My Daughters are the most perfect doll that I have dressed with so much joy and inspiration.- Razel Gonzales

From Sand sketches to International Canvasses to Fashion designer

Razel Gonzales has lived in Africa, Great Britain, Germany, Austria and Spain. She was born in a small fishing village in the southern part of the Philippines as the only girl of eight children to a humble fishermen couple. Her parents noticed her artistic inclination at the tender age of three, when she would spend all her spare time at the beach drawing in the sand while her friends were taking a nap or playing. Razel dropped out of school at age 12 and work as a maid in a different city to help support his impoverished family. In a twist of fortune she made friends with someone from Great Britain who invited her to come to Europe with him, resulting in her leaving the Philippines at the age of 16. In Europe, Razel took up painting professionally and has had exhibitions all over the world, including in the United States, France, Italy, Australia, Germany, Denmark, Austria and Japan, enjoying substantive media attention.-


How I come into Fashion world in 2012


I was the only daughter in a family of nine, my father was a fisherman and hardly at home. I cannot remember a time my mother was not ill, so with my grandmother caring for us, a lot of the time I was left to myself. We did not own many toys, so I would scribble on paper or with a stick in the sand. My grandmother was a seamstress. that is how I developed my love for designs, I would draw and cut out paper dresses. It was part of my play time. Before coming to Europe I never had the money to afford the fabrics that were needed to create my dresses, so I left that dream of mine in the back of my mind and focused on painting, which I did for many years when living in Austria.


Spain 2012

I always itch for some adventure in my daily routine, which means that I can never stay in one place for too long. For that reason I chose to move from Austria to Spain, This proved to be a challenge for me, knowing that I would have to start all over again: moving house, finding a new home and work to fill my needs and that of my family, and making new friends along the way. But we got there eventually and started to get used to life on the sunny coast of La Comunidad Valenciana. After a few months in Spain, I faced a very personal crisis. But for me, that is not always a bad thing: Crises are made up of two things: danger and opportunity. So, I decided to turn it into a new start for me, and embark on fulfilling the long time dream of mine which was to design dresses. I wanted to see the colours that I use on my canvases, as moving, physical objects of dresses. That is why my dresses are vibrant, colourful, a mixture of fabrics, glass and textures.

however, finding a tailor who would make these ideas come to life, proved difficult. I went from seamstress to seamstress, one of the other declining to work for me because they found my designs to be too difficult and time-consuming for them to produce. A few of them were worried about the material I had in mind for my designs, as they feared to ruin the delicate fabrics. Others would happily give it a go but then butcher my sketches into pieces, as they were not used to this kind of work. I finally found a lady who was patient enough to work alongside me, and delivered good results. Still, I find it hard to work so closely with another person. It is something that is so different from the more isolated way of work that I am used to when I paint. I have a picture in mind, and I created it independently on my own, finishing it exactly the way I want to. Now, when it comes to my garments, whatever I want to create has to be transported from my head into hers in order to come alive. Designing fashion absorbs me, and although it is something I always wanted to do, and continue to enjoy, I find it hard sometimes to be balanced and constantly fight against tiring out. But, on days, Seeing my finished dresses floating on the models on the runway, may it be in a gallery in Vienna, in a museum in Spain or a catwalk show at the University of Cambridge, UK, is something I truly enjoy and am proud of.