Kansas City Designer Spotlight: Brittany Davidson

Recently I covered Kansas City’s fashion week. Having been around this town a while and been used to the same designers doing the same thing…it was refreshing to see a new face. Especially one who can create a cohesive collection with the consumer in mind.

Brittany Davidson surprised me.  She knows what it takes to show a collection on the runway.  It’s not just about putting pretty girls in clothes that make you say “ah”.  There should be an obvious theme or cohesiveness.   She definitely pulled it off with this 24 piece collection showing 18 outfits on the runway.

If you want to make money in the industry then you must make clothing real women can imagine themselves wearing AND make it possible for them to choose several of your pieces to mix and match.  It was obvious to me after just a few outfits that Brittany gets this and will go far as her talent grows.

Here is our interview:

SC: What was your first garment you designed and how old were you?

BD: I designed a robe for my grandmother when I was 7, as a Christmas gift. I’m sure the sleeves weren’t even the same length, but it was the kick off point to me designing and making clothing. It was the first thing I’d made that was big enough for someone other than one of my dolls!

SC: Do you get inspiration from any of the well-known designers?  If so, who?

BD: Oscar de la Renta and Alexander McQueen, although nothing similar to my personal design aesthetics, inspire me greatly because you can tell they are designed with such passion and are bubbling over with their own story. It gets me excited to start sewing and making my own designs. I view fashion as an art form so I feel that every designer has their own ‘voice’ and drawing ideas direct from the same form of art feels like copying to me, but I think you can be inspired simply from viewing another’s passion.

SC: What did you love about your spring collection?

BD: … its genuine wearability. As a designer sometimes its hard to find that balance between your point of view and practicality. With this collection I don’t feel like I gave up any of myself in order to make it translate right into any women’s closet. 

SC:  I love that answer.  So true!

SC: What helps you get your creative juices flowing when it’s time to draw up new designs?

BD: Traveling is by far my most inspirational experience, but that’s not always possible.  Going out and trying something new, people watching or good old research are often where my creativeness sparks from.

SC: What is your strength in your designing?

BD: My strength in designing is probably translating my ideas from sketches to reality. Since I have been sewing since I was three I have a solid understanding of what it takes to get from paper to pattern. It can be like problem solving getting a complicated sketch to come to life. 

SC: What are you working on to improve?

BD: Currently I’m working on designing for different body types, I know I am capable of dressing any size but it is certainly a departure from working directly from my dress form. I don’t think I will ever be done growing as an artist or a designer, I definitely want to continue to improve in all areas of my work.

SC: Are you going to make clothing for the general public to purchase?  Or is any of the spring collection going to be for sale anywhere?

BD: At the moment, my one of a kind pieces are for sale through me and a handful of designs can be found on Erynz.com.  I hope in the near future to be able to get my designs produced and be more readily available to people.

The fashion critic in me was pleased with what this young designer put forth. I am excited to see what Brittany designs next!  She is subtle in that the pieces didn’t scream LOOK AT ME like so many runway hot-messes can…but when you really look and dissect each outfit it’s stunningly creative and thoughtful the way she puts it all together.

What I hope to see improved:  while her overall construction was well done, I didn’t love the waistline on several of the pieces.   I’d like to see the gathered  look changed to a more sleek finish.  Just to lay a bit more smoothly and be a bit more flattering to the average consumer.

What I loved about her collection: she used some fabrics that are very difficult to work with.  Plus she fused unexpected fabrics into a single outfit which made me say outloud (well, whispered to my neighbor)  “I don’t think I would have considered that together, but wow!”  andwatch this girl“.

For more about Brittany Davidson’s designs visit her Facebook fan page: http://www.facebook.com/BMDesigns

Or see her present at the Expose’ Fashion Event at Lake of the Ozarks June 30th and at the West 18th Street Fashion Show in Kansas City June 9th.

photos: J Robert Schraeder