Inspiring design


The visual and textual appeal created through the collaboration of designer Daniel Vosovic and photographer Michael Turek is apparent on every page of "Fashion Inside Out: Daniel V’s Guide to How Style Happens from Inspiration to Runway & Beyond." From the first touch of the soft, felt cover to the stylistically, scripted signature on the last page, the reader experiences inspiring images through form, color and language. Vosovic’s narration is supported by Turek’s visual story, as they explain how a garment moves through the design process from the moment of inspiration to the hands of the consumer.

The first step in the design process is finding inspiration. Vosovic explains that he carries his camera everywhere he goes just in case he sees something he may use in a design. Snapping photographs of inspiring images helps a designer develop a strong vision. He explains that every designer must be able to explain his point of view by answering the following questions: “What is your design aesthetic? Who do you design for?” Vosovic designs for a woman who thinks “fashion is meant to be fun, uninhibited, and provocative.”

His point of view is apparent in the color, shape and movement of the clothing photographed throughout the book, specifically in the dress he creates for his best friend Anna’s birthday. Vosovic explains how his inspiration and collaboration with Anna culminates in a gorgeous green dress. Turning inspiration into a sketch and eventually a wearable piece of clothing is a time consuming process. In an interview with Tim Gunn, Gunn explains “The first thing is, you need to make something. You can’t just sit around thinking about it. You have to actually experience the making process.”

Vosovic spends a significant amount of time explaining the many stages of making a garment: sketching, draping, patternmaking and sewing. He includes important questions that every designer must ask of the beginning stages of a flat: “How is it made? How does one get into it? How does it look from the back?” The detailed, step by step instructions of how to draw a croquis or drape a mannequin may not be of interest to all readers; however, they are helpful to the future fashion designer. The instructions are presented along with pictures to animate each process.

Once a garment is complete, Vosovic explains that image counts; a design must be worn by the right model, styled appropriately and photographed well, even before it appears on the runway and eventually in a store window. His interviews with journalists, stylists, models and photographers highlight the many hands that are involved in selling a design to buyers and consumers. For a reader wishing to find a career in the fashion industry, Vosovic shows that there are plenty of options beyond being a designer.

Vosovic’s story is particularly inspiring for designers in Cleveland because, as a native of Michigan, he was not born in a fashion capital, yet he still found inspiration in the people and images around him. Vosovic explains, “Designers can be inspired by what’s right in front of them: their daily routines, the tasks at hand, the people with whom they interact.” Inspiration culminates in many forms: a new way of wearing an old dress or a new layout to your house. Vosovic wants people to train their eyes to see inspiration everywhere. With spring approaching, take his advice and walk around Cleveland with a camera. Snap pictures of the sky as a storm rolls over Lake Erie or of the golden light gleaming off of the buildings against the black of the night sky as you drive downtown; you’ll be surprised at how inspiring Cleveland can be.

Friday, May 22, 2009