Fashion is one word that is tossed back and forth practically every day. With its openness to interpretation, fashion morphs into whatever we perceive it to be.
For young designer Mirabai Sebastian, fashion is a way for people to express themselves. “When we’re naked, there isn’t all that much that sets us apart,” she says, “but with clothing we have many choices and ways to show how different we actually are.”
With fashion, people have the freedom to dress however they wish, and find comfort in their own skin.
Mirabai has always loved working with her hands and creating beautiful things from nothing. “It’s an amazing feeling when you imagine something and see it come to life,” she points out. This innate creativity is what got her into fashion.
Learning to sew
She first learned how to sew in grade school. Little did she know that it was something she would be doing a lot of in the years to come.
When she enrolled at the Raffles Design Institute, Mirabai really learned the ropes of her craft. But more importantly, she found a mentor who taught her some of the best lessons in fashion, including the importance of going beyond mere designs.
What makes Mirabai stand out from other budding designers in the industry is her unique perception of beauty. While others go for sparkle and shimmer, she merges art and nature through her works.
Mirabai particularly loves how rough,unfinished, natural materials shine in their own beauty. “I love mixing textures and unconventional materials,” she says. “I like the idea of using something that wouldn’t normally be used for clothing, but making it work anyway.”
Extension of yourself
The young designer, however, draws the line on a specific fabric material. “I don’t wear anything that came from an animal,” she notes. “Your clothing should be an extension of yourself.”
She looks up to Stella McCartney, the British fashion designer who uses absolutely no animal skins or other animal by-products in her works.
Mirabai considers sustainability extremely important, especially in fashion. “If we intend to keep creating, we have to think of the consequences of our actions.”
Mirabai admits that she was a completely different person a few years ago. From rocking Doc Martens and colored streaks in her hair, she now exudes a more laid-back and comfortable vibe. “Now I love wearing loose and flowing clothing that I can run or dance in,” she says.
Free-spirited yet strong-willed, Mirabai still has no idea what she might be in the near future. “I could be traveling the world looking for inspiration,” she says. “Maybe I’ll still be doing fashion, maybe I won’t. Life is unpredictable.”
But after working in fashion since age 13, Mirabai says that she does not see herself as just a designer. “It’s only one part of my identity. I find many things interesting in the world that I can’t see myself doing only one thing,” she explains.
With a free and creative mind, there is no telling where her art can take her. But one thing is certain: Mirabai is already gently carving her name on this earth.
Photography Toff Tiozon Styling Luis Carlo San Juan and Krista Rodriguez Makeup Justine del Rosario Hairstyle Ethan David Model Monika Sta. Maria of Mercator Model Management