Design Genius Feature: Bianca BernardoMeet Bianca from the Philippines. She came into the competition as a fashion design newbie, fresh from getting a degree in Fine Arts. However, she has a strong background in design construction using unconventional materials. Will this underdog give the designers the ultimate surprise in the show?
While filming the show “Design Genius”, I had just finished my fine-arts course in the University and decided to take something that will develop my method and technical skills. Garment construction seemed like a good idea. I did not expect that this good idea would lead to more than workmanship, but also a path to discover my unexpected new passion, fashion design.
2. Who's your favorite designer? Who is your style icon(s) and why?
Charles Worth and Edith head are two designers who created timeless classics and spearheaded styles that are still revered innovative and highly fashionable today. I look to them as my favorite designers, and see fashion icons like Marchesa Cassatti, Collete and Louise Brooks as ideal muses.
3. What's your design aesthetic or design style? How would you define your style?
My designs depict the scene and the story of the times without being very trend based. I separate my design style from my own personal style. I prefer simple and effortless when it comes to my personal taste, which contrasts my diverse designs. In designing fashion, it’s all about fusing different elements together to give way to unbiased creativity and to be appealing to the palate of a client or a variety of viewers.
4. Tell us about your design process. How do you come up with your designs?
My designs start from an inspiration from literature, music, art or a spark of curiosity. I branch out a complex map of ideas from this single inspiration and use them to build my design. For me, it is always more satisfying when people wonder where the idea has come from and for them to relate my designs to their own interpretations.
5. Before coming to the show, what’s the weirdest or most unconventional material you have worked with to design a garment or an art piece?
My work on the show was first garments that I have constructed out of my own design. I was already familiar in using similar materials but not on making a dress. I have used scrap plastic, film negatives and x-rays to make a lamp and junkyard scraps to make a metal sculpture.
6. What's your favorite challenge / piece of design on the show?
Making a necklace out of plastic cutlery was my favorite out of all the challenges. This was my first challenge and I created it without any expectations and pressures from completion. This piece was a result of crude enjoyment and creativity.
7. If you were the winner of Design Genius, what will you do with the $25,000 prize?
If I had won competition, I would probably use the prize fund to start my own fashion line. As I am just starting my career in fashion, the price money would have been helpful.
8. What’s the biggest, most important lesson you've learned throughout the competition?
Coming into this completion was more of a learning experience than anything to me. Just starting out as a fashion designer, this show allowed me to take a glimpse of into the fashion industry. My competitors represented different types of designers who make up the industry and I learned a lot from them. To start out this way was valuable, as I saw where I want to place myself in the fashion world and who I will be as a designer.
9. What does fashion mean to you? And do you have any other passions besides fashion?
I consider myself an artist first before a designer. I find that I am a natural in many creative fields, which makes it easy to love. Being a fashion designer is an avenue that I don’t find particularly easy but it motivates and inspires me. Fashion is a field where I feel praise and affirmation is not necessary to enjoy and pursue it.
Bianca, the youngest of the contestants, is a fresh graduate student from SLIMS Fashion and Arts School in Manila. She studied Fine Arts and was already used to using unconventional materials like scrap plastic, film negatives and x-rays to make a lamp and junkyard scraps to make a metal sculpture. Her passion for fashion came later on after joining the show, Design Genius.
“I would like to take something that will develop my method and technical skills. Garment construction seemed like a good idea. I did not expect that this good idea would lead to more than workmanship, but also a path to discover my unexpected new passion, fashion design.” She came in the show as a newbie and somewhat an underdog but her art design background proved to be an advantage that surprised the other contestants. Bianca is currently on pursuit of her career as a designer and is starting some projects in the Philippines.