passion professions

Fashion for a Cause | Fashion, Flavour & Art

passion professions

After applying my sewing skill and event experience for a well-worthy 67 minutes for Mandela Day this year, I haven’t ever felt prouder of being a fashion designer.

The humbling feeling of having the honour to do what I love for an amazing cause has sparked something inside me that goes much deeper than the need for any such personal successes or desires.

Working in an industry that is very often criticised for its superficial and material values has its challenges, and attempting to prove that there is a greater need for all this fashion business is an argument designer’s face all too often. Finding a way to “justify” my career choice and practise my desire for wanting to do something more with my fashion passion than just making pretty dresses for pretty people, seems to have caught right up to me on my mission to make a difference. I have discovered that there are more-than-many whole-hearted people out there who are selflessly willing to donate whatever creative contributions they can for a relative charity, and this is testament enough that these criticisms may be nothing more than an ignorant generalization and naïve assumption.

The Fashion, Flavour & Art Showcase has inadvertently crushed the impression that fashion is purely a luxury and unnecessary indulgence. The highly esteemed people, brands and companies that have come together to make it all happen have ignited an energy so real it has taken the event to heights we never imagined possible. Real people with a real reason to give of their (very real) time, energy and effort have looked past their own agendas and willingly gone beyond the call of the usual fashion week craze to donate their talents to a greater good.

The level of dedication, inspiration and excitement that has developed around working for something with no direct monetary benefits in a financially driven world has been…. Refreshing! Who could have imagined 20 typically unrelated people and professions could come together and use their creative talents to achieve one common goal – raising money to contribute to the very valuable research that CANSA does?

As the fashion industry attracts the spotlight with Cape Town Fashion Week commencing, it is somewhat of a statement to go ahead and throw our own fashion party on the final eve – disregarding all of the typical fashion week “to-dos” and making all the “fashion faux pas” at such a lucrative time of year!

But could we really call choosing to do something for someone else’s benefit, as opposed to our own, a faux pas?

There might be some faux fur, but let that be as far as we go to doing anything fake! Armed with my new found search for finding that “loving feeling” in everything I do, and not only once a year for 67 minutes, is opening up a whole runway of new avenues to channel my creativity for the greater good of humankind!

Never under estimate the power of a creative mind and a passionate heart. I believe it is these people that will change the world – when service is above self, success will be sure to follow!

Gold splatter

Inspiration Twinkling | Diamond & Gold African Detailing

Gold splatterDrawing inspiration and getting ideas for the range I’m working on for the FASHION, FLAVOUR & ART Showcase on the 16th seemed to come too obviously.

Firstly, being thrown in the deep end is definitely where my Aries characteristics thrive and this seems to be the case all too often in this crazy-paced fashion industry! Getting the opportunity to show off my dresses in a place as shining and beautiful as the Shimansky show room is an honour and it would have been a sin not to jump at the chance!

The fact that the whole event is aligned with the Mrs. South Africa competition and is being held in order to raise funds for the CANSA association is massive incentive, and with all the arrows pointing in such a glowing direction, its safe to say my excitement and my inspiration is palpable.

Coincidentally, my book-loving mom happened to pass down the most beautiful photographic collection depicting the traditions surrounding the rights of passage in Africa and this ignited an already evolving vision of how I want to represent my brand and my clothing at this prestigious event.

When all my favourite models jumped right on board to get involved, I couldn’t keep my pencil off some paper and immediately had to start sketching.

So, with my favourite muses, an amazing cause, the loveliest lady leading it, a sparkling venue and my essential ethnic African reference, designs began evolving as I conceptualized ideas into reality. Diamond shaped cut-outs, gold African detailing, bold, bright blocked colours and a persistent mood of “Im here to say” kept resonating through my mind as the concept came to life.

