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March 22, 1986 - Image 33

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1986-03-22

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form people with her romantic
clothing. Of her collection, Da-
jani says, "I think society has
reached a certain maturity. I
design with a 'new roman-
ticism,' the way I feel society is

David Dartnell

Only 23 years old, David
Dartnell is the owner and
designer of his own knit dress
and sportswear firm, called
David Dart. Oddly enough, his
motivation to dive headfirst into
the fashion business came
from the intense boredom of
working in the accounting
department of a major hotel
Dartnell claims he was "in-
spired" by many of his female
acquaintances "who know how
to wear clothes," and decided
to break into the fashion in-
dustry any way he could.
Following stints working for
various California designers for
minimum wage, Dartnell
became an apprentice to
designer Claudia Grau, whom
he credits with teaching him
the "freedom of shape" — the
backbone of his own design
Dartnell's most recent col-
lection for the spring season
draws heavily on the moods
and images associated with the
Sixties. Dartnell has a unique
way of crossing traditional
silhouettes with a new outlook
taken from the underground
music world.
Inspired by the Sixties and
its film stars, especially Audrey
Hepburn, several designs fea-
ture high neck/geometric cutout
designs. Texture, especially
mixes, also play an important
role in Dartnell's designs. And
though the basis for his spring
color scheme is black and
white, the designer feels free to
experiment with new colors
such as orchid and peach
tones, used in the current col-
lection to shade his body-

clinging cotton-knit leggings,
sweaters and dresses. The
linear silhouette is emphasized
with the knitted fabric, creating
a fresh body consciousness
from neck to ankle.
"I want to be known as a
knitwear designer but eventu-
ally, I plan to expand, adding
linen, nylon and lycra groups.
Most of my clothes are very
wearable," says the designer.
"I've found the newer the
shape, the better it sells."

Marika Contompasis

`If men knitted, it would be
called architecture," adding
to fiber artist turned fashion
designer Marika Contompasis.
A pillar of the "wearable art"
movement in American crafts,
she has just begun to trans-
form her artistic vision into
everyday clothes.
A graduate of the Pratt In-
stitute with a major in industrial
design, Contompasis comes at
the whole issue of the design
and manufacturing of clothing
in a refreshingly unique way.
"Anything three dimensional
that can be mass produced is
industrial design," she says. "It
is all about three dimensional
problem solving, which is what
a garment is."
Knitting and especially
crocheting are two of Marika's
skills. As a craftswoman, she
was awarded an NEA Crafts-
man Fellowship; her work has
been displayed in the Smith-
sonian and is included in the
permanent collection at the
Metropolitan Museum in New
Beginning with her fall 1985
collection, Contompasis has
turned her considerable creati-
vity toward knit design on a
large scale for the first time.
Her spring collection features
complete outfits, including
dresses with jackets, sweaters
with matching skirts, jumpers
and mid-calf length "leggings."
Each of the five themes that

David Dartnell, whose
firm is called David
Dart, bases his spring
colors on black and
white, in body-clinging
cotton knit dresses
and leggings.

March 1986


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