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interview with fashion designer ginan tabbouch

Image Courtesy of Ginan Tabbouch

Image Courtesy of Ginan Tabbouch

 

After attending Fashion UnWINEd in Sydney earlier this month, hosted by Diana Antonijevic and Isabella Katan of Style & Beautify Me, I was inspired to get in touch with a few of the designers showcased during the evening. One designer in particular really stuck with me – and that was Ginan Tabbouch. Her work is vibrant, incredibly creative, and the stories behind the pieces are inspiring and unique. I had a chat with Ginan and found out about her collection Enigma, her career in fashion so far, and how she went from studying to be a heart surgeon to dressing models for the runway.

Could you tell me first about your life so far – did you grow up in Australia? Where did you study? 
I was born and raised in Sydney. I am from a racial mixed family of Brazilian and Middle Eastern. Both my parents are creatives and paint. However, their aesthetics cannot be more different. Mum prides herself on her perfected landscapes and father, his imperfect perfection is where his talents guide him. After finishing high school I was doing a Medical Science degree because I wanted to be a heart surgeon. But now I am currently doing my major project in my third and final year at Raffles College of Design. I am finally connecting back to my creative roots as I establish my own sense of aesthetic.
When and how did you get into the fashion industry?
During my study of Medical Science I would find my self steering towards fashion TV shows in particular Project Runway. That was the beginning of me realising the power of fashion and how one can send across strong messages through a creative field. But I only started thinking of attending a fashion school after I came back from an internship program at Walt Disney World in Florida. Having access to costuming and going on a self discovery journey enabled a spark inside me to pursue a passion of mine. I feel that the travelling I was fortunate to do was able to connect me to so many different people and I grasped how every culture communicates differently and I know that fashion is the best form of self expression.
What inspired you to become a fashion designer?
I am a story teller, everything I do in my life is a story to be told and the ultimate goal is to help people. It was part of the reason I wanted to become a doctor at one point. A life of altruism is really what inspires and drives me. But what I also realised is that I have to be true to myself. Fashion enables me to tell stories, to send across a strong message and at the same time create change and help others in a sense. I am inspired to become a fashion designer because I can tell my story, my perspective and share the way I perceive things in life in a creative way. It’s also a way to connect with people, on a whole other level, a level they can grasp.
Image Courtesy of Ginan Tabbouch

Image Courtesy of Ginan Tabbouch

What does your current fashion work focus on?
My current collection is called Enigma and it speaks about bacteria growth in society. Linking the scientific notion of bacteria and fungi to society and humanity in general. It’s a way of seeing good and bad bacteria in all aspects of life. Many may see it as a cynical perspective to the world but I see that shock value triggers action and I just want to provoke thought. Nothing more, nothing less.
How is what you’re creating unique and how does it showcase “you” as a designer?
My work talks about an aspect of my past. Everything I do is taken directly out of a past experience. One particular experience that inspires my Design is science. In medical science school I was doing biology, chemistry and physics. Those classes directly inspire my collections. Everything in science is seen in my collections, looking under microscopes, discovering a whole new world of energy and adventure. The way I see and interpret things is what makes my work solely me and you can tell it’s my work by the vibrant colours and movements used.
What do you hope those who buy, wear, and see your work experience?
Energy, adventure, excitement, wilderness and a whole new world yet to be discovered. I want them to know that surface value is not to be taken and we need to look beneath the surface to enter a whole new world that is yet to be touched. Magnify things and you’ll be so surprised in your finds.
Image Courtesy of Ginan Tabbouch

Image Courtesy of Ginan Tabbouch

What is your plan for the future of your fashion career?
The universe plans for me and I flow with whatever opportunities are placed my way. I would like to write my own book one day, to speak about how my life experiences have shaped my fashion world. In saying that, I would love my fashion career to take a turn into writing and critique. I would like to be the Perez Hilton of the fashion world.
What can you tell us about your living abroad experience in Milan?
To me, Milan was a very complex city. A place where you see opportunist gravitating to. Milan taught me more than mere fashion, it showed me how to fashion my life in a sense. It taught me to work hard, to push beyond the comfortable. I now know that perseverance makes a thought possible.
What type of projects did you do during your study in Milan?
One major project I was a part of was designing for the RED Valentino line. Working directly with their Product Designer; Paolo Fanara was both exhilarating and rewarding. I was given an insight of an Italian fashion house’s design process and it’s inner workings. To say the least, it was a bootcamp.
How can we find out more about your work?
I have Instagram and it’s: @ginantab
My pieces are one off, so if anyone wants to purchase anything it’ll all be sample sizes and they can email me at: gtab89@hotmail.com

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