Fashion’s Newest Christian Designers: Guia Alvendia & Camille Go

In March 2014, SoFA (School of Fashion and the Arts) Design Institute held its third graduation fashion show. It’s hard to believe that I was in the position of these grad students almost two years ago! And one is surely not to be disappointed with their collections. Each graduate had a different story to tell.

Guia Alvendia and Camille Go, two of SoFA’s freshest grads and fellow Christ followers, have worked months and months with a mix of blood, sweat, and tears to complete their designs- designs that I believe should not be limited to the Filipino eyes but the world should be awakened to. Hence, here are their collections complete with interviews that give a deeper understanding behind their garments and the intense work and challenges they eventually overcame.

“Khara Khorum” by Guia Alvendia

042 043

What is the inspiration behind your collection and why did you decide on it?

My collection was inspired by a poem I wrote called “The Drifting Vagabond.” It’s a story about a gypsy who meets Mongolian nomads and lives with them for a while. I chose different elements from both cultures and tried to merge those ideas together to create a cohesive collection.

What was the most difficult part during the production process?

For me, the most difficult part was creating my designs. There were so many things I’ve never done before and I insisted on doing everything myself. It was my first time to use Macramé/knotting techniques to create clothes. I needed to spend some time developing those ideas to make sure they’d work. It was a lot of trial and error. Making the vests, jackets and coats took up a crazy amount of time because of all the patchwork involved. It was a lot of stress and tears were definitely shed but I’m really proud of the final outcome.

046 045

Is there anything you would have done differently?

I would’ve asked for help much, much sooner. I only asked for help two weeks before the actual show so those days were pretty chaotic. I also would’ve managed my time better. The things I want to create take a lot of time to make. Plus, I work really slowly so in the future I’d definitely stick to a schedule to remain efficient.

Do you have a favorite piece? Why?

I love all my pieces and they all mean so much to me because the journey to get them finished was an insane one. But if I really had to choose just one, I’d probably say my last piece, the cape. That garment made me cry on numerous occasions. It was really difficult getting all the borders aligned. Those borders were printed on chiffon so they were constantly moving around. The main fabric I used was very thick and heavy. My machine nearly broke down while I was sewing it together. I almost gave up on the piece entirely but through the Grace of God, it eventually got finished.

047 048

As a Christ follower, how did your faith come into play to accomplish this collection?

 It was a huge part of this experience. Everything I designed was very tedious and would take a lot of time to create. One of my professors would always tease and me say, “Guia, you have six months to make everything, not two years.” If I didn’t have faith and know that through His Grace, everything could be accomplished, I probably would’ve chickened out and designed a collection much easier to create. This collection is really a testament to how good and gracious God is because it would’ve been impossible to make everything without His guidance.

How does it feel to be finished not only with the production but with college?

It’s a huge relief to be done with school! I’ve been working so long to get to this point and now that I’m finally here, it’s so surreal. It’s both scary and exciting at the same time. I can’t wait to see what God has planned for my future!

What are your future plans after graduation?

For now, I want to work and gain more experience in the fashion industry. I also want to continue studying so I might go back to school in a year or two. And while all of this is happening, I’ll still be making clothes and experimenting with macramé. I’ve always wanted my own little store so that’s what I’m preparing myself for.

049

“Faded Glory” by Camille Go

015 016-1

What is the inspiration behind your collection and why did you decide on it?

The most recent garment I’ve designed before the Endings & Beginnings collection was a very simple wedding gown with flower appliqués scattered all over its train. I got so many compliments from other people and so I was about to create a whole collection continuing what I started in that wedding gown. As I was being mentored by Sir Danilo Franco, he advised me to take some more risks and be more innovative as I presented him my rough sketches. “A collection can be inspired by many things: literary works/literature, personal experiences, artworks and more. Do you have a collection? Do you collect anything?” Then everything else he said after that question became blurred. The challenge was accepted. It hit me.

I was in grade school when I started collecting fresh flowers and leaves. And when I got home, I got the heaviest book I could ever find in those dusty cabinets of our house and pressed the flowers and leaves in it. What did I do with them? Some of them I kept, some of them I gave to my friends and half of them, I gave to my Mom. I love how these simple things preserve memories and emotions.

The network of intersecting lines that each petal later reveal manifest its vulnerability, its brittleness uncovers how fragile it can be and regardless of its subdued colors, there is an unknown beauty that conveys another story. In spite of all that, there is more to its beauty; pressed flowers and leaves remind me that everything has its end; it’s up to me whether or not to carry on and start a new but a different beginning. Although new beginnings may sound so different, it’s just a continuation of what I have started that somehow links me to the past. Past lessons in my life or maybe past love? Things do change, but somehow I want to believe that there are still things that are meant to last forever.The end of my student life, my graduation, and the beginning of my career as a designer is the transition I want to preserve. A memory worth keeping.

