Introducing Joana Almagro: AW Collection and Interview

Joana Almagro collection and interview
I would like to introduce you to Joana Almagro, a Manchester based fashion designer, who’s originally from the Philippines and has not just a fantastic new AW14 collection, but also a generally interesting aesthetic. I became aware of her and her designs, because I received and invitation to the Frankfurt Style Awards, which will be held end of September. The awards bring several very talented designers together from all over the world, who are up and coming in the fashion world. Joana is going to be part of the awards and because her designs caught my eye I would like to show you her collection and also share a little interview with you.

Joana almagro collection
Her new autumn and winter collection was influenced by research carried out when studying at the Manchester Metropolitan University in conjunction with the Science and Institute Museum archives. Each silhouette has different types and references from air-crafts that were significant in the late 1930's to mid 1940's. The capsule was based on a particular air plane called Thunderbolt P47 which was the most influential and powerful jet. All of her pieces are handmade with care and passion in a small studio in the north of England.
When did your passion for design and fashion start and was it always clear to you that you wanted to become a fashion designer?

It began when I was 9 years old, when I started to learn basic sewing. On my 10th birthday, my mother gave me a sewing machine as a gift and since then I never stopped creating. It wasn't my intention to become a designer, all I wanted is to make clothes for my dolls. What I dreamed of becoming, was the first Filipina  pilot to be honest ,but, then my family persuaded me to become a nurse. However, I have realised that I am more than a nurse; I wanted to do something to do with arts as I am very creative in my opinion. After I graduated and worked as a nurse, I studied fashion at my own expense.

You are studying at the Manchester School of Arts, what tips do you have for those that want to study fashion design or become a designer?

My tip for every aspiring designer is to believe in yourselve no matter what. NEVER GIVE UP on the dreams you want to achieve and always have a sense of reality that it won't happened in a day or so. Study fashion design at any university or college to broaden your skills, theory based analysis and learn to take it into action.  I have strived a lot to achieve my aspiration to become a designer. I worked in a different career field, even though I hated the job so much, but working as a nurse helped me to be grounded and at the same time helped to make it possible to create my designs in reality. Fashion design, provoking your thoughts and to be who you are takes a lot of energy, therefore, do not forget yourself, take some time to balance your life in regards of family, health and work. Lastly, continue creating, drawing or researching until you come up with an idea that is brilliant. I believe that brilliance comes with great passion.
Where do you take your inspirations from?

I take my inspiration from my childhood dreams, travels, libraries and museums that I visited in the past. Especially when I am travelling around the world, I like taking pictures because it provides me with an immediate source of reference and facts. I also bring my pink notebook with me everywhere. I always sketch ideas and forms whenever photography is not allowed and I like to draw to enhance my design skills.

You have a fashion blog yourself, how important do you think bloggers have become in the fashion industry? Do blogs play a role for you as a designer?

It is necessary that designers expresses their moods and ideas through social media such as blogs. It can also help customers or trend setters to understand where the collection came from or what the story was behind it.  
Blogger are very important in the fashion industry because they are a medium to reach out to people and let designers be noticed; you can read all about new trends, style or the designer itself who’s behind those fabulous clothes. This will also create sympathy for the clothing to outshine and spread information that there are loads of unique pieces that need to be discovered. 

What’s your favourite must-have piece this season?

I like bomber jackets, like those that are part of the collection I showcased in Toronto. I just like the sleek raglan cut of them, because it consolidates femininity and masculinity at the same time. It is also a versatile garment to wear in any season, whether it's spring, summer or autumn, winter.

What’s the key to a perfect outfit?

The key to a perfect outfit is the fitting of the clothing. If you don't feel right when wearing a dress then, it won't feel luxurious. Simple as that!

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