Name of Label: MD LABL
Hometown: Los Angeles, California
3 words to describe your collection: off beat, courageous, grunge
What first got you interested in fashion?
I had a gay uncle growing up who used to be a fashion designer in the Philippines, and sadly when people immigrate to the US their careers don’t always translate and he became a bio technician. So, I think his only real outlet for fashion was to do a bunch of sketches for his annoying little niece on a yellow notepad which I began to collect in a binder. This all happened when I was about 10, and I’ve had a great love for beautiful design ever since.
Describe the general process you go through to design and realize a piece of clothing?
It always happens differently for each garment, but generally I sit down with a pile of my favorite magazines like LOVE, PURPLE, i-D and start marking the pages that move me. The emotions and mood that this process evokes usually pushes me in the direction of what fabrics to get and ultimately I sketch with all these things in mind. Draping and sewing follow.
What was your inspiration behind your collection?
This particular collection was inspired by Issue 2 of Love Magazine (autumn/winter). The issue was called New Blood and it featured like 100 young shakers and movers in art, fashion, music, movies, etc. The editorials captured these young people in the most fun and wild light – it made me think of “the fearless youth” and how we all want to be forever young and limitless. That and 90’s grunge really played a part in my designs
Which fashion designer influences you the most and why?
Classically? I would say Givenchy, YSL in the 70’s, and Chanel for being so revolutionary and doing men’s wear inspired fashion. More currently, Marc Jacobs and Rodarte are beautiful designers who don’t take themselves too seriously. But when I think of who I am as a designer now, I can’t help but idolize Alexander Wang because he’s sort of the new blood in fashion, and I love what he does.
If you could only wear one outfit for the rest of your life what would it be and why?
I think an oversized boyfriend blazer layered over a lace bra and taupe cardigan, biker shorts, sheer black nylons and some hot ass heels. And many many accessories
Fashion trend you’d like to see happen:
Ugly oversized Cosby sweaters =)
Fashion trend you’d wish to die forever:
Nothing! I love it all
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
I see myself being bicoastal between NY and LA – slangin’ my clothes and making my way to top designer status. Travelling all over the world, and gigging in a band again.
How would you describe your personal style?
A former colleague and sort of mentor told me once that I was like Annie Potts’ character Iona from Pretty in Pink because she had a totally different look every time she came on screen. And I said, “yeah…I like that.” I mean, I’m not always on because duh it’s life, but when I am I think I’m a chameleon.
Who is your fashion icon?
Grace Jones and Debbie Harry of Blondie
What is the best fashion advice you’ve ever been given?
Style yourself based on occasion and infuse “you” into everything you put on.
Is there any advice you would like to give to aspiring fashion designers?
It’s hard work, and even though I only just started, I CAN say that we do it because we love it so much. There shouldn’t be any other reason because without that Fashion sort of dies, and then we’re all just lame, uninspired seamstresses.
Special Thanks to Melanie De Jesus for taking out the time to do this interview. I wish her the best of luck in everything she does and I will keep you all posted on when and where the line will be available!