BLACK neoprene crop
top with front opening
and short kimono
cotton fabric, black
tulip skirt with
crisscross strap heel
sandals in white, LZD
Born designer: Would-be doctor Carlotta Gonzales discovers fashion and hasn’t looked back since
WHEN Carlotta Gonzales was younger, to be a fashion designer was the last thing on her mind: “I used to think: ‘Don’t let the world end in 2012 because I still want to be a doctor!’”
The thought of designing clothes occurred to her only in second year high school, when she fashioned a cheerleading outfit for the intramural
games and won an award for it. The recognition became the cornerstone of what
turned out to be career in fashion.
“I was looking at the plaque and I thought, ‘Maybe being a designer is for me,’ and it hit me right there and then!” she
Fast forward to 2015 and Carlotta Gonzales is an emerging talent from the De
La Salle-College of Saint Benilde’s prestigious fashion design and merchandising course. She recently unveiled “Classy Tribal Markings,” her
The pieces was inspired by the Japanese flag. A perfect balance between structured and flowing, the creations draw the viewer’s eye to the circular tribal markings located at the waist, giving the classic kimono silhouette a modern twist.
The collection pays strict attention to detail, proving that Carlotta was indeed born to become a designer.
Of course, getting into fashion design wasn’t easy. While preparing for this graduation collection, for instance, Carlotta was faced with various trials.
“I had a hard time putting everything on paper. I had all these ideas in my mind which made it difficult to collate into one,” she said. Because students weren’t given the liberty to choose what kind of designs they wanted to create, Carlotta was made to do a collection inspired by one of five categories: Tribal, Yacht, Autumn-Winter, Engagement and any Asian country.
Carlotta’s final designs weren’t originally meant for the show; they were actually for her other class. But her mentor saw the potential and
encouraged her to produce the pieces for her graduation showcase.
Yet preparations for the design show were short, and Carlotta was forced to work under pressure: “I had to multitask with pattern making, sewing and cutting for each look. Each garment took me about four to five days maximum,”
This was hardly enough time for her to execute her vision: “The hardest challenge [was] probably the part where I had to make printed fabric neatly sewn with the plain fabric. The idea was to make a perfect semicircle so that even when you look at the garment as a whole, there will be no creases,” she said.
Supporting her career
Despite these challenges, Carlotta delivered, which is testament to her flair as a designer.
It also helped that she had the support of her family. “With people criticizing my course, I can say that without my family encouraging me, I would not be graduating as a fashion student. They are the
anchor that I hold onto until the very end. They never doubted me even [during] the times I doubted myself.”
Carlotta looks forward to the future: “I plan to apply in companies [and do] pattern making [or become a] visual merchandiser. [I also want to]
intern for a fashion designer, or maybe try out designing for smaller brands.”
In the long run, Carlotta sees herself putting up her own business and designing for celebrities and fashion icons like Georgina Wilson or
At the moment, Carlotta understands that the road to success as a fashion designer requires a lot of discipline: “Talent is something you need to mold for it to grow.”
With her natural talent and dedication to keep improving her craft, Carlotta Gonzales will hopefully become a big name in the Philippine fashion industry.
Photography Toff Tiozon Styling Luis Carlo San Juan Makeup Mayesa delos Santos Hairstyle Sari Campos Model Alaiza Malinao of Mercator Model Management
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