Today, our interview is with Gabriel Vielma originally from Chile, who has studied and worked as a designer in Europe. He has explored many areas of design, including craft, glassmaking and ceramics before concentrating on fashion design and construction.
When did your interest in design first start and how did that come about?
When I was about 10 I had so many images in my head but I couldn’t get them down on paper. First I taught myself to draw and paint, then when I was older I studied industrial design so I could start to make my own designs.
What steps did you take to get to where you are now as a designer?
As an industrial designer I worked in different media: wooden furniture, ceramics, even glass-making but they were all too rigid. I started to experiment with fabrics, then took some classes at Central Saint Martins. Finally I discovered the dimension of movement that is unique to fashion design.
How would you describe your style?
Classic, feminine cuts with modern fabrics. I mix new tech fabrics with luxury classics like organza and soft silk. My signature materials are leather and digital prints on silk.
What kind of designer do you want to be known as?
I don’t want to be pigeon-holed as just a fashion designer. I started out working in industrial design and don’t know where the journey will end. For me it’s all about colours, shapes and movement.
What are you working on currently?
Right now I’m putting the finishing touches to my collection for Spring Summer 2015 which I’ll be presenting during London Fashion Week.
What advice would you give emerging designers wanting to build their portfolios?
Think about every collection as if it was going to be your last, the best, your memorial.
What would be your dream design gig?
Design costumes for the next Wes Anderson movie.
Looking ahead what are your major goals for the next couple of years?
I’m very focused on building my reputation and sales in Europe right now, but there’s a lot of interest from the Far East too.
If you were a pattern what kind of a pattern would you be and why?
Rather than a pattern I’d like to be a French seam. It’s so clean and simple but luxurious. It’s the foundation of all high end fashion.
Born in Chile, Gabriel has studied and worked as a designer widely in Europe.
In Madrid he studied Industrial Design at the Instituto Europeo de Design specialising in furniture. He continued to study and work in Spain and exploring other aspects of craft and design, especially glassmaking ceramics, before coming to the conclusion that creating clothes was the only way to bring to life the forms, colours, textures, and movement in his mind.
He learnt the practical aspects of fashion design and construction through a combination of courses and hands-on work with established designers in Madrid and Central Saint Martins in London, as well as a period in France studying hat-making.