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Filipino Hollywood designer Gathercole celebrates 30 years of glitz and glamour in Sydney

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Jinky Marsh
Jinky Trijo Marsh is an actor (stage, screen and voice), media producer, radio presenter and vocalist. She is also a registered dental health practitioner and active community oral health educator. Contact Jinky via her website, https://www.jinkymarsh.com.
Rocky Gathercole
Rocky Gathercole

To celebrate the impressively successful three decades in the fashion industry, Filipino avant-garde designer Rocky Gathercole will enthuse Sydney anew with his extraordinary creations at the joint event Miss World Australia State Final and the Very Rocky Gathercole Show in Sydney on 7 July 2019 at the Star Event Centre.

Gathercole’s awe-inspiring pieces initially displayed in Dubai fashion runway paved ways to fashion showcase invitations from Miami to New York.

He later opened his own shop in Los Angeles apart from his atelier in Quezon City. Hollywood A-list celebrities who became bearers of his stunning pieces included JLo, Nicki Minaj, Sia and Katy Perry. 

However, prior to such glamour and glittering career, Gathercole continually embraces his humble beginnings and incredibly rough start in life at a very young age. He had to run away from home with physical bruises and deep despair due to identity crisis.  

He struggled to find good shelter out in the streets and under a bridge as well as to earn minimal income through helping a pushcart vendor. Notwithstanding his limited secondary education, Gathercole pursued a life in Saudi Arabia where he met his employer who eventually helped him in fulfilling his dream to be an avant-garde designer. 

Studio 10’s interview of Rocky Gathercole on 3 July 2019

The Philippine Times (PT) is pleased to share the insights of both Gathercole (RG) and his fashion show producer, Marites Novis (MN) of MFN Productions on the forthcoming event. 

PT: What valuable message can you impart to youngsters who are privileged and underprivileged?

RG: If there is one valuable message that I wish the youngsters will take in is that their circumstances right now, no matter how dark or difficult it is, is not their last destination. Failure is not final for dreamers who are passionate, and being privileged does not measure one’s success.

We all travel on different journeys, heading different paths and aiming for different goals. It is important that we know never to compare our track records with others and just to keep going and going until our goals are achieved.

RGathercole children models at Triple H 100.1FM Generation Hope promotion

PT: What are other dreams that you still wish to fulfill after 30 years of success in fashion designing?

RG: My dream, aside from extending a wider grasp in the fashion world for my avant-garde collection, is for people to realize that fashion is an extension of one’s self. Many out there are too scared to start their own fashion line, afraid that the people may not like their pieces.

If I could, I’d like to break that mindset. I would like to inspire other fashion designers in the making to let out their fashion desire not (only) for the sake of impressing the greater majority but most especially for achieving that freedom of expressing who they are in the form of their collections.

Rocky Gathercole creation
Rocky Gathercole creation
Rocky Gathercole with MFN Productions producer Marites Novis
Rocky Gathercole with MFN Productions producer Marites Novis

PT: You combine passion and compassion in your works. This year’s joint event of Miss World 2019 New South Wales Finals and The Very Rocky Gathercole Collection is earmarked to support another charity organisation. Which one is it and why did you choose it?

MN: Since I became a producer of shows, I fully dedicate my help and support to Destiny Rescue. Destiny Rescue is an internationally-recognised Christian non-profit organisation dedicated to rescuing children trapped in the sex trade. Currently operating its various programs in Thailand, Cambodia, the Philippines and India, its offices are in three donor nations: United States, Australia and New Zealand.  

It is our mission by heart to become a bridge in continuously transforming the fashion world into a platform of compassion for others.  Through these shows, we are able to reach the children in need not only of food and/or protection but also recognition of budding talent and potential that lives within them.

PT: As a producer, what motivated you to work with Rocky? 

MN: There are several reasons why I’m drawn to Rocky Gathercole. First. he’s a fellow Filipino. I couldn’t help but feel a huge ounce of pride knowing that a fellow Filipino is out there, conquering the fashion scene with his avant-garde collection.  Way back in 2016, when I messaged him on facebook inviting him for a show. I was slightly taken aback with his quick response, considering how busy he was at that time finishing his collection somewhere in the US.

From then on, we just clicked. I adore his collection so much, but more than anything, I adore his humility most. He’s the kind of celebrity designer who doesn’t accept VIP treatment. Everyone around him is a family and despite being successful in his craft, he never forgets to thank everyone who’s helped him and look back to where it all started – to our dear country, the Philippines.

PT: Rocky presented an impressive collection in last year’s Rock the Runway Australia. What is installed for attendees and spectators at this July 2019 show?

MN: Rocky Gathercole, along with the whole team of MFN Productions and LW Phoenix, promises you a night of nothing but glamour, magic and extravagance through a theatrical stance, happening first time in the Australian fashion scene. This wouldn’t be a typical fashion show, for what’s in stored for our audiences are all new to the eyes and foreign to the feels. So we advise that you see our show and ready your hearts for R Gathercole’s collection, for it will surely take your breaths away!

Prior to the fashion show and Miss World Australia NSW State Final on July 7, fashion enthusiasts can enjoy the night on the ‘Meet and Dance with the very RGathercole and the Models’ on 4 July 2019 at Parramatta RSL from 6 pm. For event enquiries, contact Marites Novis at 0468 614 429 or via email at marites@lwphoenix.com.au. 

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