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Flying Solo

Celine Chapman is a young designer on the rise, having established her own label Celine Rita in 2008 and showing as part of the New Generation show at New Zealand Fashion Week in 2010.  

 

This year Celine is showing solo for the first time on the second day of NZFW, FashioNZ spoke to her about the inspiration for her pretty label's new collection and what it's like to put on her first solo show. 

 

How did you initially get into the fashion industry?

I guess deciding to study Fashion Design at uni was when I initially ‘started’ in the Fashion Industry. While at uni I did a couple of internships at different places and worked at NZFW as a volunteer each year. These real industry situations really made me realize pretty quickly it was the industry for me!

 

Since starting your own label in 2008 how have you found being a designer in New Zealand?  Have you had a lot of support from the fashion industry and public?

Everyone - both industry and public have been amazingly supportive. I learnt pretty quickly not to be afraid to ask for help and more often than not, people are happy to help! 

 

Your label has a really fresh, pretty feel, where do you get your inspiration from for your collections?

I pretty much find inspiration everywhere, and am always constantly looking for it! I especially love looking at pop culture throughout time - I love looking at the 'zeitgeist' of different times, and the reasons for it. History, arts, books, films, architecture... 

 

How did you get involved in this year's NZFW and what has it been like so far?

I got involved through talking with some of the NZFW Team I met last year.  They helped me with how to go about getting sponsorship among other things.  

 

It has been a seriously intense 6 weeks or so.  The actual designing of the clothes is the easy part, it’s all those extra admin and organising things that have been the biggest struggle for me.

 

The process of putting on a fashion week show is an intense one, how do you cope with the pressure and still manage to run your store?

I have an amazingly supportive wee network of friends and family.  I seriously couldn’t thank any of them enough for the individual roles each one plays.

 

How do you go about making the creative and practical decisions for your show? Is it a mostly a one woman effort or do you have friends or advisors you consult?  

As Above!  A great group of friends & family who know exactly what Celine Rita is all about.  

 

Getting a couple of extra ‘eyes’ and opinions on different aspects and a fresh perspective from these people I trust is invaluable.

 

What did you learn from your experience showing in the New Generation show last year that helped shape your decisions for your own solo show this year?  

Mainly just to make the most of the opportunities I will get through being involved with NZFW.  

 

Soaking up all that it has to offer.  

Being at the new venue this year it just going to make it that much more exciting, with a real international feel!

 

NZFW is less than a couple of weeks away now, how are you feeling about your first solo show and what are you most looking forward to about it?

Extremely excited! All the hard work and late nights will pay off.  I love having the freedom to create a whole show this year, compared to being part of a group show where we had to compromise on lots of things, and you couldn’t get the whole story across like you can with a solo show.

 

Showcasing this range at NZFW in a solo show allows more opportunities for me to push the styling and themes of the collection.  

 

This creative element really is exciting - putting on a show, not just showing my range.  All the extra elements that can be bought to a catwalk- the ideas are endless!  I’m really excited to see it all pull together in the end.

 

What can we expect from your show and where have you drawn your inspiration for it?

Still the same quirky prettiness that is Celine Rita, but there will be a bit more of an edge to some parts.  Each season I like to push my designs that little bit further.

 

What other shows are you looking forward to at NZFW?  Kathryn Wilson's!

 

FashioNZ wishes Celine lots of luck with her first solo show and can't wait to see it at NZFW 2011.

 
-Evelyn Ebrey