Q&A: Gavin Braswell of G by Gavin

Q&A: Gavin Braswell of G by Gavin
Photos contributed by Gavin Braswell The G by Gavin fashion line by Gavin Braswell features various takes on high-end couture fashion.

Courtesy Photo Gavin Braswell will be the youngest designer, at 22, at Northwest Arkansas Fashion Week. He’s been serious with creating fashion designs since he was 17, he said.

Gavin Braswell will be the youngest designer, at 22, at Northwest Arkansas Fashion Week.

He grew up in the small town of Altheimer, Ark., which is just northeast of Pine Bluff. He’s now a senior at the University of Arkansas and pursuing his degree in apparel studies and product development. He initially started with psychology, but soon realized it wasn’t for him. Come graduation, he hopes to move to New York City.

Since getting interested in fashion in his late teens, Braswell as made as many as 50 different designs. A few he’s sold as custom gowns.

His fashion line is G by Gavin. The G in Gavin — besides obviously being the first letter of his first name — is meant to symbolize words such as gold, glitz and glamorous. Many of Braswell’s gowns to be featured will feature golds and rose golds.

Braswell’s show will be at 8:45 p.m. during Northwest Arkansas Fashion Week at Record in Bentonville. There will be 13 looks he’ll be showcasing.

TFW: What inspired you to get into fashion?

BRASWELL: I was about 6 or 7 years old when I was first introduced to sewing. I would see my mom fix things shorts or shirts if they were ripped. What really triggered it off was I was watching this movie called Beautiful, that was about these pageant girls and they were designing their own dresses and outfits and had these extravagant gowns and stuff. I watched that movie in third grade, and I started drawing up dresses. I would bring the dresses to my teachers and tell them I had designed these dresses for them. It started at a really young age, and I felt like it was innate, it was always there. I’ve always loved it since I was a little boy. That’s how I got into it. I’ve always been into fashion and dressing myself and altering my clothes here and there. I started sewing on the industrial machine at age 17, and that’s where it took off. I started cutting out patterns, picking out fabrics and sewing on the machine.

Courtesy Photo

Courtesy Photo

TFW: What was the first thing you made when you got serious?

BRASWELL: The first thing I did was a velvet dress. It was the worst fabric I had ever sewn with. It took me hours of tinkering and doing patterns over and over again trying to get the dress to fit properly. My friend actually wore it at the back to school dance. It probably took me 40 hours to do the one dress. I could probably have done it in less than five hours today.

Again, I mean it was the worst I had ever worked with in my life. It was green velvet and it had these transparent plastic straps and these strands of pearls on the back. It was the first thing I had done to where I started taking designing dresses serious.

As hard as it was, it motivated me to keep going. I didn’t know how it was going to turn out in the beginning. I did all of the fitting and everything and I started thinking this is not going to work. The main reason why was I wasn’t thinking about the technicalities, as far as putting darts in there and making sure it fit right. I wanted it turn out like a tulip on the top and it was horrible and it was falling all over the place. My teacher most definitely played a big part in motivating me and pushing me to do my best. She taught me how to be patient. It may not always work out the first time. From there I started using more complex fabrics.

TFW: How was growing up in Altheimer? I imagine it must have been tough having a passion for couture fashion there.

BRASWELL: It wasn’t a much of a place for fashion. But I traveled quite a bit. I went places with my church and my school. In college, initially I didn’t plan on coming here. But I told my mom I wanted to take control of my life and this is what I wanted to do, I’m going to go to Fayetteville. I still think about Altheimer all the time. It’s more peaceful. What really just made me hungry, was visiting and traveling to these other places. It pushed me to want to do fashion more and more. New York City is one of my favorite places. It’s not much opportunity in central Arkansas, period, but loving to travel, that pushed me to want to step outside my boundaries and see the world and different places like that. I think my parents and my family they just told me to get up and go and see it, I come back inspired. It makes me want to work more and more and one day get to New York or, even Paris.

Courtesy Photo

Courtesy Photo

TFW: Tell me a little about your process, and what kind of styles are you interested in making?

BRASWELL: The stuff I work on is somewhere between bridal and couture. I’m doing a lot of furs, feathers, transparent fabrics. Some are heavy, some are light. The most expensive I’ve done is a ritz fabric from Dallas, from a place called Golden Door. It’s couture fabric. Most of the stuff I’m playing with now is very intricate and the beadings I do myself. The things I make could be for a girl going to Vegas or some other kind of high class event. It’s not something you’d want to necessarily wear around here, unless you are that type of extra, over the top person.

As for my process, typically, depending on what it is it could take a full day. I can finish something and complete it if I’m on top of it. Right now, I’m balancing school and work. So now it has taken about 1-3 days on average and that’s me working from sunup to sundown when I can. I’m getting up and getting on my sewing machine. I only take bathroom breaks, walk my dog, eat and then shut down around 3 a.m.

I’ve been at it everyday for the past month and a half. I’ve been sewing Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

TFW: Where do you draw your inspiration from?

Courtesy Photo

Courtesy Photo

BRASWELL: What inspires me the most, I’m obsessed with wedding gowns and couture and Chanel. You can’t go above Chanel. I love high couture. I love prom dresses and stuff like that. I love seeing the way dresses flow and expensive fabrics and the way they flow. I love dramatic fabrics, like fur, but not real fur. I do love the way real fur looks, though. What inspires me the most is seeing high quality, glitz stuff. Things with intricate beading.

I think about what I would want my sister to wear. My sister and my mom inspire me. What inspires me the most is seeing my sister and my mom wearing these dresses and going to elegant events. My friends play a big part, especially those that don’t care about going all out over the top. My mom and my sister were the first women I observed that had style.

Follow G by Gavin

Website: gbygavin.com

Instagram: GavinXAlexander

Categories: Music