CFSTYLE Interview with J. Angelique
Tell me a little about yourself. Where are you from? What’s your educational background? What are your general professional and non-professional interests?
My name is Janelle Angelique Forde and I am 22 years old. I was born in the island of Barbados but currently live in Trinidad. I am a student at the University of the West Indies, St Augustine. My focus is the development of the Caribbean through research. Fashion design and modern dance are my other passions.
What does fashion mean to you?
Fashion is my avenue for creative expression. Fashion is freedom. Fashion is work. Fashion is fun.
How would you define your city’s fashion?
Fashion in Barbados ranges from ‘comfy casual’ to ‘ooh là là.’ During the daytime, Barbadians are very casual – gladiator sandals, ballerina flats, bright colours, relaxed fit clothing and of course oversized handbags dominate the scene. The local clubs and ‘must attend’ parties present an opportunity for Barbadians to show off their nightlife fashion. Nightlife fashion gravitates around the skin-tight-barely-there or bordering-on-high-fashion dresses, the ‘to die for’ sky high pumps and the ‘oh so cute’ accessories and clutches.
When did you realize you wanted to become a fashion designer?
Becoming a fashion designer was never one of my aspirations in life. The option became apparent after I created my first collection of clothing in 2009 and participated in a few local fashion shows in Trinidad. I still get goosebumps when people phrase it like that ‘Fashion designer.’ Fashion is instinctive; I simply create clothing that reflects my personal style.
What matters to you most as a fashion designer?
I appreciate when people admire my clothing. My clothing is a reflection of who I am, and to pass on the message of style and confidence is a triumph.
What are some of your accomplishments as a designer?
My career as a fashion designer is only now being established; however, I am proud to have participated in An Enigma of Style 2009 and 2010.
What is your biggest dream as a designer?
Whoa, it’s a big dream! I hope to use fashion as a tool to develop the region.
What was the first article of clothing you ever designed?
My first design was a green and pink full-length halter dress (seen above on the extreme right). I used a pattern from one of my mother’s dresses to create it.
How long does it usually take you to construct a piece?
Simple designs are easy to construct and may take about a day. If it is complicated it may take several days to ensure that the pattern, cut and fit are perfect.
Describe the general process you go through to design and realize a piece of clothing.
I conceptualise the article of clothing I want to create. I sketch the piece, outlining the various dimensions. Next, I discuss the practicability of my visualisation then it’s on to the construction stage. The piece is cut from a pattern, which is altered for the design. Afterwards, the pieces from the pattern are carefully sewn and voilà, a J.Angelique Clothing piece has been created.
What’s your favourite part about conceptualizing a design?
While I visualise mentally an article of clothing, there are no limitations to my creativity. I enjoy being able to create freely.
What makes your design different? What is unusual?
Initially, people are attracted to the vibrant colours and the bold prints used for clothing. Secondly, I create highly fashionable yet wearable clothing suitable for the events we attend in the Caribbean. It will not be surprising to see the ‘Playful Romper’ at an all Inclusive Fete for Carnival or the ‘Tulip Dress.’
What do you believe makes a quality article of clothing?
It’s all about the cut and the quality of the fabric. When a piece of clothing has a superior cut, the fit is flawless and the higher the quality of fabric, the higher the quality of clothing.
How do you prepare for a fashion shoot or show?
It is a long, tedious process of preparing the clothing, coordinating shoes and accessories and fitting the models for the clothing.
What age group is your design aimed toward?
My designs are suitable for teenage girls and women.
What are some of your favourite clothing stores/catalogues/websites?
In Trinidad, I love The London Clothing Company and Carnaby St. Internationally, I love accessories from Forever 21 and Aldo. Of course I keep up-to-date with Caribbean Fashion-Style Journal and I enjoy browsing through celebrity styles on People.com.
*Where can readers buy your clothes?
Join the group or like the page on Facebook to select the piece you are interested in. You may then e-mail to confirm the article of clothing, size and payment.
For 2011, what can we look forward to?
For 2011, you can expect to see J.Angelique Clothing appearing at several fashion events —fingers crossed for Fashion Week Trinidad and Tobago—where an eye-opening, breathtaking, totally electrifying collection of clothing will be presented.
Photography: Sancho Francisco
Makeup: Alana Stanislaus
Models: Danyella Byer
Designer: Janelle Forde for J. Angelique Clothing