By Roshannah Bagley
CALIFORNIA, United States:: The Theatre District, Downtown LA, is currently home to 24 year old fashion designer David Alexander. An artistic interest which began in childhood by drawing comic heroes and anime, Alexander’s talent has now found fruition in the form of sequined mini dresses, studded tank tops and snakeskin and mesh swimsuits. With celebrities such as Toni Braxton, Megan Fox and Britney Spears wearing this American boy’s striking garments, and fashionistas clamoring to wear them, Alexander looks set to take the fashion world by storm. Here he teaches FAULT the importance of narrative and talks about his new line DAX.
“Inspired by music and film, David’s eclectic taste is translated into unexpected surprises within his collections, bringing a level of sensuality, class and sexiness rarely seen today.” – David Alexander featured on notjustalabel.com.
FAULT:: How did you become involved in the fashion industry?
David:: My mom was a pageant queen and my grandmother was a wedding dress maker. I always used to draw comic books and anime; my teacher pointed out my costumes and clothes were much better then the faces on the character as she winked at me (laughs). I thank all the women in my life for leading me in this direction, but mostly those three mom and nana. I also studied fine arts, fashion design and marketing at FIDM and Parsons.
FAULT:: Your previous collections include titles such as “Broken Princess and Her Secret Prince” and “Love Me if You Dare”. How vital a role is narrative to David Alexander?
David:: VERY! VERY! (laughs) For me, making clothes is a way to express feelings and create stories. The collection named the “Broken Princess” was about my mom. She had this turning point in life – she went from being this fun carefree girl to a strong mother and woman. The “Love Me if You Dare” collection was based on me being single but then meeting someone who at the time I thought was great. They turned out to be venomous, this sparked my usage of the authentic snakeskin. My studded tank tops were produced as though it were armor to protect the ‘heart’. My newest collection already has a name and story, but my Spring Summer 2011 collection will be a personal story which I have already designed.
FAULT:: Do you have a particular person in mind when designing?
David:: Creative people who enjoy dressing in something different, I try to design for characters in my head.
FAULT:: The David Alexander label presently caters to both a womenswear and menswear audience. Are there any further divisions in fashion you would like to explore?
David:: Well I actually create movie costumes as well. I also design for Simon G a well known American jewelry line. But I want to try my hand at sunglasses and gloves too soon.
FAULT:: You’re in the midst of creating a secondary line, how did this come about?
David:: I’m not really doing a secondary line, it’s just a test for some items I enjoy like my cotton and bamboo burnout dresses, and some casual fur pieces. I’m doing another more affordable range called DAX. It has a different style to David Alexander, so I don’t want them to be confused. I am working on my new collection at the moment for the mainline called “Dahlia Dangeroux”, it’s inspired by the Black Dahlia. It’s a collection of all the dresses and things she would have worn had she become a big Hollywood star, and the beautiful men she would have met and eventually married. I tend to take a dark approach to most things (laughs), maybe it’s because my own love life is in a bit of slouch, we’ll see if I brighten up when I meet the one…but for the mean time let’s hope the clothes do well.
FAULT:: Congratulations on your editorial debut in British Vogue. How does it feel to have such recognition so many miles away from home?
David:: It’s really good. I’ve also been featured in Vogue Japan. Getting attention is always great but any magazine using my clothes makes me happy to know someone enjoys my art and what I spend my days doing…whether it be Vogue or my local fashion magazine. Seeing someone use my clothes in an editorial vision is always a great feeling. Sometimes they don’t even look like my clothes (laughs).
FAULT:: Do you feel there is enough support for young fashion designers in the United States?
David:: Yes and no…I mean there is the support if you know about it and can find the right people, but generally no. I think just like any artistic field, you need to have drive and passion and if you work hard enough and have talent it will happen – I don’t believe in people getting hand outs. (laughs) I must take this opportunity to point out how much I despise celebrity fashion lines…it’s dreadful and extremely insulting to be honest, they should use their fame to help designers. One big problem in the States is celebrities get so much for free, young designers jump at the chance to make something that they would spend every last penny on for a celebrity who can afford it. I never give things away for free, I made several dresses for Britney Spears and she didn’t hesitate to pay me, I think despite all the crap she gets she is the most down to earth celebrity I have worked with.
All images courtesy of David Alexander.