Danielle Everine is a Minneapolis designer who was featured on Season 9 of Project Runway on Lifetime. Her clothing is sculptural and one of her aims is to subvert gender and beauty standards. Married just a month ago toward the end of February, we asked Danielle all about her own wedding style.
How would you define your design style?
Approaching design from an artist’s perspective, I work from abstract concepts of autonomy, fortitude and grace. Modern day heroines inspire my collections. The apparel tells tales of odysseys and times of strength. Favoring natural fibers, the clothes have an ease that recalls a bygone era. Equal parts elegant and utilitarian, my garments suit any woman with a stylishly adventurous lifestyle. I have always been interested in clothing as a method of expression. An effort to redefine notions of beauty is at the root of my work
What draws you toward the classically elegant genre?
Society today is lacking a formality that once was integral to daily life. Elevating ones outfit encourages a more gracious attitude.
Who or what has influenced you most with regards to your outlook on fashion?
I am inspired by literary and film references, my Minnesota environment and the desire to create utilitarian and beautiful clothes. I often design an entire collection based on a series of films or historical figures–Clint Eastwood westerns and Annie Oakley for example. I dream about what modern day heroines might do upon a sailing vessel, pulling imagery from Moby Dick and Shackleton’s voyage. Enthusiastic about cycling, sailing, travel and all around adventuring, I create clothes that make one feel beautifully stylish and empowered to embark on any journey.
What is it like designing something for your self?
In a sense, I am always designing for myself. My collections offer a glimpse into my imagination and I just have to hope that others will take that ride with me.
Tell us a little about your wedding dress. It was beautiful!
Thank you! The dress was a winter white to tan ombre matte satin silk. I hand beaded and embroidered the collar with pewter and antique bronze beads. The blouse top had cap sleeves, was nipped in at the waist, partially open at the back with mother of pearl button closures. A small leather buckle detail marked the back of the waistband. I wore a coat of my design over the dress for our outdoor ceremony. A winter white wool calf length coat with pleating around the waist, a fur collar and leather and bronze buckle.
Any advice you have for anyone designing his/her own wedding attire?
Stick with a silhouette and fabric texture you are comfortable with. Most importantly, find something that is flattering for your body type. It is so essential to look and feel great in your wedding clothes, look for something that really suits you. Take some risk with nontraditional details. I didn’t hesitate to use leather and bronze rivets on my silk dress. They were small elements compared to the overall dress, but are very true to my style.
Tell us about your bridesmaids’ dresses. How did you decide on the style?
Jenny Carle, an incredible St. Paul based fashion designer (JennyCarle.com), designed the bridesmaids dresses. From the beginning, I had a style in mind for my three bridesmaids – floor length, blousey and nipped in at the waist. Recalling Carle’s F/W 2011 lookbook, I knew she had recently designed some very similar dresses. Luckily, she was available on short notice and had the perfect dress in her repertoire.
What or who inspired aesthetic theme of your wedding?
Of late, I have been working with themes of trans-Atlantic travel and frozen Arctic landscapes. The mood of the wedding took a historical note with touches of modern design.
What would you recommend for same-sex brides and grooms? Matching? Complementary colors?
Same-sex couples should stick true to their individual style. On one’s wedding day, you should be a heightened version of yourself. If one normally dresses in a more traditionally “feminine” way, maybe go with an ornate outfit. A dress or embroidered suit are good choices. If more “masculine”, stick with a classic look. Keep it simple with great details. If both had a similar style, go with coordinating outfits. Currently, I have the pleasure of helping fellow designer, Mackenzie Labine create her wedding gown for her summer ceremony. Her partner, Lyza Dungo, and her plan to marry this June in the Walker Sculpture Garden. Mackenzie’s dress reflects her everyday glamorous girly style. She has designed a semi sheer lace bustier and tiered organza skirt with a hi-low hem. The best element are her killer sparkle encrusted platform spike heels! Lyza is more of a t-shirt and jeans kind of girl, so has chosen to wear a suit.
Did you intend to incorporate hometown love in your big day?
Absolutely! The Twin Cities have an incredible wealth of design talent. We have so many amazing and generous friends here, we wouldn’t have been able to pull this off without them. I had specific ideas of what I was looking for, and knew some things would need to be custom made for us. From hair and make-up styling to the beer, our wedding was entirely home grown. Mackenzie Labine from Hair Police (who is also an hair and make-up master) Lola Teeny and Micah Savage from Mezzanine Salon and Margaret Lane beautified our hair and make-up. Jenny Carle designed the bridesmaids dresses, Bionic Unicorn designed the jewelry and some great friends helped with the fur hats! Fellow designers and incredible musicians Rachel Blomgren and Lela Horst-Baumann serenaded with the harp and clarinet. Friends from Northbound smokehouse and brewpub (expected to open this spring in the Standish neighborhood) made the beer. One of the five craft brews, a Scotch Ale style winter warmer, was developed specially for us!
Are you the mastermind of your husband’s wedding attire as well?
David is very stylish on his own. He happened to already own a Brooks Brothers tuxedo, I just encouraged him to wear it!
Do you still feel the imaginary pressure of Tim Gunn’s critique now that you’re not bound by specific criteria?
Tim Gunn is such a sweet mentor. Always encouraging yet objective he instructed us to step back and be aware of the whole picture. It can be difficult to employ while under stress, so it’s great advice to try to remember.
Post-Project Runway, how do you feel about designing back in Minnesota?
I love the freedom to design whatever I like and the time to be inspired by the world around me!