Emerging Fashion Designer of the Year IDA 2021
Olivia Natasha was born and grew up in Balikpapan, Indonesia. She later studied at Raffles Design Institute, Singapore to earned her Advanced Diploma. A year later, she studied Fashion Design in IFA Paris, Shanghai Campus to earn her Bachelor Degree. During her journey living in different countries, Olivia’s experiences enriched that it also influence her artistic inspiration, which mostly comes from people, culture, and society.
What do you see as the strengths of your winning project and what does this award mean to you personally?I believe the strength of my winning project is the unique combination of various materials and textures into one collection. As this was my final project, I wanted to make it different and special, so I tried to push my creativity to the limit and go out of the box. I spent a lot of attention to every detail of each garment. So, I’m quite happy with how it turned out. Earning an award from this specific collection means a lot, as this was my last project during my college time.
What impact has winning this IDA Award had on your career/opportunities?
This IDA Award is my biggest achievement so far, and I am so honored to have been named the Emerging Fashion Designer of the Year. As a fresh graduate, this award truly pushed me to work harder and become a stepping-stone for my career in the future. I received a lot of attention, as well as new opportunities I’d never thought of before because of this award. So I’m very grateful.
What was most important for you when planning the project and what were the biggest challenges you faced?
I think the most important task when I planned the project was to successfully come up with a new way to combine culture and technology into one. I paid a lot of attention to the details – especially with respect to the textures that I wanted to merge into a harmonious collection. That was also the biggest challenge I faced when preparing the project because I played with materials that I’d never used before and it was very tricky. I’m very glad it turned out just how I wanted it to be!
Where do you get motivation and inspiration from for your work?
I think my main inspiration comes from my daily life. I don’t have a specific theme or topic for where my inspiration comes from; it could be from the people I meet, issues in society, or even movies I watched recently. That is what makes each project exciting because every collection contains my idea of how I view something from my perspective.
How/when did you discover that you wanted to work in design?
I think I’ve always wanted to be a fashion designer since I was a kid! It came naturally, and I feel so fortunate that I do things that I love every day. I remember seeing my mom sew dresses for my sister and me when we were six, reading mom’s fashion magazines and making a scrapbook out of them. I think fashion has always been what I loved the most, so I knew I wanted to work in this industry since then.
What kind of questions do you ask before beginning a design project? What piece of information is of utmost value?
As I mostly get inspiration from day-to-day life, I start my collection by asking myself my perspective on an idea. I’m very vocal about what I like, so I want everything I create to reflect my views. Could it reflect well on society and deliver the story and message I want to tell? In my opinion, a collection would be nothing without stories behind it, so it’s essential to convey a message and touch the emotions of those who see it.
How do you deal with feedback?
I tend to ask for comments and feedback from my close ones in every collection I make. For me, their feedback helps a lot and I can see new perspectives about my project. I believe that we as designers need to listen to others’ points of view so that we know how others view our design.
How do you think your own culture and environment has shaped your personal and professional creative vision?
For someone who’s working in the fashion industry, living in many different cities helped to develop my style and my work rhythm. As I lived in several different countries I realised that it has shaped how I think and has developed my skills in both my personal and creative visions. Not only expanding my knowledge, but also shifting how I view things. It truly plays a huge role in my creative vision – from getting inspiration to exploring new things each day and making them into art.
What do you think are the biggest challenges and opportunities in your career/industry now?
I think social media is both a challenge and an opportunity in the fashion industry now. I realize that social media has a huge impact on a brand’s image. Moreover, there are so many online platforms we can utilize. Via social media, we can see other businesses which could be new competitors for us, while at the same time it opens up new opportunities for brands to grow globally.
How do you decide to take on certain projects?
I always start a new project by asking what would be the inspiration behind it. In my opinion, it is crucial to tell a story behind one collection, so I spend a lot of time researching and thinking about what would be good for a collection. As I enjoy challenging myself, I try to explore things that I haven’t tried before. I think that’s one way to upgrade our skills. It would be a lie if I say everything runs smoothly, but I enjoy every minute of it.
What would be your dream design project?
There are many things I want to try in fashion, but I’m quite interested in deconstruction and reconstruction ideas. I’ve tried doing them a few times in college, and I think that it’s exciting to reform waste materials into new designs, so I want to learn more about that. Moreover, in my opinion, deconstructed/reconstructed fashion could be one of the ways to address environmental issues for a better and more sustainable fashion industry. I realize that the environment is a major issue today and I want to try to do something about it if I can.
What are you working on, what is in the pipeline for you?
I am currently preparing my own fashion brand, so I spend every day working on that. Otherwise, I’m taking classes related to fashion design and business. I’m trying to develop my own style so that I can apply them naturally into the designs. I want to make a brand that could deliver into peoples’ emotions – allowing them to feel beautiful and powerful when they wear them. I think those were my ambitions when I decided to learn fashion professionally.