Meet Maria de Guzman, an upcoming fashion designer who will take the stage on Friday for the special fashion showcase ‘estilo’ in Sydney. MICHELLE BALTAZAR discovers the woman behind the fabulous clothes.
Three months ago, a new fashion designer burst onto the Sydney scene. Her name is Maria de Guzman and she’s a proud Australian-Filipina!
Inspired by her seamstress mother, Maria designed her own clothing when she was a kid and has now turned that passion into a career. She launched her label at this year’s Fashion Forward Festival, hosted by the Fashion Foundation of Australia, before showcasing her collection at a Chic Petite Events with nine other emerging designers.
Maria de Guzman (back row, second from right) and her White Collection
She hosted her own Fashion Launch Party at the Tunnel nightclub recently featuring ‘Hot Male Bodies’ body-painted with suits, who escorted models extravagantly decked out in Maria’s Spring /Summer Collection.
Next on her diary is a fashion showcase on Friday at Soho Bar on 171 Victoria St. Potts Point for “estilo” (Spanish word for style).
But before the much-anticipated event, The Australian Filipina catches up with her on e-mail:
10 Questions with Maria de Guzman, upcoming fashion designer
1) Why did you decide to pursue a fashion career?
I have always been around fashion growing up. Designing my own clothes and having my mother make them. It has always been a passion of mine.
2) How did you learn how to design clothes?
I am basically self-taught. I studied design and technology in high school, but most of the skills I have gained have been through the help of my mother, Elvira Hattam.
3) How would you describe your designs? Who is your inspiration?
My designs are very feminine. Gorgeous, but sexy. I try to enhance the curves of a woman. The garments I create are the type of garments I want to wear. My favorite designer is Herve Leger.
Maria de Guzman and male models in body-painted suits, with models.
4) The fashion industry is an extremely competitive and often unforgiving world, how do you plan to succeed in it?
I plan to succeed by getting my name out there as much as I can in the public.
5) Your mother, you mentioned, is a seamstress. Where in the Philippines is she from?
She’s from Abalug, Cagayan Valley.
6) You talked about having a poor childhood. Do you think coming from a poor family only inspired you to work harder?
Yes, it has inspired me to work harder to have a better future for myself.
7) You are drop-dead gorgeous yourself! Have you modelled before and where did you get your looks from? (Are you half or pure filo?)
I’m Filipino. I grew up in the Philippines and moved to Australia when I was 6. No, I have not modelled but have done a few shoots since being a fashion designer.
Maria de Guzman (front) with Roman Gladiators and Egyptian Princess-styled models.
8 ) What’s your dream? What would you like to achieve in your career?
I would like to be a well-known fashion designer making beautiful clothes for all women.
9) Define fashion. Name three of the most fashionable women/men in the world?
Fashion defines a person. It is a unique way to express yourself. Angelina Jolie, Beyonce and Halle Berry.
10) How as your launch party? Are you looking forward to estilo? What should the crowd expect?
My launch party was a lot of work and planning , but so much fun. I had lots of support from friends and family. It was a really great night.
I am looking forward to estilo. It not only allows me to show off my designs, but also meet other great designers. It should be a great night full of wonderful fashion!