Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Woman Crush Wednesday - Julia C.

Just thinking about this week’s crush puts a smile on my face. Julia is an emerging designer out of Florida. She opened last year’s Christian Fashion Week and closed this year’s event. Her designs are inspirational; her attention to every detail resulting in a hypnotic creation. Ethereal, textural, one-of-a-kind designs that have been featured in countless editorials.
Julia (fourth from left) with her collection at Christian Fashion Week (Feb. 2014)
Julia is down to earth, sweet-natured, and an artistic force. Her gentle exterior belies her innovative and unrelenting talent. She puts every piece of her Xiaolin collections together by hand, dipping feathers and crushing shells to make each design unique and memorable. In fact, she herself is unique and memorable.

Please meet my friend, Julia.

1) Please tell me a little about YOU.

My name is Julia Chew, and my Chinese name is Xiao Lin. Xiao meaning Dawn, Lin meaning Jade. I was born in Nanning, China, and grew up in Tampa, FL. I am 19 years old and beginning to spread my wings as a fashion designer. I participated in my first runway show two years ago, and since then have been able to show my collection at several shows. I also enjoy photography, both fashion, and nature. I seem to be glued to my camera, but I never miss a moment. My family goes camping frequently and I spend a lot of time outdoors. I consider myself a collector of beautiful things. I’ve kept a collection of interesting objects I’ve found on my outdoor adventures for as long as I can remember. This includes rocks, feathers, butterflies, and seashells. They are all quite small, and fit inside a box.

2) Please tell me about your work/ministry.

Starting my own clothing line, Xiaolin, has been such an incredible experience. Being in the fashion industry has opened many doors for me. I have had the honor of meeting so many talented people with similar dreams and aspirations. I hope to be an encouragement to fellow designers and artists in the future, as well as a positive influence in the fashion industry through the clothing I create.
Amazing gown with hand-sewn feathers from head to toe (CFW 2014)
3) Why are you passionate about what you do?

There is a strong desire within me to create. I am constantly being driven by new ideas, and experimenting with new fabrics and techniques. Creating a runway collection is like writing a story. I am given the ability to stitch together my own Wonderland. It is fulfilling to see the progress I make when creating a new design. First, a simple sketch, or draping a new fabric on the dress form. I hardly have time to blink my eyes and suddenly my collection is strutting down the runway.

4) Why is it important to help others?

Along my journey toward becoming a fashion designer many people came alongside and helped me. I am grateful to the people who believed in me and my vision – the boutique owners who carry my line, the founders of Christian Fashion Week, and the friends who gave me words of encouragement. I hope to be able to give back to the community and help other young people reach their goals and dreams.
Me and Julia in Florida this past February

5) How can readers contribute/participate/come alongside you?

I would appreciate prayer for guidance and protection. Also, readers can follow me on Facebook/twitter/Instagram. I always love connecting with people and gathering feedback on my line.
Each of these feathers was dipped by hand into gold paint
6) What makes a woman truly beautiful?

A beautiful woman sees beauty in others.

7) What do you like to do in your free time?

When I’m not working on a new sketch, or sewing up a storm, you’ll find me sipping tea at Oxford Exchange and nibbling on macarons. Or snuggled under a fuzzy blanket with my baby Siamese cat. Either way, the Pinterest tab is probably open on my phone.

8) Since you’re getting on my shoebox, what’s your favorite kind of shoe? 

I could talk for hours about shoes... I’ll keep it short and say “magical shoes.” More specifically, these shoes from Alexander McQueen Spring 2011.

OK, I’m getting off my shoebox now.

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