This self-taught seamstress began as a costume designer, making elaborate Halloween and performance costumes for her children. When both children began pursuing film careers, Dawn wanted to assist them and felt a formal education in design would serve both her and them well. So, in 2007 she resigned from her corporate VP job and relocated to San Francisco to enroll in the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandizing (FIDM). In 2010 Dawn graduated Magna Cum Laude in Fashion Design with the distinction of being nominated for the Levi Strauss Award. After graduation, Dawn returned to Reno, NV where she designed and built a 3000 square foot studio. In 2013, after sourcing the best fabrics and selecting highly skilled USA contractors, Dawn debuted her first collection, a small offering of classic women's apparel with an elegant and contemporary dash of chic.
For more information on her children's film careers visit www.aprimitivefuture.com and www.apexcinema.net
An Interview with the Designer
What is fashion?
Fashion is a non-verbal form of self expression that can alter the way we look and feel. Fashion allows us to evolve and forge our identities by finding new ways of signalling who we are or who we want to be.
What is fashion design?
It is an art form that adorns the body. Like all design, it manipulates our most important sense-vision. Our hurried eye looks but often not "see". Effective design captivates the eye, allowing the brain to really take notice and "see".
What do you draw inspiration from?
I feel that myself, as well as other artists, have a heightened perceptual sensitivity to their surroundings. Therefore, every image has the potential to inspire, either consciously or unconsciously.
What Influences your design process?
I am an avid student of fashion history. I have a sizable collection of vintage clothing , patterns and sewing books. There is a tremendous amount that can be learned from past designs and designers. Fashion does repeat itself but always with a fresh contemporary upgrade.
Do you feel you have an advantage over other designers?
Prior to pursuing a career in fashion design, I was a Physical Therapist. That knowledge has given me a sense of the body and its movements that many other designers do not have. It is important that a garment has a good static and dynamic fit so it feels good to wear. In order to obtain this, the design, construction methods, and quality of the fabric must be correct.
Who is your customer?
The women who purchase my clothes have a discerning eye for quality, craftsmanship and unique design details. She is confident, sophisticated and elegantly chic at any age.
Besides fashion, what else are you passionate about?
Supporting the work of St Vincent de Paul Society of San Francisco in their fight against homelessness, poverty, addiction and domestic violence. For the last four years I have created a garment made from recycled fabrics for their annual Discarded to Divine auction. I know of no better way to simultaneously alleviate human suffering while saving the environment. For more information about my submissions visit our blog or www.discardedtodivine.org.