Q&A w/Candace Michelle!
1-When did you feel like "I have to be a fashion designer"?
I think it was around 2005. All the women in my family had all made clothes and I had shown some interest in it when I was growing up, and I think when my mom got me the Princess Diana Chronicles book, it was huge. It was a coffee book size and I just awed at her fashion. And I think that something triggered inside of me to be a fashion designer.
2- Where do you get your design inspiration
I get my inspiration from everywhere. I like going to vintage boutiques, watching old movies, looking through fashion books. I get inspiration from celebrities; Eva Longoria, J.Lo, Kate Winslet, and although they’re not celebrities, Kate and Pippa Middleton. I also get inspiration from fashion in different countries like Mexico, India, and Morocco
3- What one piece of advice would you give to someone wanting to start a career in fashion?
I guess it would be to study fashion. I’m a history freak so I love reading about history and fashion and seeing how basic it was to how it is now. In today’s time nothing is original, it all started from somewhere. One teacher told me to do research, constantly do research! In fashion marketing, fashion design, your target audience, location, and things like that.
4- What is the best perk in being a designer?
The best perk is when you design a garment and someone buys it and wears it. That’s an awesome feeling. I know for fashion designers in the big time they get the perks of traveling around the world having a lot of money and being able to live in nice houses and having the finer things in life. Hopefully, that’ll be me one day, if not as big as Valentino, at least on some scale of being able to live comfortably and open many boutiques and have many clothing lines.
5- What trends do you see being big for 2011?
The trends for now are 70s and retro inspired clothing. I think it’s very popular for the summer especially with the big floppy hats, sunglasses, rompers, and wedged heels.
6- What do you wish people would understand about working in the fashion industry?
I wish people would understand how expensive, long, and hard the process is. I think this is probably number 2 on the list of being the most expensive industry next to the music industry. It’s definitely a trial and error process. You can have an idea in your head and it looks great and then you start to make it and it’s just wrong all over. Especially, if you have a lot of fabric and it just sits there because you don’t know what to do with it, which is what I have on my hands right now. Creating patterns from design takes time it has to be perfect, or else it won’t fit. If you don’t have a live model, you have to fit on the dress form, and make alterations. And NEVER is anything just 5minutes. You can say I just need 5 more minutes…and it turns into 20 or you time yourself expecting to be done in 30 minutes and it ends up taking an hour. I’ve been sewing since 2005 and it never fails. I’m not the only one that does this either, especially you want the design to be perfect.
7- If you had the chance to design a dress for a celebrity (dead or alive), who do you think you would pick.. and why?
That is extremely hard. Because there are so many. I would love to dress Dorothy Dandridge, Audrey Hepburn, J.Lo, Selena, Princess Diana, Celine Dion. I would have to say for now, my eyes are set on Kate Middleton. I know Pippa gets a lot of attention for now it’s understandable with her taste in clothing. But Kate was first, and I wanted to design for her when she became engaged and I started to research her fashion. I always kept up on the Royals starting back in 2000 but I didn’t know much about Kate and was heartbroken when she broke up with Wills but after I saw that beautiful sapphire blue Issa dress, I knew I wanted to design for her. That would be a dream for me. If I can’t get her Celine Dion would be next.
8- Does your work reflect your personal fashion taste?? Can you describe your style?
It does, I try not to design for myself so much, but it’s hard. I want to design for women who like all types of fashion. I made this black and silver brocade jacket that’s very futuristic and edgy. My style is more of a Kate Middleton and retro with a touch of J.Lo.
9- So If you had the choice of all designers in the world to work with/for, would that person be your choice?
Aye that’s hard. Good grief! It would probably be Michael Kors or Carolina Herrera. I like Michael Kors pretty much every single thing that he designs I love which I haven’t felt that way for a designer except for Halston. With Michael everything is right. Carolina makes the most beautiful dresses, and I’m trying not to be a dress designer like her, but there’s so much you can do with dresses, besides adding accessories, there are so many ways to design a dress. It can be backless, mini, midi, floor length, asymmetrical, one sleeve, A-line, etc.
10- What do u enjoy most about designing clothes?
I like seeing how an idea that can come to you is sketched out on paper, and created into reality and seeing it go from a concept to real life.
11- Whats the most challenging part?
The most challenging part right now for me and I think with students in my major is money. Like I said it’s an expensive field. Not just that but starting your own business in general no matter what you do is expensive. I knew that going in. It’s challenging because in my life right now. I’m starting my own business, going to school, designing, working, and saving to move and get my first apartment in TX, so there’s a lot of challenges. You want to save money for your business, but you also have to save to move. So it’s a juggling act, just for now.
12- What are your future plans?
My future plans are to open boutiques across the country. Starting first of course in Texas. I want to open 3 in Texas, the first one being in Dallas, and then branch out to Atlanta and Florida where I have family there. Of course start a family within the next 3 years.