WEDNESDAY WOMAN: King aims to be queen of fashion design
JANINE KING’S love for art is now firmly sewn into fashion design.
But that’s just the start of the journey. She is now sketching out her dream to be one of the best known in the local fashion industry.
The Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic (SJPP) student has spent the last four years building her skill set in fashion design. Having successfully completed the garment technology course and the diploma in garment technology, she is currently pursuing the National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) in apparel manufacturing technology, textile and material design, and the business of fashion.
Janine said she got into fashion because she loved art, and after she finished her studies at Springer Memorial School she was still undecided on what her career path would be. When she came across a brochure about the SJPP’s garment-making programmes, she thought it would be the perfect avenue for her.
With no knowledge of how to cut, sew or use a sewing machine, Janine started from scratch and has over the last four years striven to develop the craft, learning pattern-making and pattern development, garment construction and garment techniques and doing an introductory course in design.
She is currently trying to complete her NVQ and is at the assessment phase. She has to complete a set of garments to satisfy the competency standards.
When she has got that out the way, Janine wants to pursue a bachelor’s degree in fashion design overseas. All of this is in the hope of developing a distinct Caribbean lifestyle brand, with a range of clothing, accessories and household interior products.
Revolt Classics is the name she has chosen for her business. It was an easy choice, she said, because her designs tend to go against basic societal norms but are still classy.
“In terms of me developing my aesthetic, I aim to bring out the individuality of the customer so it is all about self-customisation and self-modification. I sit with the customer and create a profile to find out what their likes and dislikes are and help them better understand what they want from the design,” she said.
However, she also adds a “flair” that makes all her designs distinct.
“When someone sees the garment they need to know that this is a Janine King design,” she said.
Janine is currently experimenting with combining different mediums and textiles in the same garment.
“I did a fashion show (at which) I made a garment from African print, tie-dye and denim, three mediums that you would not normally see together, but it was still a cohesive piece,” she said.
As a new designer, Janine admits that she does not have a large portfolio nor does she have a plethora of clients. Instead, she has been giving priority to working on developing her skills as much as possible.
“It is okay to advertise that you make clothing, but at the same time you have to look at the standard of the work that you are producing and the quality of the finished product,” she said. “For me, it is all about learning at this point and gaining as much knowledge as I can before I actually go full into manufacturing.”
For the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of Independence, though, some of her designs are likely to be available in a local clothing store.
Janine said she was working on an Independence collection and was in discussion with several stores, but could not disclose the details as yet.
Speaking of her accomplishments during her short career, Janine noted that her design was worn by the winner of The Miss Crop Over Pageant 2016. She and five other past SJPP students were approached by the institution to make evening gowns for the contestants.
Though it was at very short notice, with two weeks to go and for her first pageant, Janine said she was thrilled to win Best Gown and to win the designer’s challenge, the theme of which was Crop Over And The Environment. She thought it was “right up her alley” since she uses nature as inspiration for her designs and garments.
“I was inspired by Barbados, the sun, sand and sea, but I decided that since we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of Independence I would incorporate the broken trident on to the dress,” Janine said.
The win, as well as the many skills she has acquired, has left Janine feeling quite proud of herself.
“It has impacted on me by boosting my self-confidence,” she said. (LK)