Daniel Vosovic’s Fashion Inside Out

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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Sew grateful week – Winner!

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I wanted to join in with Sew Grateful week but talked myself out of it.

What a total lemon right?!

OF COURSE I’m grateful for the awesome sewing community that spurs me on, celebrates with me, kicks me in the butt when I’m slacking and offers wonderful advice and support, all with such good humour and friendliness.

That goes without saying.

So I probably shouldn’t have entered some of the amazing giveaways being hosted since I chickened out myself.

But I did cos I’m a cheeky madam like that.  Hahah.

And oooh my gawd. I won the most amazing and probably the most difficult pattern I will ever work on. The Anise jacket by Colette Patterns!!

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Humongous thanks go to Sonja of Ginger Makes for this awesome prize. I’m sure you all read her blog; she’s the girl with the mile wide smile and one of the elite Mood Sewing Network (pretty much making her a sewing super hero).

In other blog news the sweet petite Stephanie fom Love-Teach-Sew nominated me for two awards that seem to have been merged into one: The Lovely Blog award and The Inspiring Blogger Award.

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Since the awards were married these have become the new rules:

1) Thank and link back to the awesome person who nominated you.  2) Share seven things about yourself.  3) Nominate ten other bloggers and comment on their blogs to let them know. Easy!

1. Love-Teach-Sew is a super new little poppet of a blog, created just this year! Stephanie is so excited to sew in a country where sewing classes and textbooks are hard to come by. It’s pretty awesome to be that determined to sew. Thanks Stephanie!

2. Hmm what fantastic facts can I dazzle you with.

  • I’m a huge James Bond fan and I wrote my Degree dissertation on the gender relationships in Ian Fleming’s 007 novels. I could go on for hours about this. I’ve edited this comment back down twice.
  • I’ve been a vegetarian since age 14. Primarily because I don’t like the taste, texture, look or smell of meat. Learning about the treatment of animals has also certainly affected me. Plus vegetables are so damn scummy, why bother with meat!?
  • I am currently on financial lockdown while saving for a new home. I am being very good about fabric shopping. If I ever start to wobble into excessive spending I think about how I’m going to decorate my new sewing room. Mmm….
  • I have a younger brother who everyone thinks should be a model (Pffft…! He’s getting a big head) but is actually a talented trainee architect. I call him Little Fro instead of little bro because of his curly mop top. 
  • I write most of my posts on my smartphone wordpress app during my ludicrously long commute. Like this one. Hello Mr Conductor.
  • I dream about Tim Gunn and Stephen Fry marrying and adopting me. Think of all that sewing and general knowledge plus comedic brilliance!!
  • Last but not least I ate my Shrove Tuesday pancakes with strawberries and chocolate. Hey, no one said these couldn’t be topical!

3. For my ten foxy bloggers I tried my best to find blogs on my Google Reader who don’t already have this award and so I hope they’d appreciate it:

All this lovely community spirit has got my sewing engine revved up. What have I been doing being sick and pathetic and unable to sew?!

I need to get cracking.

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