Monday, March 28, 2011

Interview With Emerging Contemporary Designer Genette Salgado

photography by Amanda Diaz
Model: Autumn Allen for Mode Models
Hair: Ponytails & Horseshoes

One of the shows I'm most excited about seeing during Western Canada Fashion week and one that has been generating a lot of buzz is Genette Salgado's F/W 2011 evening dress collection which premieres at the Transalta Arts Barns Tuesday March 29th. Described as "part rocker, part pin-up, part girl next door," Genette's designs are edgy and sophisticated and downright stunning. I had the opportunity to interview the Cebu, Philippines-born designer who is sure to impress at fashion week.

1. The collection you'll be showing at Western Canada Fashion Week tomorrow night is called "Baby, Whatcha Gonna Do With Your Life?" What was your inspiration for the name?
I usually look to song lyrics for my collection titles. It can be pretty difficult to find that one liner that encompasses the mood, the inspiration, my personal thoughts, etc. and sometimes it comes from the most random and unexpected song like this one did. “Baby, Whatcha Gonna Do With Your Life?”  suited the collection perfectly as it parallels my inspiration of evening soirees of the upper crust during the Edwardian Era with my current position of not knowing what my next moves will be. Everything’s up in air and it’s a matter of figuring out what will come after.

2. What is the best part of fashion week for you?
The few days leading up to the show. It’s exciting to see things finally come together. All the work and time and energy put in in the months before come to fruition and it’s a great feeling.

3. What is the worst part?
The few days leading up to the show. As exciting as it is, it’s also a bit frantic, and stressful, and I second guess or doubt myself. It’s all part of the process.

4. Do you find it difficult being a clothing designer in Canada ?
I’m still fairly new in the industry but I have found it to be quite challenging. I was unable to obtain a paid design position after graduating which is why I decided to work on my own designs on top of interning with several designers for more hands-on experience. I was also very fortunate to have interned in NYC this past summer and the opportunities, the experiences, and the energy and support surrounding fashion were things I’ve unfortunately, never felt in Canada – to that degree anyways.

5. How do you come up with your creations? Do you have a specific process? Who or what are your influences?
I find inspiration in a variety of things from pop culture to history to art to my own personal experiences, and everything in between. The process I take to come up with a collection takes a bit of time and a lot of ground work from researching my chosen inspiration and direction, to rough sketches, to painted illustrations. And all that before I even start drafting and creating muslins (or prototypes of the garments).

6. What was it like interning for Obakki?
It was an interesting experience as I was doing more office work and organizing as opposed to more hands-on tasks like cutting fabric or creating surface details – responsibilities I had at other internships. But I did get to see the other side of the business - not just the design part which was great. I also became friends with a couple of amazing people, one of whom is now a freelance publicist in NYC.

7.  You took the fashion design program at Blanche MacDonald's Centre for Applied Design. Do you think aspiring designers need to go to school to be successful at their craft?
I think for any artist to be successful in their craft, one should continuously be in a learning environment whether that be in a school setting or an internship or mentorship. It’s also important to surround yourself with like-minded individuals. For me personally, attending Blanche Macdonald was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. At Blanche I learned the foundation for making fashion design a career – everything else, I learned from other designers, other friends/artists, from business people. I think that once we stop learning, we stop living.

8. Are you living in Edmonton or Vancouver at the moment? Where can we buy your clothes?
I’m in Edmonton for the time being. I’m not selling anywhere as of yet but I hope to either sell consignment or online in the next few weeks.

9. What's next for you?
There’s nothing definite... I’m exploring options in the States and possibly in the UK but wherever I end up, I still plan on designing and creating garments under my label.

To learn more about Genette and her beautiful designs check out her website.

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Karena said...

Hi Marie, How very exciting!!

I have a new giveaway from The Zhush I think you will love...

Art by Karena

Courtney Erin said...

The collections sounds like it will be really amazing - I love the idea of the Edwardian inspiration. It's too bad that she hasn't felt the same support/encouragement around fashion in Canada compared to places like NYC. I think that parts of Canada have always had undeniably vibrant fashion scenes and the industry itself is something that seems to be on the rise and hopefully it will become something that receives the same level of support as it does in other locations.

xoxo ~ Courtney

JennaStevie said...

These dresses are stunning! I am seriously in love with them. Great article, it's always so interesting to see what inspires a designer. Hopefully she'll start selling these beauties somewhere close soon.
I wanted to find a way to make it there again this weekend, but I was feeling under the weather. I only get off work early enough once this week, so hopefully I'll be able to go again on thursday!

Tamera said...

Great interview Marie! Those photos are AMAZING!!! At firstI thought it was you in there!! Glad you're having such a great week!
Tamera xo

Tamera's Take

Gentleman NYLON said...

Great collection, beautiful fashion !

And wonderful tights on the first pics.

Anonymous said...

Awesome designer! One thing, you should also give credit to the equally amazing photographer Amanda Diaz for the use of her photos in this blog post! Just sayin..

Marie a la Mode said...

Anonymous: Genette's publicist sent me these photos without credits. I have now added Amanda's name below the last photo. Thank you!

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