Well Happy St. Patrick's Day y'all! I hope every one's been enjoying the day so far!
Personally, I'm still trying to recuperate with this time change thing. Losing an hour's sleep has been hard on me lol....
Anyhoo, I had enough energy to feature a local designer by giving you an interview! I randomly found Dianne from Di Designs online. I love connecting with designers in general, but it's great to connect with talent from my city. Dianne is a custom clothing & costume designer who not only does alterations, but also offers sewing classes. Even though it takes time, she takes pride in drafting the pattern when designing clothing for a person. It allows her to get a better fitting piece that is made just for you. Now, I was excited to learn that Dianne can rock a tutu & a corset - love that! I've already got my faves from her 2010 collection, so check out my faves at the end of the piece.
What prompted you to become a designer and how long have been designing?
I guess what prompted me to start designing clothing and costumes was a passion for sewing and the creative elements involved in it. All of it started when I sewed my first pillow, it was simple and made using old denim jeans, from there it started to expand and spiral into bigger projects to challenge myself. I find sewing to be relaxing and an excellent outlet for my creative nature. It is something I can lose hours doing too.
Where do you pull your inspiration from when designing & are you ever uninspired?
Inspiration can come from a feeling or an idea that I think would look really cool in reality. Colour pallets I use tend to be close to what I see around me. If I really like the colours of a sunset or an evening sky or the grass in a field I’ll take out a camera and capture it for reference for later on. Sometimes I just uninspired and won’t sew anything for weeks. It works on a cycle of ups and downs a lot of the time.
How would you describe your own personal style and how would you say it is reflected in your clothing?
I dress fairly casual on a daily basis, just the basic jeans and t-shirt usually, nothing special at all. Looking at me for the first time you wouldn’t know I sew and design anything. I do occasionally wear tutus randomly or I’ll throw a corset on over a t-shirt just because I can.
Now I've done a bit of research and have noticed that you have a background in making costumes - can you tell me a bit about that?
The costuming came about as a one time gig with Stage West Calgary in 2004. Then I found a program at Mount Royal College (University) that had a course where you could do some sewing. There I learned the fundamentals of the costume industry, the procedures and policies. Since graduating in 2006 I continue to work at Stage West Calgary as a seamstress as well as some community theatres in Calgary. The part that I find most interesting about costuming is the historical research and the history associated with it. I like taking something from history and making a modern twist of it.
Do you plan on getting involved in any fashion shows for 2010?
I’m still trying to plan what events I’ll be doing for 2010. Coming up is a photo shoot collaborative on the March 13th and I’ll have a booth at Con-Version 26 in October. Also there are a couple other events in Calgary that I hope to get involved in. The rest of the year is still open. I am hoping to participate in Alberta Fashion week in 2011. If you hear of anything let me know. Also I’ll be doing up the outfits for my group of friends and myself who are all participating in the Underwear Affair.
I like to ask this question to Calgary designers. Do you find that it has been difficult to break into the fashion industry while living in this city?
Yes and no. I’m working to develop a niche for custom clothing and one of a time outfits for the individual. I do find it hard to get out there and self promote my works at the moment, but that also might mean I just haven’t been doing enough stuff yet. I’ve found that there are few people out there that will draft and design the outfit specifically for the person. A lot of the work I do get is word of mouth.
What would you say has been your biggest accomplishment as a designer?
My first response would be that I’ve finally started to believe in myself and have the confidence now to continue to design. The second would be the willingness to experiment and continue learning new techniques to better improve my works.
Looking ahead, where would you like to see yourself 5yrs. from now?
I would hope to have a studio outside of my house and to be working full time at the design and building side of Di Designs.
Now this question is a little random, but what item would you say that you can't live without?
Coffee, my phone and a napkin and pen, oh and sunglasses; these things are always within reach.
What's your favourite thing to do on a Sunday afternoon?
Take my dog for a walk, take some pictures of random stuff and sometimes draft out patterns.
Do you have any advice for designers starting out?
Believe in yourself. Do what makes you happy (this goes for whatever career you choose in life). Take some chances and risks. Have fun.
One of the things that I like about Dianne, is that she loves to get feedback from her customer's.
One of her previous Facebook Fan page posts was "I have a bunch of lace and an assortment of fabrics. Ideas anyone?"
So visit her site at http://didesigns.ca/
If you wanna send some feedback her way, feel free to send her an email to:
Honestly, Dianne loves to hear from people whether it is about how the site can be improved,
suggestions for designs, anything really......
Oh and there are two more ways to connect with Di Designs - Model Mayhem & Model Republic
FYI peeps - this dress is my ultimate fave - but I am loving the "tutu" photo as well:)
Before I head off for the night, I have to thank y'all again for entering the contest that I have going on. There's been a great deal of promotion and I truly appreciate it!!!
Click HERE to see what's up for grabs!