Interview with Designer Jodie Thi Giang TienHSC Student, Jodie Thi Giang Tien's design was on display at the latest Craft and Quilt Fair in Sydney. 20 of the HSC student's designs were featured at the five day event as part of the HSC program.
Talented, Jodie Thi Giang Tien is influencing the fashion world with her modern and creative designs.
Interview with Jodie Thi Giang TienQuestion: How old are you?
Jodie Thi Giang Tien: I am 18 now, I was 17 when I designed this piece.
Question: Can you explain the inspiration behind the piece you created for your HSC program?
Jodie Thi Giang Tien: It was a combination of things at the time I was really inspired by a British designer who is punkish and out there named Gareth Pugh, I really like his designs because they're outrageous. Also, at the time I was studying Extension One English and we were studying a topic called romanticism and it is all about breaking values against society constrained rules; I felt like I could design something crazy.
I really like different shapes, so I was trying to take a simple idea of a square and turn it into a cube and work from there. I love the idea of opposites which is why I have the contrast of black and white.
I wanted to make something that was eye-catching and big, something powerful for a woman of today to wear.
Question: What percentage of your HSC grade was this design?
Jodie Thi Giang Tien: The design and portfolio was 50% and the HSC written exam was 50%.
Question: How many hours in designing and creating went into this creation?
Jodie Thi Giang Tien: Oh my! (Laughing) It is crazy, I am pretty sure there were many all-nighters spent on this design. I know that a lot of the girls in my textiles class would be working through the night, as well.
Question: How did it feel to know you design was on display at the latest Craft and Quilt Fair in Sydney?
Jodie Thi Giang Tien: I was so excited, I read in the MX Newspaper on the train that a girl from HSC had her HSC design displayed at the Craft and Quilt Fair and my teacher Mrs Castle had always talked about it; I had never gone to the Craft and Quilt Fair before only Vintage Fairs; I went to the Craft and Quilt Fair with my mum and I was thinking 'maybe it's there
maybe it isn't'. When I saw it there I was definitely very proud of it.
Question: Your design as been compared to Lady Gaga in terms of style, what does this mean to you?
Jodie Thi Giang Tien: That is such a complement because Lady Gaga is seen as a style icon and we have recently seen her meat attire and of course she has been noticed. Lady Gaga can make quite an impact on what the world thinks of her which is exciting.
Question: What hopes do you have for the future in terms of design?
Jodie Thi Giang Tien: At the moment I am on a gap year, I decided to take a break from studying because I felt like I was burnt out. I was doing 4 unit Maths, 3 unit English, Chemistry and Textiles was my creative outlet. Even with Textiles and Design being my creative outlet it was definitely hard work compared to what people usually would think.
Question: When designing, who is your target audience?
Jodie Thi Giang Tien: Yes. I always have the image of the up and coming woman, not the women with money, but woman who are comfortable in their own skin and want to be themselves. When I dress myself, I'm not dressing for anybody else, I am dressing for myself. My outfits can be described as crazy, at times but I don't really mind, my clothes are different and I like that. I always mix and match my outfits; I am always grabbing clothes from my grandmas closet or my mum, dad, brother or sister's closet (laughing).
Question: Have you always seen yourself as designing clothes and being seen in fabulous outfits?
Jodie Thi Giang Tien: Not really, I don't see myself as wearing fabulous outfits. I just go with the flow and I decide that I like a piece and put it together with another piece and wear that. If other people like it then that's good, but I don't really mind otherwise.
Question: What types of designing do you enjoy the most?
Jodie Thi Giang Tien: Definitely not the drawing! (Laughing) I have made a lot of copies of the actual design; I had to always go back to changing the pieces. I enjoyed the trial and error part, seeing what materials worked and what didn't. With my cubed skirt I had to find material that would actually support its own frame, not material that would collapse on itself. Because I had to actually formulate how to make that cubed skirt and the rest of the design I really enjoyed playing with the measurements and trying to find ways to do this and that. Everything I did wasn't out of a pattern book, I had knowledge from previous years of Textile and Designs and that helped me. In year 10 Textile and Design I learnt how to make basic skirts and in the end I did my own thing.
Question: Who is your all-time favourite fashion designer?
Jodie Thi Giang Tien: Gareth Pugh is definitely up there because he is wild, if you see his designs you'll be blown away. Gareth Pugh's designers are nuts and I love it!
I have been backstage at a couple of Australian Fashion Week shows, before, because I find them exciting, especially to be apart of the back scenes of Fashion Week. The Australian fashion designers such Alex Perry, Camilla Marc are really amazing. Camilla and Marc was probably the first fashion show I had been backstage at and all their designs are so beautiful, feminine and chic; they had pastel colours running through all of their designs in winter, it was really nice.
Question: You did extremely well in HSC Textiles and Design, what tips do you have for other students?
Jodie Thi Giang Tien: I had a really great teacher, Mrs Castle, seriously she was so wonderful. Mrs Castle was our support system and their were heaps of girls who were crying over their designs because they didn't know where to start and she would help them. Mrs Castle had just published a book on Textile and Design; titled Textiles and Design by Christine Castle and another teacher Lynda Peters.
You need to make your own notes, that is really important, as well. It was really good that we had access to read other books about Textile and Design; these books helped us to write our own notes. As a class, we also watched a lot of textile videos on wool making, sometimes it wasn't fun to watch but it was good for our knowledge to see a visual medium of what our teacher was talking about.
Textile and Design students who want to do well have to start making notes, now and not rely on other students notes because it is always really good to do your own thing because then you know you have done it. I always chose to not look at other students notes because I felt like then I was cheating myself. I wanted a unique design.
Textile and Design students need to start early, on their major piece. You need to have ideas, or you may break down in the middle of the year.
Another good tip for students is to shop around for their materials because there are some great shops in Sydney and all Australia states that provide materials a lot cheaper than the bigger retail stores.