Since as long as Dai can remember, he has had an interest in clothing, how things are made, particularly historical fashion and clothing. Both of his Nan's taught him knitting when he was 8. Dai self-taught himself crocheting and sewing around the age of 13. "I've always my fingers in a few creative pies; acting, modelling, hairdressing" Dai explains. But those were used to pay his way as he was studying nursing at the time. After some time Dai went back to college to study costume at Swinburne and that naturally transitioned into Fashion, sending him off to a new direction and adventure
Tell us your experience studying fashion design at Kangan? What were your fashion moments?
Studying at Kangan has for the most part been a great experience. During the year the teachers have really helped us with our personal collections and I think that has made a huge difference in the final results. I feel that some highlights for me were being part of MSFW. Eco-Threads is a great endeavour that I took part in with two outfits being on the final runway, as well as having one of my final collection outfits used for the millinery soiree. Obviously having Drag Queens model my stuff was also freaking awesome!
For your final collection, what was your inspiration behind it, and how long did it take you to complete?
The inspiration for my collection, "Bound in Opulence", was period silhouettes and shapes. Having a costume design background, I love period fashions and clothing and love to see how those shapes can be adapted into modern attire. All up It took me about three or so months to finish the collection. It all involved a fair amount of hand sewing/techniques (the backless crochet gown, for example, has over 2km of yarn in it)
Most difficult thing you've had to learn since studying fashion design? And the best moment studying fashion design?
I think the most difficult thing would probably be time management. Studying fashion really does need it, since there is so much to learn you're pretty much on the go all the time. Prioritising work and such is something you need to stay on top of. The best thing is that you get to see everything come together for the final product. All that hard work and effort is there for everyone (including yourself) to see...
You've only just started your fashion journey, what's next for you?
I'd really love to launch my fashion label IKI in the near future. It'll be heavily focused on bespoke and one-off garments,but in the meantime, I'd love to work for in an atelier for a time creating beautiful bridal and evening gowns.
Advice to anyone wanting to study your course?
It'll be a lot of hard work, but it is all working towards a goal of your final collection. Take advantage of the wealth of knowledge your teachers have and use the resources of the school whilst you can,but most importantly come into it with a sense of fun and adventure.
photo credit: PNP MEDIA