Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Amber Watkins SWIM

Amber Watkins is one of AoF past finalists and you will understand why when you see her stunning swimwear line. She has produced new lines for shows and competitions such as Angie's Models and Talent Annual Showcase and participated in several charity fashion shows. And just last year she has started her own business, which she talks to us about during the interview.

Amber Watkins
Amber Watkins SWIM

1. What lead you to start designing?
It all started as something fun to work on that would satisfy my creative bug.  I began sketching my ideas during university, and sewing pieces for myself.  My girlfriend knew that I was designing and creating clothing for myself at home and she asked me to be a part of a fashion competition she had organized at a local venue.  That was over 4 years ago, and for the 3 or so years following I participated in numerous fashion shows and competitions, including Art of Fashion in 2010.

2. What is your favourite piece you have ever designed? 
That's so tough!  I try not to show pieces that I don't feel completely proud of, and every collection I've made tells a different story.  If I absolutely must choose, it would be a royal blue monokini with a braid down the centre that I made 2 years ago.  It was a crowd favourite and the model who wore it looked phenomenal.
3. You were a past finalist for AOF, how did you find the experience?
I really enjoyed the AOF competition, for many reasons.  I work best when I have a theme and specific directives, and it gave me a completely new challenge to face when designing my collection.  I was very happy with the pieces that I created and additionally I enjoyed the challenge of creating a space that would display them in a creative way.  It should be mentioned that it was also my first Toronto fashion competition, so that provided a new level of experience, and a new city in which to display my designs.  I loved the media coverage and interaction with the observers and I was very happy to be a part of the excitement.

4. Where do you find your inspiration?
That depends on the intent of the design.  For competitions, I enjoy really getting into the assignment.  For example, the year I participated in AOF, the theme was "La Belle Epoque".  I did a lot of research and then designed a collection that combined my swimwear specialty with some of the major fashion themes of the time.  I was really happy with how it turned out.  For my current swimwear collection, I incorporated vintage cuts using modern textiles and colours.

5. What is your favourite quote?
I admit I mostly quote movies, but this one is pretty relevant: 
"The artist is nothing without the gift, but the gift is nothing without work."
- Emile Zola (1840-1902)

6. In 3 words how would you explain your personal style?
I'm going to need more than 3, hahaha. Feminine, mood-inspired, mix of classic cuts and current trends.

7. What obstacles have your overcome to get to where you are today?
Oh wow, quite a few.  I would say that first of all since I did not go to school for neither fashion design nor business, I have followed a nearly 90 degree learning curve.  When I decided to start the business in June 2011, I really didn't know exactly what was in store for me, so the last year has been a continuous sequence of hurdles.  I am proud of all that I have accomplished in such a short time.  It is so rewarding to look back and see where I began and what I can achieve when I make small goals and build on them.  I've said this before and am a firm believer in its truth: If the goal is what you are meant to be doing, it should take work to achieve, but never be a force pushing against you.  Every goal I have reached has taken effort to meet, but generally I have felt the path has been a natural one to follow.

8. What do you think will be big for swimwear in 2013?
Great question!  I checked out the Mercedes Benz Swim 2013 Miami images, and there was a good mix.  Lots of patterned fabrics, which I really liked.  It looks like colour blocking is still in as well for next season, as well as asymmetrical and cut-out styles.

Images below are from Amber's current line:
Post by Jenelle S. of Nelle Creations

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