This year 2013 has been an blessed year for Tiara by Tracy Dizon and also my humble career as a fashion designer. I always still get this bliss of excitement everytime I get a published feature. This is a bit of a late post but nonetheless still postworthy!
This topic is quite interesting actually, it may seem fashion is a "Girl thing" but the reality in the industry is that our gay-sisters really do dominate the industry. It may sound strange but as a female designer, I kinda feel out of place many times, I don't know half of the roster of beauty-queens of the Philippines and I don't know some gay linggos like "Borta" or those coded gay words... But at the end of the day, what makes me a designer is not blending in, it's still the same passion and commitment I've had since I was a little girl making paper dolls and mock-up Barbie clothes.
Here are some of my good friend and "kumare", Dimple Lim and my tips to aspiring female fashion designer here in the Philippines. Thanks again Mac Macapendeg for this interesting feature!
|March 31, 2013: GMA News Online Feature by MAC Macapendeg|
The Philippine fashion world is dominated by creative and talented gay men. Does it really matter, though, if a man or a woman defines glamor? Is sexual orientation a factor in determining what's beautiful? The obvious answer: No.
"Actually gender is not the problem, but the attitude,” stressed Filipina fashion designer Dimple Lim. “You need to have this certain kind of attitude in the fashion industry. You have to be persistent, you have to breathe fashion."
"We need to have a [kind of] thinking that we're all equal. Kaya niya, kaya ko rin,” she added.
Individuality is more important
Fashion designer and milliner Tracy Dizon doesn’t want to make any sweeping generalizations. She opines that individuality and "just embracing who you are" is more important than gender in terms of being professional in the fashion industry.
Both designers also agreed that gay men do dominate the "most glamorous business in the world." However, being a woman in fashion, for them, is an avenue of self-expression, and is all about attitude, professionalism, priorities, and being genuine.
"As a woman kasi, you also need to have that kind of attitude," Dimple said. "Generally, bata pa lang fashion talaga yung gusto nila. Dapat ganun din yung attitude mo."
Road blocks in the fashion profession are inevitable for women, especially if you start a family and raise kids. Most designers pause from creating beauty and settle into a peaceful life, away from the hectic demands of glamor and glitz.
According to Tracy, "I give more respect to those women who still try to make it despite the high competition—it's really honorable. A girl can always have an escape goal of marrying, [to] a happy and quiet life."
Tracy, 30, owns a store called Tiara by Tracy Dizon that’s been up for three years. A stylist for television, costume and fashion designer, she was part of the reality show Project Runway Philippines Season 2. She also represented the country in a fashion design contest held in Japan.
"Meron akong dream, meron akong ambition. I don't hold it against women, I envy them for having a peaceful family life pero ang admirable din ng girls who have a choice to have a relaxed and quiet life but still choose to pursue their dreams," she added.
You have to be more than a designer
Dimple, 31, started her fashion career in 2007 after taking part in a competition. She owns a label under her name and also designs for a local ready-to-wear line.
"You have to be more than a designer, you need to be strong willed for you to be in this industry. Hindi lang basta magaling kang mag-design," said Dimple. "Talent is just half of it. Marami namang magaling talaga, pero yong iba hindi nagtatagal. Yung business savvy and all, sila yong nagtatagal."
Despite the competition in the industry, especially from incoming and fresh new talents, these ladies never backed down and instead held their heads up high and continued on pushing themselves in doing what they love.
"Ang daming hirap that comes from fashion designing, it's a risk, parang patayan 'yan, ano yan all or nothing. Commit yourself to become a designer, there will be days that you don't have anything to eat but you still do it," Tracy said.
The dream is to inspire
Fashion is about individuality and maintaining elegance in the face of any obstacle.
"You have to maintain grace and the best advice is to always do better," Tracy asserted.
"It's more on the mind set. It's an internal battle," Dimple affirmed.
And even though Philippine fashion clearly has a paucity of women innovators, those few who are in the business are total professionals. They’re genuine enough to make their vision respected by the society of beauty enthusiasts.
It's your responsibility to market, as Tracy would put it.
"Be genuine and it will radiate your passion, your aesthetic and people will take interest in what you are doing when everything is like passionately done. As a person in the industry, you're also responsible with who aspire to be in the industry and people who wants beautiful things."
For Dimple, creating beauty is wanting it. "If you really want it, yon din naman yung trabaho mo hanggang sa mamatay ka." – KDM, GMA News