Local Designer Profile: David Rolle of House of Raphelita
By Tyrina Neely
Jun 7, 2012 - 11:15:07 PM
The Local Designer Profile question and answer series is designed to
give you an intimate glimpse into the background and artistic process of
young movers and shakers in the local fashion industry in The Bahamas.
local designer David Rolle, the talent behind the line House of
Raphelita is making waves in the local fashion industry. The
twenty-something designer recently snagged The Culture and Fashion Award
at the Islands of the World Fashion Showcase (IWFS) held locally in May
and kept tongues wagging as the designer of choice, dressing the First
Lady Mrs. Bernadette Christie at the official Opening of Parliament.
a contributor for the online regional fashion portal
CaribFashionTV.com, Rolle shares his views on fashion via his regular
column The Fashion Drum Rolle.
Tell us where you got the name House of Raphelita?
name House of Raphelita pays homage to my great grandmother Raphelita
Pinder. She was the first person to give me a sewing needle.
your growth as a designer since you initially won the IWFW NextGen award
for your first collection.
In 2010 when I won Island of the World
Fashion Week NextGen designer award, I was unexposed to the world of
fashion. As a part of my award, I received a scholarship to attend
Parsons, The New School during their summer studies.
New York City and attending the number one art school in America opened
my eyes to not only the possibilities in fashion but the requirements
needed to develop a successful fashion house. My growth has equipped me
with the skills to know how a cohesive collection is designed. As a
designer I am now able to produce garments that are practical and
House or Raphelita
Which designer or trend is your biggest inspiration at the moment?
was recently asked in an interview about designers that I'm inspired by
and a few people took it the wrong way when I replied that I was
currently being inspired by myself. While I have countless designers who
really get my juices going, I'm in love with my own designs right now. I
like where I came from as a designer and I'm excited about where I'm
The trend that I'm bananas about right now is probably
femininity. For a while ladies have been sporting tailored garments,
earth tones and unisex inspired garments. With the trend of femininity
making its way onto the main stage, ladies are showing more of their
curves and skin with sheer materials, lace, frills and shorter hem
Which designer do you find most inspiring & why?
favorite designer of all time is the late Alexander McQueen. He, like
myself was an artist first and used fabric as a medium. He was able to
see beyond what average eyes could see and was fearless in design and
creative thinking. McQueen was a legend and one not soon to be
What was the inspiration for your latest collection?
Describe how it felt to walk away with yet another win at IWFS.
the premier fashion event in the country and one of the leading fashion
events in the region gives IWFS much to brag about. Being a second time
award recipient gives me a lot to be proud of. I was honestly clueless
that I stood a chance to win the cultural award during this year’s show.
I gave my best effort and things worked out in my favor, the judges
liked what I presented.
First Lady, Mrs. Bernadette Christie on the Opening of Parliament 2012
Tell us how you got the opportunity
to dress The First Lady, Mrs. Bernadette Christie for the opening of
Parliament. What was your inspiration when designing a piece
specifically for her and this auspicious occasion?
Christie and I share a few mutual friends. We actually met a year ago
and I got the opportunity to produce a fascinator for a funeral service
she was attending. During the election season, the idea of a custom
designed garment came about and shortly after the general election I was
asked to sketch some ideas.
My inspiration came directly from
Mrs. Christie herself. She is known as a classy lady with impeccable
style and an eye for fashion. I wanted to create a look that was simple
but very detailed. I kept in mind my fashion philosophy while designing,
fit, fabric, flare. It was vital to me that the clothing fit as if it
came off of a rack. The fabric had to be the best I could possibly find
and it had to have an element that made you look twice.
told I think if I had used trash bags as fabric on the First Lady she
would have somehow made it look like it cost thousands.
my design with a custom Harl Taylor BAG, is becoming a trend and knowing
the First Lady would have it no other way made everything perfect.
If you could dress one Bahamian, male or female who would it be?
at children’s homes. I know the power of a new outfit. I know the
feeling of getting a custom outfit made. As a young man who always had
sufficient I can't imagine what teenagers who don't have parents deal
with mentally. As social beings we like to feel and look good, I'd love
to share that feeling with teens at children’s homes.
What is one piece every woman should have in her closet?
woman should have self confidence. A smile and positive spirit never
goes out of style.
Closet must haves for any season also include a
pencil skirt, nude and black pumps, white button down shirt and a good
pair of blue jeans.
About the author:
Tyrina Talks Fashion
is your weekly serving of fashion forecasting, trend reporting, figure
analysis and helpful fashion tips and tricks. Email Tyrina with your
fashion questions and photos at email@example.com
. Visit www.primadonasales.com
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