Whitecliffe Educated: The Student Experience

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Whitecliffe Educated: The Student Experience

“I love designing and making clothes. At Whitecliffe, we are given the freedom to explore our own ideas” says Year Four Fashion Design student Jorge Adrian Alfaro.

Jorge was born on the north coast of Peru and grew up in New York City in the late 80’s and early 90’s. New York at this time had a huge fashion scene and Jorge found himself in the centre of its “club kid” culture, where his first ventures into fashion design began. Jorge quickly became a self-taught garment maker. “The involvement in underground New York fashion made me realise the potential of this medium to express my ideas. I felt that to make my interest in fashion more official, I had to pursue fashion design as a career and become a properly trained fashion designer.”

He moved to New Zealand and applied to study fashion design at Whitecliffe because he’d heard about the school’s strong industry contacts. “Whitecliffe has definitely made me a more solid designer,” he says. “I can say that I am more confident in what I design and construct. It’s exciting to know there is a promising future ahead.” His motivation comes from the desire to change the traditional and conventional. “I feel that during our time on this Earth, we should try to make our voices heard to feel alive, and the medium we use should be one that best expresses what we have to say.” Jorge explains that nothing inspires him more than the questions of who and why we are.

Jorge is currently working on his final collection at Whitecliffe entitled Transhuman Autumn Winter 2015, in which he explores ideas about transhumanism. “Transhumanism is a movement that embraces the enhancement of humans through technology-”Jorge continues, “Bionics, nano-technology, artificial intelligence and genetic engineering are some of the main sciences that are being used to achieve the post-human condition.” The merging of these concepts and careful consideration of market requirements and construction viability of the product have also been the focal points for developing his designs.

In the next five to ten years, Jorge would like to open a small shop and continue designing for a small, select clientele. “I hope to build a brand reputation for very high quality craftsmanship with all garments locally made.”

He has already had one of his garments selected for the World of Wearable Arts Museum in Nelson in 2012. Jorge also won first prize in the 2014 Newmarket Window Display Project for presenting designs from his latest collection shown at Charlie Brown.

Jorge’s advice to those who are interested in studying fashion design or any other creative field is “to keep focused on your own work-dedication and absolute attention to every detail involving your work - only a high level of determination and commitment can help you achieve your goals.”

 Image at right: from Jorge's Year Two collection

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