A range of 6 inspired, striking gowns have made themselves comfortable – directly in front of my creative eye – and the production has commenced! Another characteristic Aries trait, impatience, is proving to be the driving force behind the construction process as I can hardly wait to see my visions realised! Look at some of the amazing images from the Passages book below for some visual pleasure and inspirations 😉

Gold African accessories

African fringing

African fringing





Anna Donkin GFD Amabassador Kings of Cool Logo

Gabriela Fraser Designs & The Kings Of Cool

Kings of Cool Logo

On the 18 July 2014, Gabriela Fraser Designs will be participating in an amazing cause, a collaborative “fashion” event conceptualized by the guys from No Danger Diaries  and collectively powered by the Avant Garden . The amazing Kings of Cool event is set to feature an eclectic fashion show followed by the grooviest live music and DJ line-up with many spot prizes up for grabs – all in the spirit of Mandela Day

No Danger Diaries is a group of four guys who are not scared to make a difference! They aim to do good while having fun, ticking things off on their “Living List” (not Bucket List, as they want to celebrate life) and giving back to the community!

Kings of Cool is an event aimed at helping the homeless dominate winter by hosting a party with a twist! The night will kick off with a fashion show including an eclectic mix of models (professional models and profiled homeless ambassadors), spot prizes, a live band and DJs to follow! The fashion show will showcase some talented local fashion designers as well as highlight the fact that despite our differences in race, background or living situations – we can all come together and share a night of joy to make a positive change in our community.

The entrance fee is R67 along with donations of old clothing – all of which will go towards making someone less fortunate that much warmer this winter!

GFD is honoured and excited to be part of such an amazing event – having fun and giving back :)

The last of our winter looks will be showcased – expect wearable glamour with a faux fur twist!

Come party for a cause on Mandela Day, spot The Avant Garden team behind the decks and behind the scenes, and see Gabriela Fraser Designs on the runway!

Kings of Cool will be hosted at The Dragon Room, 84 Harrington Street and tickets are available through Quicket or at the door.

Fashion, Flavour & Art Showcase

Fashion, Flavour & Art| Connecting & Uniting

Fashion, Flavour & Art ShowcaseWe had our first official team meeting for the Fashion, Flavour & Art Showcase today. Although being filmed during a business meeting isn’t my ideal way of talking shop, the energy in the room was unavoidable – so much excitement amongst so much selfless talent!

It was an absolute honour getting to rub shoulders and chat with all the incredible people involved over some delicious home-made muffins and hazelnut coffees. Artists, scuptors, jewellers, furniture designers, fashion designers, event organisers, food contributors, social media guru’s, Mrs. SA Finalist Anna Donkin and of course the film crew in the background ignited some serious magic and allowed for the aligning of some exciting energies.

The passion and dedication to the cause was palpable, confirming the calibre and presentation of the FF&A event to be nothing short of incredible! There is even an incredible World Design Captial Project involved (#WDC411) called Connections that Unite, and we all got to make our mark and squeeze a clay mug that will be fired and varnished, with our finger prints and hand indentation visible, name alongside. What a beautiful concept: the unity of holding something together and sharing a connection!

Tickets for the Fashion, Flavours & Art CANSA Showcase Event are R350, of which every cent goes directly to the CANSA Fund, and go on sale on Monday through Quicket. After this first taste of what to expect for the 26th July, I have no doubt they are going to sell out instantly with the limited number available!



Lock Stock Market

Design Market | The Lock Stock Market @ The Woodstock Exchange

Gabriela Fraser Designs was spotted at their first official design market this weekend! And what a stunning market to be a part of!

The Lock Stock Market, found at The Woodstock Exchange, takes place from 10am – 2pm on Saturdays – monthly in Winter, weekly in Summer.

The operations, organization and management was all perfectly executed making it a pleasure for traders, and the vibe and mood on a Saturday morning is laid-back, curious and neighbourly.

The Exchange is home to many of the very successful marketers seen at the popular Neighbour Goods Market at The Old Biscuit Mill just down the road in Woodstock, and who have now earned a permanent shop front status to sell their wares.

Every store is creative and quirky in their own right, offering an incredible array of artisan products from sneakers and skateboards, backpacks and chocolate, to tea and bicycles – there is something to stimulate every sense!

Being the original home of the hipster, the collection of coffees available is only of the finest calibre and perfectly matched with some mouth-watering treats and tastes.

By week, the Woodstock Exchange serves as a hub for creative professionals; by weekend, a hub for the creatively inspired. Grab a cuppa from a personal favourite, Field Office, stroll through the petite art gallery, soak up the sun from the comfortable swing chairs and absorb the inspiration that is all around from the people to the products!

Here are some pics from the weekend, GFD making our golden mark!

Lock Stock Market Woodstock Exchange Market GFD at The Lock Stock Market