Olivia Bevacqua's DEBUT Collection Shows Classic Art Influences
Born and raised in a small town called Port Perry in Ontario, Canada, Olivia Leigh Paris Bevacqua attended Port Perry High School and was a member of FIDM Fashion Club. As a child, she was interested in fashion design and remembers watching her grandmother sew costumes and dresses which had a great influence on her. She moved to Los Angeles to attend FIDM and earned her A.A. in Fashion Design and is now in the Advanced Fashion Design program. Inspired by classic art, the designer will be showing her first collection at FIDM’s Annual DEBUT Runway Show event this spring. We caught up with her to learn more.
Tell us a little about yourself: I’m from a small town in Ontario Canada, and moved to Los Angeles almost two years ago now! I’ve been in art classes in and outside of school since a kid and always have had an interest in art. My mom jokes that I have been carrying a sketchbook under my arm for as long as she could remember. I got into fashion at a young age trying on all of my mom's clothes and shoes. But my passion really developed when I would sit next to my Nonna and watch her sew costumes and dresses for me and my cousins. My absolute dream is to design couture womenswear or elaborate costumes.
Tell us about your DEBUT collection: My DEBUT collection is inspired by classic art pieces through history featuring inspiration from some of my favourite artists and art movements. Each piece represents different art but with my own personal twist. My goal with this collection is to have it as if you visited a museum or gallery and the art jumped off the wall and started walking around you.
What silhouettes and fabrics can we expect to see? You can expect lots of big ball gown style dresses; I am a big fan of silhouette and over exaggerated proportion.
What is your point of view, as a designer? As a designer, I see fashion as an extension of art. Fabric is one of the best forms of expressive mediums and you can “pick” who you want to be through what you wear or design. Fashion is walking art that can tell its own story.
How do you hope people will feel when they see your designs? My goal is to surprise people with what they wouldn’t expect. I love enticing the “wow” effect.
What inspires you as a creative and as a fashion designer? I am inspired by mostly past experiences I’ve had. I try to create physical expressions of my memories. For this collection, I used memories of walking around the Louvre and how each painting enticed different emotions and effects from me. I am also a huge history nerd and often look to the past to get new ideas.
What is a lesson you've learned as you've been working on your collection? Patience is key! it’s extremely easy to rush because it’s exciting to see a project come together and to bring my vision to life, but it will always look a million times better if time is taken to perfect every single thing.
Tell us about your path to FIDM: I always knew I wanted to go into fashion, and discovered FIDM in 10th grade. I started at FIDM Fashion Club at the start of my grade 12 year as well as went to a portfolio meeting with a FIDM representative who was visiting Toronto to get a better idea of what FIDM offered.
How is FIDM helping you get closer to your career goals? FIDM has given me a lot of tools and I feel confident as a designer and definitely a lot more refined and have found my own style of illustration that I really love.
Any advice for someone considering applying to be a DEBUT student? I knew I wanted to go into DEBUT before I applied at FIDM, so when I was accepted, and I made sure to work extra hard on projects because I knew it would help make a good portfolio later. I also started assembling my portfolio long before applications were due to go through and see what I was missing and how to highlight my strengths. I definitely think it’s also important to take a deep breath before the interview and remember to not hide your skills. it’s your time to show off!
Anything else you'd like to share? I’d like to thank everyone close to me, specifically my amazing parents and boyfriend for always helping and supporting me and believing in me no matter what. It means the absolute world and I would not be here without them.
Keep up with Olivia Leigh Paris Bevacqua on Instagram @olp.thebrand.