Jan 28 2020. view 395
Today the Buzz I feature a Very talented personality with her own style. Raffealla is known for her very uncommon shoots and very creative fashion scene has been setting trends for years. I speak to Raffealla about everything that’s close to her and so much more.
Full name – Jefni Mary Raffealla Fernando
Hometown - Kandana
Status – Married
Birthday - 03.10.1990
Passions – Photography, Painting, Rapping, singing, hip-hop dancing and reading
Favourite colour - Black, white & pink
What made you get into photography?
I always had the love for photography. Even in school I was in the photography society, took part in various photography competitions and exhibitions as well. I started my photography career in year 2011. Even the photographs I took in school my friends used to say ‘Raffealla takes really nice photographs and she makes us look different’. I think make over styling and photography was my thing since then.
You also work in fashion. How did you get into it?
Fashion designing is all I wanted to do since I started dreaming about a caree. 2020 marks my 13th year as a fashion designer and a stylist. Joining the field of fashion has being my only dream, I started educating myself at a very young age where I was graduated before I was even 20 years old. My grandmother inspired me a lot because she was a fashionista herself and she has travelled the world. That really made me very interested to get in to fashion designing.
Who are you inspired by?
I would say my grandmother. She is one of the most gorgeous and strong human beings I’ve ever come across. I learnt so much from her. Unfortunately she is no more, but I know she is up there watching over me and still inspiring me to do better in life.
Who has been your biggest support in your life in making all what you do a reality?
My parents are my support system. From the start they trusted me, motivated me and stood right behind me for everything and anything I did and do. I started at a very young age with my design and photography career. Not even once did they question me about if I’m sure about what I am doing. They trusted me more than I trusted myself.
I started as an art kid at the age of 13 and I had my solo art exhibition. I was exposed to the media at a very young age too. They pushed me to do better as an artist to a point where I still have one of my award winning paintings at the Japanese national art gallery. That was my start and then they supported me with my education as a designer and also as a photographer. I don’t have enough words to say all that they have done for me, so I will keep it short.
I have a new addition to my support system - that is my husband, my pillar of strength. Everyone who know me knows how supportive he is for all that I do. I’m blessed to have such an amazing family who support me.
You have been producing the Celebrity Calendar for the past 8 years. What made you get into this? How have the past 8 years been?
Well, I travel a lot and I work internationally as well. So every time I come across amazing shoots and calendars I used to think, why can’t we do something like this in Sri Lanka? Why can’t we really push our bar to do some creative work? That’s when I felt like I want to do this celebrity calendar. I started in the year 2013 and by now we have come a very long way marking our 8th year in 2020.
I master makeover styling and photography. It’s something very new to Sri Lanka. When I started, many had a doubt about my style, but with time they started accepting the change and I’m happy about it.
This calendar is not for sale. I purely do this out of passion, love for the art and industry, the calendar is a humble and innocent start from my end to push the bars higher for the betterment of the industry.
Our industry is small, opportunities are less. All we have are talented artists and pure talent which are not used properly for many projects. Through my calendar I want to show variation, all areas we can explore as artists, and show an unseen image of all our beautiful artists.
Since 2018 we are distributing our calendars worldwide to countries like India, Singapore, France, Italy, Korea, London and Maldives to agencies, companies and casting agents and some of our celebrities were able to bag some amazing opportunities too and I think it was definitely a win and start for the RFCC too.
Are you working on any fashion line currently?
I have 3 fashion lines at the moment, RAFFEALLA is my exclusive evening wear line , the bridal company by RAFFEALLA is my bridal line and my brand new label is MERMAIDISH a funky ready to wear line and currently getting busy with my new clothing line.
What’s the most interesting thing about you that one wouldn’t learn from your resume alone?
Well, I really don’t know. Maybe developing concepts , rapping and cooking meat without tasting.
Tell me about your school life?
I studied at St Bridget’s Convent. I had a very colourful school life and I was a very active kid in school. I was in many clubs and societies like the drama team, home science society, photography society, nature club, health club, debate team to name a few. I was a very arty kid in school too and during my art exhibition, everyone called me the art kid and I remember having a logo in school for all my creative work. I was super active in the stage play and drama scene too. I even have a few awards as the best actress.
What do you think about this local entertainment industry?
I wouldn’t be negative about it. I personally feel it’s growing and it has grown and developed for the last few years too. We need people who think differently, and who like to change this monotonous pattern. Then I feel that we will move forward. As I mentioned before, the industry is really small with very less opportunities and there is a lack of creativity too, but we can be happy because it’s growing.
How would you describe your personal Fashion statement?
It’s always comfortable, funky and chic.
What would you say is the biggest advantage / disadvantage the youth face today in your opinion?
The advantage is that everything can be found very easily, and the disadvantage is also that everything can be found so easily that the “we need to work hard” thought gets away from them.
If you were given three wishes, what would you wish for?
If there was no electricity for a year anywhere in the world, where would you be?
At the sunset beach in Hawaii .
If animals could talk, which would be the rudest?
I think the monkeys :D
If you could change one awful event in world history, what would it be and why?
I’ll keep it simple - maybe Adam from eating the apple.
On the Spot
Roshan Ranawana / Hemal Ranasinghe. Your personal favourite ?
I love both the boys. But Roshan is like my big brother and he is one of my favourite human beings, and Hemal is one of my oldest friends in the industry. I like working with him.
Is it quality or quantity for you? Explain?
Always quality. I’ll give you an example. When we shoot, working really hard for days and days planning and prepping and at the end of the day, we only work hard for one photograph, not 10 photos.
What do you say is the biggest issue that the youth faces today in Sri Lanka?
Out of all the issues I would say Depression and anxiety. They face a lot of problems with their mental health. Mental health awareness is very important. The youth nowadays have most of the things they need but happiness and good mental health is one of the silent battles they go through.
Out of your 12 months of photoshoot - what’s your personal favorite?
Honestly, I love them all. This year is tough, but all the shoots came out so well.
In 40 years what will people be nostalgic for?
It could be nature, and time spent under trees.
What inanimate object do you wish you could eliminate from existence?
What are some things that are okay to do occasionally but definitely not okay to do every day?
For me wine lol
What is the weirdest thing you have seen in someone else’s home?
It was an abstract painting a white canvas with one red dot. I found it a bit weird.
Who do you know that really reminds you of a character in a TV show or movie?
Can I pick from a cartoon? My friend Sashi reminds me of Garfield :D
What is the most embarrassing thing you have ever worn?
Bathroom slippers to one of my best friend’s weddings. I was at the salon, went to wash room and I went to the hotel in my bathroom slippers. It was really embarrassing but made my life easier to dance and enjoy the night.