We sat down with student Gita Wijaya earlier this week. Here’s what we learned about this charming fashion scholar, who came all the way from Indonesia to be with us.

CFD:     Where are you from originally?

GM:     I’m originally from Padang and then Pekanbaru [a city in the province of Riau on the island of Sumatra]. In 2009 there was a big earthquake in Padang, so my family moved. My mother was afraid of more quakes in the future and the possibility of tsunamis. [Pekanbaru is farther inland.]

CFD:     When did you become interested in fashion?

GM:     Since my second year of high school.

CFD:     Did your school offer fashion or sewing courses?

GM:     No, none at all. I always liked clothes and tried to figure out how they were made. I bought a small sewing machine and started making little bags.

CFD:     Did you come straight here after high school?

GM:     No, I spent two years in Perth, Australia.

CFD:     Did you study fashion there?

GM:     No, business, accounting and economics.

CFD:     Wow, so how did you end up studying fashion at Cañada?

GM:     I Googled “fashion design” and found Cañada College. I had been to the area before to visit my brother, who went to San Jose State. My mother really loves nature, so my family also went to [places like] Yosemite and Yellowstone Park. I liked the U.S.

CFD:     Is this your first semester at Cañada?

GM:     Yes, I started this spring. I’m taking Flat Pattern and Beginning Construction. Also Introduction to the Fashion Industry.

CFD:     What do you think so far?

GM:     I love it! I’ve learned a lot!

CFD:     Like what?

GM:     [Re: Intro to Fashion:] I like to see the factories. There are a lot of professions in fashion! [Re: Beginning Construction:] How to make facings and do seam finishes. My vest is quite good, I think.

CFD:     What are your plans for the future?

GM:     I plan to transfer after a year and get my bachelor’s [degree].

CFD:     Where do you think you’ll do that?

GM:     San Francisco State, Cal State Sacramento or Cal State Long Beach.

CFD:     And then?

GM:     I want to make clothes. I love long dresses, especially wedding dresses. Or I might do costumes.

CFD:     Do you have a favorite period?

GM:     Victorian. I also like traditional Korean design. There are a lot of different styles. My final project for Flat Pattern is inspired by the Korean hanbok. There is no zipper or buttons, only ribbon [to secure it to the body].

Example of a traditional Korean hanbok.

CFD:     What do you find most inspiring about fashion so far?

GM:     “Techniques with the hands. I love it!”