Here is my review of a seriously cool book.
Daniel Vosovic’s Fashion Inside Out. Subtitled Daniel V’s Guide to How Style Happens from Inspiration to Runway and Beyond.
Daniel Vosovic is best known as the runner up from Project Runway season 2. He won the most challenges that season and presented a beautiful fashion week collection but missed out on the win to fellow contestant Chloe Dao.
This book isn’t a reflection on that time in his life but a thought-provoking investigation into fashion and style, from concept to reality. There are no real chapters but instead the book is divided into sections tracing this arc, and each division contains multiple passages, photo stories and interviews.
I won’t take you through each division or section one by one; I think it’s best if I cover the content in a slightly different way.
There are two main ways to be drawn into this book. If you’re interested in both, all the better!
If you are a sewist you’re most likely going to be drawn to the sewing and design topics covered in the books.
Daniel has written passages on:
- Sketching and using a croquis to convey your design and say something about the woman wearing it.
- Swatching for maximum benefit.
- A simple introduction to the mechanics of draping straight onto a dressmaking form.
- Rubbing off existing garments to make template patterns for adapting
There is also a handy list of sewing tips from the chief patternmaker of DvF, which aren’t all obvious things you’ve heard a thousand times over.
For those of you who have an interest more specifically in the fashion industry there are excellent sections focused on the associated businesses of fashion such as buying and production processes, but also on modelling, model management and stylists.
The discussion touches on the methods used to promote a brand and designs; the influence of fashion week and other runway shows, and the benefit of portfolios and look books.
Interspersed are interviews with designers, pattern makers, stylists, models, photographers, magazine editors and fashion journalists.
There are some big names in here; Diane von Furstenberg, Todd Oldham, plus the Project Runway team Heidi Klum, Tim Gunn and Nina Garcia (plus a foreword by the delightful Tim Gunn). And although the other interviewees may not be instantly known by their names, they are well established in their careers and offer excellent comment under Daniel’s questioning.
The only thing that disappointed slightly was that the photo stories felt a bit too wishy-washy for my liking.
They’re not compelling photographs and don’t reveal anything to the reader. They seem to merely fill space between the words and many are just glorified stock photographs, which have been “artistically” blurred (see below).
Many of the portraits capture Daniel’s (and his interviewees) love for the craft, which is lovely to see, but the images don’t say anything about the fashion industry or design process itself.
Finally I want to say that the design of the book was fantastic, and by this I’m referring to all the things that fascinate me in my day job in publishing: it’s wonderful to see the care taken in selecting the typography, layout, use of colour and graphic design for this book. They combine to make the text look visually arresting on the page and draw you in.
I’m a big Daniel fan. I liked his work on Project Runway and I think he’s definitely gotten better over the years. His fall/winter 13 collection is all kinds of gorgeous!
Check out the subtle print on this dress. It looks like an xray of a spine to me! I think it works wonderfully with the contrast and draping.
I’d recommend you get hold of this book and paw through yourself. Even just to rub your hands over the velvet photographic cover. That’s right, I said VELVET!
I mean if it’s going for £3 on Amazon.co.uk what’s the harm!?
P.S. Don’t forget the new season of Project Runway aired on Thursday July 18th!