Sunday, 14 November 2010

Designer Of The Day: Dara Senders

Designer Bio:
Designer Dara Senders has always had a enormous love for the arts - ranging from theatrical to visual. As a child she developed a love for fashion for her mother would dress her in only the best clothing. One morning, at a very young age Dara insisted she dress herself for the day! The rest is History! Fashion and theater has consumed Dara's life! She was heavily involved in many musical theater productions as well as dance recitals and competitions. Constantly being in costume gave Dara an even greater appreciation for fashion as wearable art!
"Yes, I love fashion but not in the stereotypical way of going shopping and/or considering fashion magazines as the only text I'll ever read! I love the art of it - how one can bring different colors, fabrics, textures, and materials together to make an ensemble or piece that can allow someone to express themselves! What could be better than that?"
Over the past 6 years Dara has been involved with New York Fashion Week - starting out as a volunteer, a dresser, then ultimately given a position to write about the runway shows first hand for an online journal. She has also been given the privilege of producing charity fashion shows around New York City. Throughout all of this her passion for design has always taken a front row seat in her mind!
Dara started Daralah by Dara Senders in April 2009 concentrating in hand made hair jewelry that used materials such as mother of pearl,
Swarovski crystals, quarts crystal, and hematite!  She is now branching out into jewelry with a new line of of bracelets that are a cross between delicate and hardy!
Dara is currently completing her Bachelor's Degree in Fashion Merchandising Management with a concentration in Product Development at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City!
1. What inspired you to get into accessories design?
Well, since I am currently, still a student my schedule quite consumed with classes and the work that comes with them! Designing clothes is something that is very time consuming and right now doing both (school and apparel design) is not an option. When I came to the realization that I could take my yen for wanting to design clothing and bring it to accessories design! I love accessories! They can make or break an outfit! I sort of feel that I can be more creative when designing accessories because there are so many different things one can do and afterall - statement peices are so much for fun to wear than, let's say,  the hottest dress of the season!

2. Where did you go to school and what was your major?
I am attending FIT at the moment and will be graduating with a BA in Fashion Merchandising Management with a concentration in product development! However I did do a semester in Fashion Design!

3. Describe your philosophy about fashion?
My philosophy about fashion is that it should be fun and not taken too seriously! One should be able to use fashion as a form of self expression. I like when I see something different walking down the street being worn by a passersby! I don't like generic looks at all! When i see a "different" look it makes my heart all warm and fuzzy! Fashion is about stepping over bounds and making a statement! My personal style can go from leggings and an over-sized sweater with a pair of Ugg riding boots to cocktail dresses with the highest heals known to man!  However, I am a huge stickler when it comes to dress codes! When it says "formal" on an invitation...please don't come looking like you just got out of work! Thanks! :::laughs:::

4. What words of wisdom can you give to aspiring designers?

Believe in your work no matter what anyone else says. If "YOU" believe in it and are confident about your work when presenting it, other will be too! You also need to know how to market ourself propperly, for there are A LOT of aspiring designers out there and only a small spot for new up and comers!

5. Where do you get your inspiration for your designs?

Honestly, I don't know if I actually get inspired like many designers say "they" do! When I see a color combination of different materials and textures and i think it will work, I try it and hope for the best! Nine times out of ten it does work. When it doesn't I take an idea from the mistake and work with that! Some things that inspire me in general are old fashioned movies especially Gene Kelly films, the color pink, old Hollywood glamor, the ballet, Rococo art, the1920's, a form of simplicity that intertwines a punch of Disco, and the Parisian lifestyle!

6. What is a typical day for an accessories designer like yourself?

When I am working on my pieces I am completely "in the zone" gathering all my materials together and figuring out what works, and what doesn't! Because I am a novice accessory designer I am constantly looking at new ways to market myself. I am currently looking for boutiques to carry my line! Any Takers?

7. Which designers have been important points of reference for you?Well as far as apparel goes I have to say that Oscar De La Renta is probably at the tippy top of my list then comes Valentino (Vintage Valentino)! Balenciaga, Carolina Herrera, Marchesa, Georges Chakara, Armini Prive,Vintage Halston, Lanvin, Moschino, Monique Lhuillier, YSL, DVF are other designer loves one mine -  to name a few! As far as accessories go...I am obsessed with anything Hermes and Judith Lieber! Other accessory designer loves of mine include the generics like Chanel, Vuitton, Dior, Prada but I am also fascinated by Judith Ripka, Blvgari, Harry Winston, Cartier! Honestly, I prefer the no-named jewelry designer. There is just something to knowing that an item you purchased isn't mass produced for the entire world to buy - knowing only 1-20 people in the entire world own that piece!

8. If you had the opportunity to design an accessory for one person who would it be?
I think this is one of THE HARDEST question I have ever been asked! I believe if I had the chance to design an accessory for one person I would have to go back in time and design a peice for a young Leslie Caron - old Hollywood actress. There is something about her that is so timeless and charming with a bit of spunk!

9. Can you tell me about your collection?
My new collection Has two personalities. Some pieces are very feminine and delicate with soft colors primarily muted pinks and grays. On the other hand other pieces are chunky, bulky and bright! Semi precious stones, crystals and pearls are a huge focus of each peice!

10. Where can we find your collection?
You can Daralah by Dara Senders on
Each piece is specially made to order. If you would like to purchase items from my collection for your boutique, please inquire within the website!