Wednesday, November 14, 2018
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Dreaming about fashion turns real

Young designer Tipay Caintic talks about how she pursued her ambition while competing at the LOOK Style Awards
07:08 AM February 03, 2018

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Heart pill box bag in rose, gauze dress with heart design illustrated by Katrina Teh, knit top with shoulder D4 baring sleeves

Stefanie “Tipay” Caintic is a young fashion designer who competed at the last edition of the LOOK Style Awards—a collaboration between LOOK Magazine, Inquirer Lifestyle and the British Council, in which the winner is flown to London for further studies in fashion.


To be You sat down with Caintic, who talked about her work and her dreams as a young fashion designer.

Why did you decide to choose fashion designing as a career?


Corny as it may sound, it has always been my dream to be a designer since I was a kid. If I could pinpoint a particular moment, I remember visiting cousins in Manila and jogging in UP Diliman (I was around 5-8 years old then). We walked over to the fine arts building and saw my cousin’s cool artsy friends dressed in varying degrees of weirdness/self-expression. I kinda wanted to be part of that club right there and then. That’s the cute version of the “why.”

Right now, although it’s still my dream, the more straightforward answer would be because I really want to make clothes that I’ve never seen before. Also, before getting into fashion, I worked in advertising and got disillusioned by the realities of the job. I asked myself, since I’ve been pursuing a creative career, why not go for the one I most desire?

What do you like most about designing?

I love the whole process! Conceptualization, sketching, revising the design, sourcing the materials, producing the design, seeing a 2D sketch become a real 3D article of clothing, I really love it! I love the collaborative effort that goes on in shoots and the excitement of the shows, too!

Sleeveless black turtleneck knit dress; two-tone flower coat made by @kamayninanay—a group composed of Tacloban mothers and Supertyphoon “Yolanda” survivors, who learned to knit and crochet from Craft MNL Knitting Expedition. Materials used are recycled cotton shirts.

Define fashion.

Fashion is a basic need of humans for clothing. It affects and is affected by many factors
—culture, migration, technology, politics, religion, climate, heartache, economics, yada, yada, yada.

Describe your fashion style.


I lost a lot of weight recently. On a normal errand day, you’d find me in active wear because usually the day ends with yoga or at the gym. If I don’t have meetings or events to attend, I could get away with looking like that.

As my grown-up self, I wear lots of short dresses that flatter my curves, high-waisted trousers, button-downs and heels. I love interesting prints, desaturated nudes and solids, all-black and all-white outfits.

What inspires you to create designs?

Most of my collections are inspired by everyday living, things happening around me, on the streets, in the city, in our country.

Oversize unisex coat made of printed cotton, jacquard and metallic Birey Birey weave made in Basilan; baby- blue neoprene dress with crochet details

What does it take to be a successful fashion designer?

Skill-wise, it helps that I have a degree in Fine Arts, and I draw. In art school, as well as fashion school, they teach anatomy, color, theories and concepts of design, history (in art and fashion), computer-aided design.

Sewing and pattern-making and draping come handy especially if you want to be hands-on in your work and you prefer doing things by yourself.

Of utmost importance is knowing how to properly communicate your designs to your client and the people who will execute your designs.

You need to train your eyes, your hands, all your senses, on how to deal with material. You need to be a good researcher, too. With all the information we have access to, it’s most irresponsible if you don’t utilize all that. You also need to be good at math, so you can do costing and price your work sufficiently.

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

Broad question. I think we all have a set of traits and, depending on the situation, a trait can be a strength or a weakness. Say, for example, I’m highly independent and get stuff done on my own, but that works to my disadvantage sometimes when I underestimate the task at hand and apparently would need more people for it.

Where do you see yourself in next 10 years?

Still designing, with several lifestyle businesses that I also want to pursue.

Among all your works, what’s your favorite design?

I don’t play favorites with my babies.

How do you stay up to date in fashion?
The internet, going out of the house, traveling. —CONTRIBUTED

Photography Gee Plamenco
Styling Luis Carlo San Juan
Makeup and Hairstyle Syd Helmsley
Model Gabbie Abesamis

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TAGS: fashion, Look Style Awards, weave, young designer
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