, I feel like I’m Drax in Guardians of the Galaxy with such complicated chatter.

Surely it would have flown over my head and I probably would have taken it as a compli­ment.”

If you could choose only one song to play every time you walked into a room for the rest of your life, what would it be?

“That is so unfair, eventually any song will become a torture device played to death.

I believe if there is a song that can play for­ever some Melo strings that is almost unno­ticeable.”

Any Advice for aspiring and young design­ers?

Practise makes perfect.

Feedback: maraia.vula@fijisun.com.fj

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