David Black: The House That Black Built

It's been a busy few months for designer David Black; finishing his latest collection, graduating from Heriot Watt University and being nominated for a Scottish Fashion Award. We caught up with him to have a chat about his work and to ask what's next.

Feature by Alexandra Fiddes | 06 Jul 2012

Glasgow born, David Black got into fashion at a young age, studying an NQ in Fashion Design and Manufacture at Cardonald College at 16, then progressing to Heriot Watt University, where he has very recently gained a BA in Fashion Design. He's full of praise for the course and the in-depth training it gives its students – "Lecturers and technicians were wonderfully supportive throughout the whole process, each individual has been a massive help."

But what inspired Black to choose fashion so early on? "I have always loved music videos and movies, I have always loved the escapism in them, I guess you could say it was that – music and film. I was always a bit of a daydreamer, I still am." This dreamlike quality is certainly seen within Black's latest collection Sunday Morning, which is full of bright and striking colour combinations, Peter Pan collars and stunning kaleidoscopic prints.

"I'm inspired by so many things. It could be anything from a colour to a TV show, a video game, an artist or a song… really anything!" explains Black, "I always draw from things that are first hand so there are little touches of my personal life, but I prefer to keep those elements more subtle."

He tells us that for this particular collection these references were as diverse as childhood memories of Sunday School and the stained glass windows, Tarantino's Kill Bill, paintings by Giovani Tipolo, Howl by Allen Ginsberg and even Grand Theft Auto produced by Rockstar Games. "I build a story around them, ending up with an entire world." The religious influences are especially easy to see in the halo-like headpieces that adorn the models – straight out of a vision sent from heaven above!

However, this designer's feet are firmly on the ground, with new technologies being a crucial part of the design process. "I use a lot of different software, such as Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, but I also use many websites as online inspiration resources."

The wonderful contradictions and feelings of escapism within Black's work have already caught the attention of many, with his garments being included in a variety of catwalk shows and events like Bold Souls and Inspire The Attire. As well as achieving a prestigious Scottish Fashion Award nomination for Scottish Graduate of the Year 2012, where he came away with a highly commended (an accolade, which, to my knowledge, has never been awarded before). "It was one of the most beautiful nights of my life, I have dreamt of going to events like that since I was young, so to be in the same room with that much beauty and talent, it was really just wonderful."

For the young designer there were definitely important insights to be gained from his participation in these events, notably the SFAs. "Mainly it gives me confidence in my work, to sit with such big names and be a nominee, it makes me realise that I must be doing something right."  Other designers involved have also made a big impact on Black –"There were so many wonderful people there and then to find out how down to earth and lovely they were, it was very refreshing!"

The whole experience has made him more determined than ever, and bursting with ideas of where his career could take him next. "I'd like to expand into evening-wear and one-off piece," adding that he would like to, "get myself a little studio and set up the House of Black with bricks instead of blogs!"

With enthusiasm and talent galore, the future's bright for David Black!

Photographer: Daniela Flores
Model: Mel Hamilton
Hair: Rainbow Rooms Int.24
Make Up: Kaeleigh Wallace - kwallace.makeup@live.co.uk
All Garments and Styling: David Black

On the 17 Aug, David Black will be taking part in Inspire The Attire 2, The Tall Ship, Riverside, Glasgow, G3 8RS. For more information please visit www.thehousethatblackbuilt.tumblr.com http://www.thehousethatblackbuilt.tumblr.com