In my post about Fashion Week Downtown last month, I had mentioned that designer Brian David and I were planning a collaboration. Well, I'm so excited to say that is is that much anticipated collaboration! Earlier this month I had the wonderful opportunity sit down and chat with Brian about his work, as well as work with models April, Cheryl, Joanna, and Malori who modeled Brian's gorgeous clothing.
The entire set consisted of fifteen different designs ranging from couture gowns to beautiful suits. Though I have my top four favorites shown throughout this article, in case you missed it, I now actually have a new section at the top of my page titled "PORTFOLO", which when you drop down and click Brian's name, will take you to the rest of his beautiful designs! (See I did make good on that New Year's Resolution to focus more on personal photography projects--I forgot how much I enjoyed Photoshop!)
About the Designer
Like I said at the beginning of this post, I actually had the chance to sit down with Brian and interview him about his work, inspirations, and some of his future plans. I also got to pick his brain about his thought on ways to strengthen the fashion community here in Pittsburgh, all while photographing his beautiful gowns in his Venetia home. Before I dive into the interview though, I just want to take this chance to say along with his impeccable craftsmanship of his gowns and extreme talent with fashion design, my favorite part of working with Brian was he was incredibly down to earth. Which made him an absolute blast to work with for both me and the models!
Bree Fesh: So firstly, are you originally from Pittsburgh and if not where are you from originally and how did you end up here?
Brian David: I am from the Pittsburgh area. I was actually born and raised here in Venetia, PA!
BF: When did you start to take an interest in fashion design and what made you take interest in it?
BD: Clothing design is something I’ve always had an interest in. I’ve always known that this is what I wanted to do. As a small child, the first time I saw my mom sew a button on to a shirt, I took an interest in making clothing. Like I said I just always knew!
BF: Did you attend school for fashion design, if so where?
BD: I am actually self taught, but I give so much credit to my boss Marianne Krostyne. She owns a Costume studio located in North Shore called Krostyne Studio. There we make costumes for brodway shows, Caribbean cruises etc.. My job there is to create 2D renderings and turn them into the 3d product. What happens is we make bid for the designer, and if approved designers send us the fabrics and necessities needed to create the product.
BF: Did you work under any other designers before working on your own?
BD: No, I actually got my start making garments for people in high school for prom. By my senior year I had 4 dresses made and four alterations. I’ve now even had two of those girls come back and have me make their wedding gowns.
BF: Since your designs are so unique, what designers are some of your biggest inspirations?
BD: I get a lot of inspiration from old hollywood. I just love the classy and sophisticated looks of the Golden Age in Hollywood. Generally I don’t watch what other designers are doing because I feel it hurts the creative process. I want my designs to look like my designs. I wouldn’t want some one to tell me my work looked like any other designers because that’s what makes my garments stand out. This being said, a lot of my inspiration actually comes from the fabrics I work with. Much like how Michelangelo looked at sculpting is how I look at designing clothing, I will just see the fabric and just instantly know what it sound be, it’s just my job to turn it into that particular garment.
BF: Do you have a favorite fabric to work with?
BD: No, not really. That's just because they all have their pros and cons. Every fabric is unique to itself.
BF: What do you find to be the most challenging part of designing clothes?
BD: Drag queens. *laughs* But in all seriousness, the biggest challenge for me is getting everything someone wants in a garment but keeping it in the clients price range. Simply because a garment is only worth as much as the client is willing to pay for it.
BF: Where do you see yourself five years from now and where would you like to be?
BD: Well my big ultimate goal is to show at NYFW, but on a smaller scale, in 5 years I would like to be financially independent and not have to rely on my 9-5 job. I would love just to be able to work from home on designing my garments.
BF: How do you see the fashion industry growing in Pittsburgh and what would you like to see more of?
BD: I’d like to see the return of Pittsburgh Fashion Week or a repeat of Fashion Week Downtown. Mainly because it brings more exposure to the community and would make us more notable. There are just so many incrediblytalented designers here, but I feel like they are more of a hidden gem in Pittsburgh.
BF: What is the best piece of advice that you can give to fashion designers just starting out?
BD: Get organized. Lack of organization will be anybody's down fall. And don’t let people push you around. Know your plan, go in with that plan of attack, and don’t waver from it.
So to my fellow members of the Pittsburgh fashion community, what would you like to see more of? Tell me about it in the comments below! Also, if you'd like to get in touch with Brian about any of his dresses from this article or my portfolio, you can reach him on both Instagram and Facebook. You can also see more of his work on YouTube.