It’s his careful diligence and natural talent that made Garvida winner of Project Catwalk back in 2008, and saw him subsequently deliver pulse-racing collections of his own. Now in his third season, Garvida, who cites his core aesthetic as “ultra feminine”, presents his collection entitled 'Venus', drawing from the roaring Twenties, film noir and Art Deco. Fiona Anderson finds out more about this rising star and his AW10 collection.
“I actually started the collection with this green stone called Malachite, which I saw at the Natural History Museum. It’s now formed the basis for all our prints. I also researched Twenties print techniques, and looked at Deco buildings like the Chrysler and the Eiffel tower. This season you can expect to see cashmere, silk, organza and my signature embellishment. Also patchwork, and chunky knits.”
Taking inspiration from the most unlikely of places, Garvida admits that his creative process isn’t always a smooth ride, with plenty of mistakes made along the way. “You have to make a lot of mistakes, there’s a lot of experimentation. I always try and progress, and to do that is by learning”.
In a season when money’s tight, budgets have been slashed and sales figures have plummeted, Garvida lacks the jaded cynicism of many established designers, instead remaining patient, self aware and realistic. “What keeps me going is my love for women, and my appreciation of women. I think fashion will continue to evolve, and in terms of supporting young designers, it could be better. I find during Fashion Week it’s very difficult to compete with the mega brands. But I’m a patient person, and I know that [success] will come with experience and time”.
Despite Garvida’s many high profile achievements, what makes him most proud is much more personal. Leaving his family behind in Canada, and rebuilding his life here in London has had a profound effect for the designer. “London’s where fashion found me. I studied at CSM and after graduation I haven’t stopped working. I’m very grateful to this city and for what it has given me”. And it seems Garvida’s zeal for work and passion for design won’t stop here. ‘’I would love to be able to show in Paris, and to be noticed worldwide”, however, achieving, “good sales”, and having the chance to, “give something back”, in the form of teaching, rates high on his agenda too.
Before we end, Jasper tells me, “I would like to be part if fashion history, it’s a difficult one, but I’ll try my best”. To me, that one sentence sums up this designer in a nutshell. Intensely, yet quietly, driven, innately talented and with star-quality coarsing through his veins, Garvida will always offer his best. So far, his “best”, seems pretty impressive.
Image: David Coleman