 What was the most difficult part during the production process?

I have to admit that facing a white blank paper is the most difficult thing to do. Starting something that you don’t really know how to start? Ugh. But I have to say interpreting my concept into clothes was even more challenging. Looking/sourcing for and deciding on the perfect materials were not easy tasks. Flowers are all in vibrant colors; how will the people know it’s pressed flowers that inspired the collection? Lace…no. Handmade paper of Wataru Sakuma, perfect, however, limiting. Since each handmade paper has its certain thickness and stiffness, draping them in a particular figure/shape was so frustrating. It wasn’t as versatile as I expected and so I was kind of stuck with a silhouette. I also had a problem on my inserts, my hand painted autumn leaves; they ended up being too subtle sandwiched by the Jusi fabric. That’s why I needed to create windows on each tops to let the people see what’s inside without unveiling too much of what was needed. In God’s grace, they turned out better than what I expected, really!

017 018

Is there anything you would have done differently?

Perhaps better and more silhouettes. If I had more time to experiment and know more about my material, I would have done more silhouettes for the paper skirts for variation.

Do you have a favorite piece? Why?

I actually do. My 2nd look’s top that has a bow at the back is my favorite. That was the first piece I worked on and I think its inverted darts made the piece really quirky. On top of that, I love my embroidered hand as its window/cutout. (My hand being there symbolizes all of the handcrafted stuff in the whole collection.)

019 020

As a Christ follower, how did your faith come into play to accomplish this collection?

 I was always in the state of a peaceful anxiety. I was always worried and full of what ifs, but never did I forget that God is in control. That whatever happens, everything will be according to His purpose.

As a Christian, you shouldn’t do all the talking. Praying isn’t enough. A relationship with God isn’t all about praying, but listening to Him as well. Reading the Bible is one way of doing it. If you’re asking something from Him, better know how/what He thinks about them. “Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established,” says in Prov.16:3. This was the verse I shared in our class as we were struggling on our own collections. I held onto this verse and claimed His promise to me every single day.

 There were days when “everything seems like going well according to my plans” and I tend to trust myself more than I trust God. And then times like “everything feels so wrong and nothing is happening” will come right after. Realizing that when we start ignoring God, we face problems. But don’t get me wrong because challenges aren’t there to make us anxious or to punish us. They’re God’s way of waking us up. He just wants us back, and begin trusting Him again with all our hearts, be still before Him and wait patiently (Ps.37:7). His words sustained me. The success of our graduation show was a sign of His faithfulness.

 How does it feel to be finished not only with the production but with college?

 Pressured. Finishing college is a great achievement but it also means that I better start working my [butt] off once again. It’s like facing a white blank paper all over again. My family has high expectations from me and I am afraid of letting these people down. Once again, I’m in a peaceful anxiety. It’s like stepping out of my comfort zone, no slacking off — because if I do, my career is at stake! Despite of all that, I am fulfilled; hard work paid off. God has been so good to me! Now it’s a new beginning we must face, new experiences, new learning, new people to bless.

 What are your future plans after graduation?

 I am planning to study again abroad, but hopefully my Dad won’t change his mind, haha. However, my Dad has one condition and that is I need work for a year or two first. My dad wants to make sure that I’d be certain of what I will do and what I want to do so I need to find out my strengths and weaknesses for me to know what and where to focus on. I think it is a really smart thing to do. I just haven’t decided yet on where shall I enroll so I am currently focusing on the opportunities of working for someone to gain experience and learn more from the experts in the industry. Right now, I’m not into making a name just yet.

 Furthermore, I thought of importing fabrics and other sewing stuff here in the Philippines as well. I’ll probably get that done first — but on the side, I’d still be a designer, accepting MTO [made-to-order] gowns and all that because that’s what I really want to do.

021

Thank you Camille and Guia! Your hard work can definitely be seen throughout your collections and it is incredibly inspiring- not just the creation of your garments but how focused you were on God and His faithfulness. Congratulations on your graduation and I wish you all the best in your future careers!

Photo source: StyleBible.PH

Want to see more the other 18 graduates’ collections? Click here!

Share something!Need prayer?

“…being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
-Philippians 1:6

 

Author: fashion meets God

Christ ambassador and faith & fashion blogger at fashionmeetsgod.com

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s