Dan Richters brought unusual designs for Parker Fashion Week

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Fashion is art like any other medium. At least that’s how designer Dan Richters feels. The Omaha-based creative approaches making clothes not with needle and thread, but with clay and silicone.

“It’s a long process,” Richters said. “I got it by doing it. You can’t find tutorials for the kind of thing I’m doing. I think that’s how you do something original – you do it differently than anyone else.”

For those who traditionally expect clothing designs to come from fabric glued to a dress form, Ritter’s approach is a bit difficult to understand. “I think about how to get a certain image, then I take out my dress form and clay and I build the shape I want. I’m basically sculpting the dress,” he explains. He makes a clay shape and then casts it into a mesh lined with silicone. This gives the stability and shape needed to create wearable garments. provides.

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Design by Dan Richters

Dan Richters

The result is highly visible pieces that look like a cross between evening wear and a science fiction movie. The clothes cling to the body and move like a second skin. Maybe that’s because they are somehow. “Silicon is very malleable and malleable. “This is what I prefer,” says Richter, who has searched countless fabric stores to find the material he wants to create, but to no avail. “Then I was walking into a hardware store and found silicone. It’s what you use to polish your windows, and I started experimenting with that.

It became clear that Richter couldn’t have people wearing window caulk. “It smells horrible!” he shouted. “And you have to breathe properly when using it.” He then found a brand of silicone used in the film industry to make prosthetics. “It’s proven skin safety. It’s safe for the wearers and me to work with it,” he says.

It is not a traditional way of manufacturing clothes. But then again, Richters is not a typical designer to sell his designs to mass consumers. He sees his collections as art exhibitions. The one-of-a-kind dress will go on the runway for a show, maybe for several fashion shows in multiple cities along the way, and that’s it.

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Design by Dan Richters

Dan Richters

The pieces are sometimes purchased, he says, which is a good testament to their value. They are also rented for special events or borrowed by celebrities from stylists for red carpet events. He recently had a dress he wore at the Cannes Film Festival and sold it to a buyer from Japan to put it in a shop in the popular Harajuku district.

Richters made the pieces to order: “Only if someone gives me a specific mission for an idea. We got together and came up with an idea and I did it. It’s still the same piece. I’m not in a manufacturing mindset at all. I’m more of a handmade person.

Richters said he has always been into a variety of arts, including sculpture, painting and music. He earned a degree in fine arts from the University of Nebraska Omaha, and drew a lot of inspiration from fashion, especially 1990s designers such as Alexander McQueen and Thierry Mugler. He got his start in fashion design with a group of friends in Omaha, who found a strong fashion community in the city and started holding their own underground fashion shows.

Omaha Fashion Week began in 2008, and Richter has made regular appearances there as well as at Los Angeles Fashion Week. He is currently preparing to present his first show at Parker Fashion Week on September 9th and 10th. Richter said Parker’s show came from organizers of Omaha Fashion Week. “It’s great because I know a lot of the same people that are involved here in Omaha, and I can tell that Parker Fashion Week is really invested and committed to making it a quality event,” he says.

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Fashion designer Dan Richters

Dan Richters

Parker’s audience can expect to find bright, otherworldly designs in metallics inspired by Richter’s interest in the fashions of ancient aristocrats and royalty. “It’s artistically inspiring to see how they dress, which sets them apart from the rest of their community,” he explains.

However, don’t expect the collection to go on sale in a store near you. Richters is not for the money. He has a day job as a photographer and videographer to support himself financially. He does fashion for his own creative satisfaction, which sometimes confuses people. “I make things because I want to make them. I’m not really interested in selling them. I really don’t know how to turn what I do in fashion into a job, and if it’s a job, I don’t know if I’ll still enjoy it.”

For him, it’s art that’s just fun to be in the studio with. He said that he tries to develop a new method of making clothes with each collection. “The making process is my favorite part,” he explained. “When you’re in the studio and you’re having so much fun, time stops. Then when I see it all come together on the runway…I love the idea of ​​putting something out there that sparks the imagination.”

Dan Richters, Parker Fashion Week, 5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 9 and Saturday, Sept. 10, West Main Taproom, 18595 East Main St., Parker. Get tickets, $75-$100, and more information at parkerfashionweek.com.



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