Eponymous fashion designer Natasha Gan talks to Danziel Carre about beauty, creation and empowerment. Photo Spencer Hansen.
NATASHA, when did you first get bitten by the fashion bug and how did the journey carry onwards?
My mother was a dressmaker, so I was always playing around in her workroom from a very young age. I would spend the weekends rummaging around through all the fabrics and trims, dreaming up my own creations. I began taking it more seriously around the age of 13, enrolling in the local TAFE programme to study pattern-making on weekends, and by 16 was selected to study fashion design at East Sydney Technical College. It was during that time I was really able to formalise my skills and gain the confidence to get into the business.
You lived in London for a while . . . what was that experience like, working in such a high-profile centre of the fashion universe?
It was unbelievable. Straight out of design college at 21, I moved to London. In my second interview there, I landed a job designing for two of the most well-regarded, high fashion retailers, Topshop and Hennes. It was extremely hectic but exciting, and helped me develop an in-depth knowledge of the industry. The immersion in that kind of environment really empowered me to launch my own label.
What separates your line from others?
I want to make a strong statement through my work. There are so many brands out there doing the same things, but I really try to keep ahead with an innovation of fabrics and texture, colourful prints. Natasha Gan embodies a contradiction of strong and tough silhouettes with a balance of soft delicate silhouettes . . . with quality finishes and a dedication to detail.
What type of woman are you designing clothes for?
All my designs are catered to the young professional who is not afraid to express herself. The focus has always been on creating a progressive, strong, and sexy collection – so that is the type of women whom I strive to serve. She has to be confident and loves to have fun.
Where do you find your inspiration (inside and outside of the fashion world)?
Everything inspires me. I do a lot of travelling for work and get to see so many cultures that I draw a lot of inspiration from. Living in Bali, I have been really drawn to and influenced by the wide selection of lush colours and exotic prints, which really shows in the designs of my past few collections.
What do you most love and hate about the fashion business?
What I hate the most? Definitely the production side. Sometimes it can be a real headache dealing with vendors to get things done on time and done in the right way. But as for what I absolutely love about the business, the creating part. It’s amazing to see my ideas come to life, from a concept in my head to sketches on paper to something that women love to wear because it makes them feel beautiful. That creative process is what fuels me.
What do you do for fun when not working?
I like to go away a lot with my family, and love to catch up with friends. I also do a lot of drawings to keep the creative juices flowing.
Where in the world has fashion taken you? Where has been your favourite, and why?
Of course London . . . Paris, Spain, Los Angeles. Though Postiano in Italy was my favourite destination. The food was amazing, the people just absolutely wonderful, and the exotic location completely breathtaking.
If you weren’t doing fashion design, what do you think you’d be doing? Why?
I’m really not sure. Fashion has been my only interest ever, and as I love it so much I couldn’t imagine not designing. Love what you do, and do what you love . . . why bother with anything else?