Friday, April 1, 2011

Fa-brik\ b : underlying structure

Many years ago in Paris while shopping Première VisionI found myself next to an editor I recognized from New York. She was asking questions about the new fabrics being presented and I wondered what she was doing there. I introduced myself and learned that she was the textile fashion editor for WWD and a who’s who in the textile world. Everyone from couture mills like Jakob Schlaepfer and Abraham to Gentili Mosconi knew her and gushed at the mere mention of her name. From that day on, our mutual interest in fabrics and design turned into a friendship.

Daniela has a discerning style that is never forced or trendy. Each time we met, the detail on a coat or the tailoring of a pant left me wondering, where she got that. Sometimes they were one-offs she found shopping a friend's sample sale. Others items like a vintage YSL baseball jacket in the most gorgeous mohair/wool blend were from her mother’s closet. No matter the designer, it never reflected them, but rather her.

Many years later I shared with Daniela that I was planning on starting my own collection. Her enthusiasm and support were priceless. She asked questions that helped me understand what Dallin Chase was supposed to be and wove her way into what has become the underlying structure of what Dallin Chase is. We were at Bergdorf Goodman and she turned to me and said “what you are describing is comfort without looking casual”. The idea that the dresses I wanted to create would be comfortable but not casual crystallized and became the cornerstone of what I set out to do with my collection. Sure enough the best selling dress in my first collection was the “Dani”, a color blocked jersey dress with pockets and a triangle bodice. 

Since then, Daniela has moved on to work for many of the most impressive creators in New York fashion: DVF, Ralph Rucci, Isaac Mizrahi and now, Narciso Rodriguez. Contributing her knowledge of fabric and design in a way other than as a journalist has been exciting to see. Even with the change in career, her style is consistent. She plays with classic proportions that she tailors to match the season or current look and makes it her own. Signatures from the pulled back chignon and her piercing green eyes to the antique three diamond ring on her right hand seem to outdo any of the impeccable coats that top her shoulders in the winter. Daniela understands who she is and who she wants to be and with that, has inspired in me the woman I want to design for. 

Daniela visiting the Dallin Chase showroom to share some vintage fabric swatches and inspiration for next season.  Sweater, Dallin Chase 2010; necklace, J-crew

Daniela's Cuban grandmother's three diamond right hand ring

swatches from Daniela's archive from the last 15 years

more swatches

Daniela's mother's vintage Gucci bag, vintage embroidered beaded evening purse, vintage antique tortoise monogram card holder.

beautiful colors and embroidery, mixed with the gold & natural cut turquoise stones

vintage chain mail coin purse with Daniela's initals

Daniela shares an old National Geographic tear

Daniela's Barney's Coop sunglasses rest atop glittery, sparkling fabrics and a sequin spangled scarf by Jakob Schlaepfer.

Daniela's menswear military coat and Chloe purse


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