Interview with Fashion Designer Daniel Vosovic of Fashion Inside Out + Book Giveaway

Craft & Design

Fashion Inside Out: Daniel V’s Guide to How Style Happens from Inspiration to Runway and Beyond by Daniel Vosovic
Pre-Order on Amazon ($19.77, available Oct 28th)
Daniel Vosovic’s Web Site
Daniel Vosovic’s Project Runway Blog

I think most of you know by now how much of a Project Runway junkie I am. My favorite season has to be Season 2, since that’s how I’ve come to know over the years Diana Eng and Chloe Dao. Now, I am extra excited to get a chance to talk to another Project Runway Season 2 alum, fashion designer Daniel Vosovic. Daniel’s got a brand new fashion book due out next Tuesday, October 28th aptly titled, Fashion Inside Out: Daniel V’s Guide to How Style Happens from Inspiration to Runway and Beyond. First off, the book is beautifully designed with gorgeous photography. Yet, it’s more than just a book to look through — it’s really a comprehensive guide on how to create your own fashions — from inspiration and design, to the technical process of pattern-making and sewing, and finally selling your work to a client and taking it down the runway. Interspersed in the book are Q&A’s from industry professionals too. I love the many tips that Daniel adds throughout the book from drawing croquis to great pressing techniques for various fabrics. My favorite section if I had to choose, is “The Execution: Creating a Garment” where he discusses the “rub-off” technique — a way to create patterns for your garment with out having to start from scratch. You’ll also learn a lot about draping, something I’ve been interested in knowing more about for a long time. I could go on and on about this book but you’ll just need to see it for yourself! There’s really never been such a fashion design book like this before. It’s an inspirational guide + reference book that will help any crafty fashionista take their design and sewing skills to the next level.
One lucky CRAFT reader will get a copy of Daniel’s new book! Just leave a comment to this post and tell us why you need this book. Please make sure your email address is in the email form field (not comment body) so we can contact you if you win. All comments will be closed by Noon PST on Saturday, October 25th. The lucky winners will be announced on Sunday evening on the CRAFT blog. Good luck!
Now, let’s find out more about Daniel Vosovic in our CRAFT interview!
Natalie: Your new book, Fashion Inside Out, is one of the most comprehensive books on the fashion design process I’ve ever read. What was the inspiration behind writing it?
Daniel: A huge inspiration was the fact that I had never seen anything else like it on bookshelves… anywhere. Having gone through years of structured design education, I was taught many things by many different designers and professors, but a lot of my education focused more on technique, rather than how to harness an actual idea and growing it from there. Without getting too philosophical, I wanted to provoke people into creating something solely from an idea’s conception, or at least showing them how I do it.
Natalie: How do you find inspiration before you design a collection?
Daniel: I have to sort of turn a visual and mental valve in my head on and off. I wish I could wander around month after month simply spitting ideas out left and right, or scribbling in my notebook, but eventually I reach a time in the design process where I need to “shut it off” and focus on moving the design forward.
Natalie: If you could narrow it down to two, what in your opinion are the key sewing or production techniques that every aspiring designer should know?
Daniel: Knowing how to alter/check your own patterns for necessary alterations: armhole ease, cap adjustment, twisting seams, etc. Also, knowing how to use a seam ripper properly – I couldn’t live without mine when I first began haha!
Natalie: How would you describe your experience being on Project Runway?
Daniel: Exhausting but fruitful. If anything, at least I can sit down 30 years from now and have amazing memories documented of a very intense experience in my life.
Natalie: Are there any new or upcoming projects you are working on that you can share with us?
Daniel: Aside from working on this book since June 2007 and heading out on a national book tour, launching a successful clothing line for over 150 NYLO Hotels that consists of sleek men’s and women’s separates as well as a handbag & luggage line, the continued groundwork of my own label (launching soon!), the occasional dress for young Hollywood, collaborating with different TV shows like Lipstick Jungle, weekly blogs on and of course the obligatory dress for a family member or friend in need… no, that’s about it. :)
I’m just anxious to get back into a design room and get this book in your hands already!
And now, Daniel answers questions from CRAFT readers:
Kristine: What did you find was the most difficult part of marketing yourself and your work?
Daniel: Self-promotion is undoubtedly a needed part of being a designer in today’s industry. Yes, there are those designers who are more in the mainstream’s eye, but even those behind the scenes must exude confidence in their work at all times. It is hard to always be happy or supportive of ALL of your work, but personally, I’ve tried to choose an array of projects that I love and feel proud to support, showcasing finished products that I know represent me as a designer.
Celiana: Are there any past trends making a comeback now that you hate (or don’t particularly love?) When that happens, how do you bring yourself to incorporate that trend into your designs if the trend itself does not really inspire you?
Daniel: My ultimate hatred in street wear comes in the form of cut-off tights, ESPECIALLY when they’re worn as pants with just a top thrown on. 1) Most women would (or shouldn’t) wear garments that cut them off at the calf, which usually makes them look quite stumpy 2) Most women wouldn’t go out of the house in just a pair of panties, which essentially is what all of us have to look at when a girl is walking in front of us because there is no support for her derriere! Great – now I’m getting all heated!
Fontgoddess: What are your thoughts on balancing the creative [DIY] with the curatorial [choosing pieces made/designed by others] aspects of fashion? How do you think they mesh for a person interested in creating their own style and fashion in their personal wardrobe?
Daniel: Great question. My personal style consists of low and high-end pieces: t-shirts from Uniqlo and jackets from Marc Jacobs, and I think that’s how more and more people today are dressing. Even the die-hard fashionistas rarely wear one designer head to toe, day after day, and instead opt to mix-n-match to make their look a bit more personal. If you’re having trouble finding, say a skirt with some personality to it for the price you want to pay, than opt to give it a try on your own sewing machine, and I guarantee that it will make those 2-year old shoes you can’t afford to upgrade just yet, look a lot more special; What’s the point of designing something if it’s not going to be new or improved upon?
Fontgoddess: High fashion frequently seems either unattainable or impractical for much of the population. How do you, as a fashion designer, balance the fantastical fashion that inspires and the practical fashion that a person can wear in their daily life? How do you see others in your industry dealing with that balance?
Daniel: It’s definitely an important balance in a designer’s career: balancing aspirational designs with those that can be worn on a regular basis. This becomes logistically easier as a designer’s collection grows, as they’re able to offer a wider range of designs to better encapsulate all of their client’s needs. Also, secondary lines or capsule collections have become huge cash cows for designers, allowing them to reach a much larger demographic while still keeping the integrity of their main collection. However, that being said, there is definitely a time and place when that happens. For where I am in my own career, I don’t have the capabilities, or the desire, to provide something for everyone. A designer must know their strengths and capitalize on them, get the designs out there and hopefully people will find them soon enough. One doesn’t go to the GAP for a cocktail dress the same way most people don’t go to Vuitton for undershirts.

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