By Shauna McGregor
Independent fashion designer Danni McWilliams is the most talked about designer in Glasgow right now. Since showcasing her work at shows such as industry favourites, Nightwalk and Bold Souls Off The Catwalk, Danni’s work has gone from strength to strength, selling to the fashion forward public of Scotland. Danni talks to us about launching her hot to trot new collection ‘Home Girls In Love’, her inspiration, her muses and her life-long clothes obsession.
Tell us about your education, where did you study?
I graduated from Heriot Watt University, which was brilliant with regards to practical skills. The biggest education has been just biting the bullet and putting out my own work the past year. Nothing beats personal experience, good or bad, it all adds to your confidence and knowledge.
Did you know you wanted to be a fashion designer when you applied to uni?
Yes! I have wanted to design clothes since forever, like seriously been drawing and making and obsessing over clothes from a very early age. It’s only amazing it took me so long to go for it! I always thought there was nothing more embarrassing than saying ‘I want to be a fashion designer’, it’s kinda like join the queue. I always knew I wanted to just do my own thing and that’s what I’m doing.
What advice would you give to future fashion graduates?
I would say it depends what your aims are but don’t be afraid to get involved. What I have learned is there are so many creative people out there to work with and learn from. You don’t have to follow a conventional route. Trust your instincts and do what feels right to you. Listen to advice, it’s valuable, but take the pieces that sound right for you. You can carve your own path. There’s no set formula.
Who is your favourite fashion designer and why?
I’d say for many years it has been Phoebe Philo. Chic, cool, sexy and real. All the good stuff.
So what’s new after the Bold Souls Catwalk show?
I am working on a short fashion film and launching the #HOMEGIRLSINLOVE collection online. My main aim is to really get the collection available online asap. Then I have a kind of more sophisticated clean cut collection on the cards too which I’m really excited about.
Where do you take your main inspiration from?
I’m not sure exactly! It can come from anywhere but I would definitely say a lot of it comes from real people. Guys and girls who have a strong individual style. I love menswear and the attitude behind shopping classic pieces. By classic I don’t mean a particular style, more guys who have a personal flair and every piece they buy is with the intention of it being in their wardrobe forever. I think girls lost that for a while but they are starting to buy more long term again. I want my pieces to be items people buy because they see themselves wearing it to death because they value the aesthetic design and work behind it. Classic but modern, sexy but realistic.
Lastly, are there any other up and coming local talent in fashion/music that you love or are inspired by?
YES. Seductive songstress Laura St.Jude who I have had the pleasure of working with on stage outfits and The Amazing Snakeheads, those boys can play, plus they sure as hell can dress. I also love the work of Glasgow photographer Kirstin Kerr. We worked together on my first look book and her visual interpretation is so understated but impacting, her works the embodiment of my aesthetic ideal. I’m glad to say she will be working with me on Home Girls In Love at some point soon.