I grew up in an Italian family, where fashion let alone style was and still is in our DNA. My German neighbor to all my Italian families astonishment, was a very skilled seamstress.  My Australian mother’s friend was also a very good dress maker. I was always surrounded by skilled craftsmanship. Today we are flooded every day with saturated fashion. For me thanks to on-line, the skilled craftsmanship has been lost. My last fashion event was at London Collections:Men. Apart from the very few, the art of skilled craftsmanship for me was lost. There was nothing exciting about menswear to me.

Is Fashion Art?

Fashion weeks are all to set to start and I wonder in 2016, have we lost the skilled craftsmanship? Is fashion art? Have catwalks lost the very essence that it was originally designed for? Catwalks in the past were a demonstration of skilled craftsmanship. Fashion trends have at many times followed artistic trends, and the bond between the visual arts and fashion design during the Art Nouveau period, for example, is undeniable.

In 2016, Fashion Weeks are really there for the consumer. The rise of global capitalism and the establishment of the assembly line have made fashion available to the masses. Styles and brand names serve to convey social status. For the first time ever, the traditional catwalks of the past, in where it was and still is about showcasing a season not yet experienced is no longer there. Burberry’s collection at London Fashion Week,  will be on-line straight after the catwalk. So for me, it is clear that fashion is for the consumer, and the skilled craftsmanship is secondary.

Bring Back Skilled Craftsmanship In Fashion Weeks

There are some truly brilliant minds that have graced the world of fashion and made it their own art form. McQueen has been the greatest of these, but he killed himself. Just like the brand Apple, once the creator is gone, no one one can replace the two. So who are our future, skilled craftsman’s during these up and coming fashion weeks? Who are the designers, prepared to take the risk and showcase collections, that will leave us with our jaws dropping? Is there a market for this?


I have some amazing fabrics, clothing and accessories  I have found in charity shops and collected over the years. I thank my upbringing for this.  I have been travelling for twenty years that also demonstrates, skilled craftsmanship. I just flew back from Bali for three weeks, and this what got me inspired to talk about skilled craftsmanship. As a social media influencer, the only way that I can inspire you to bring back and support skilled designers, is very simple.

Showcase the very essence of what Fashion Weeks have so lost. Please, buy, wear and support skilled craftsmanship.

Handmade Crochet Purse

I found this in Bali, it is gorgeous and was made by hand. The skill to create this was one of the reasons it caught my eye.  I am not a lover of bags, but when I saw this, it inspired me to support the cause. To bring back the craftsmanship within fashion weeks. Not to just showcase brands that we all know.

Bali coin metal bespoke fabric purse bag gracie opulanza (4)

Photo’s by Gracie Opulanza

Bali coin metal bespoke fabric purse bag gracie opulanza (5) Bali coin metal bespoke fabric purse bag gracie opulanza (9)

Monique Collignon – Haute Couture

Monique gave me this military inspired suit, made out of 100% plastic. Listen to the interview to find out her reasons for being the only fashion designer. Who through her innovative skilled craftsmanship. She is not prepared to compromise her work regarding every day disposable fashion.

South Sea Pearl

I am a lover of pearls and in Bali, I found this gold and silver handcrafted ring. Once again, the buying experience was exciting, because the designer themselves showcase high quality craftsmanship. In talking to them, I could feel their passion for art, creativity and not just selling for the sake of money. That is what skilled craftsmanship is all about and what we have lost during fashion weeks.

Bali silver gems gracie opulanza pearls gold (7)

As the female voice for menswear, I wear peacock feathers when I can. The feathers I am wearing take hours  to create. The intricate skill of handmade craftsmanship clearly being displayed here. You can read more about it here. The creator was an amazing ex female fashion model, who chose to give it up. The lifestyle was killing her literally. So she channeled that skill and creates feather hair extension for customers all around the world. This is my passion to support skilled designers who too have a passion to showcase craftsmanship through me  by wearing these creations at Fashion Weeks.

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