Dmitry Wood's DEBUT Collection Inspired By 1980s Power Dressing
Dmitry Wood graduated from Massachusetts’s Clark High with a class of only 12 students before attending MassArt in Boston to study Costume History. He moved to Los Angeles for FIDM’s Fashion Design Program and has been working on his collection for the last nine months which will make its debut in FIDM’s Annual DEBUT Runway Show event live-streaming on Thursday, August 12, 2021 at 5:00 PM PDT. We caught up with him to hear more about his point of view as a designer, and his creative journey.
Tell us about your DEBUT collection: My collection is all about a woman in charge. I got inspired by the idea of a woman in the 80’s in a power suit feeling confident. You will see a theme throughout the collection of a woman gaining strength by using classic mens styles but elevating them for with the fabric choices and appliqués. For an example I took a men's essential white tank top but made it out of beaded silk georgette. No matter what I put out there on the runway there's bound to be some sparkle.
What silhouettes and fabrics can we expect to see? You will be seeing a lot of sparkle and a lot of mixed materials and appliqués—those are the real stars of the collection. When designing I kept in the back of my mind the flexibility of skin tone and body type my woman has. I wanted to make sure no matter who she is she could easily stand out in a crowd and feel fabulous.
What is your point of view, as a designer? My point of view is always evolving but I try to stay true to an emphasis on embracing individuality and feeling beautiful in the designs I make. The wearer is never being worn by the garment; THEY are always wearing it. I try to let the fabrics and styles speak for themselves and highlight the wearer. Every woman deserves to feel sexy and powerful no matter where they come from—that's what I'm here to achieve.
How do you hope people will feel when they see your designs? I want people to enjoy themselves and just imagine themselves in my designs. Every rhinestone, bead and crystal that I used went through my hands and I hope people see how much work and care I put into these designs. I want people to gasp and lose speech and just be dazzled and taken back at all the glitz and glamour of it all. That's really what gets me every time.
What inspires you as a creative and as a fashion designer? Women in power and powerful women inspire me. Women who can own their bodies and catch every eye when they walk down the street—THAT is what inspires me to design. If I don't come back to a design and get chills from excitement then I won't continue with it. I have to love it and be obsessed every single time.
What is a lesson you’ve learned as you’ve been working on your collection? A big lesson I've learned is listen to your instinct. It's never wrong. So many times I second guessed a silhouette and I just had to step back and think, ‘what are your eyes telling you?’ and that's how I've gotten the best results. Always trust your gut.
Tell us about your path to FIDM: I'm from Boston so I started at the San Francisco campus to get a sense of city life as a student. When my first year was over, I decided LA had more resources and more of a fashion based community. I loved the classes and the space the campus has and the constant creative energy it brings.
What high school did you attend? I went to a private school called Clark High. There were roughly about 12 students in my graduating class so I stood out. I then went to MassArt in Boston to take my general education classes at night where I studied Costume History.
How is FIDM helping you get closer to your career goals? I would say FIDM is an amazing launching point to get you all the tools you need to succeed. From resumes, patterning skills and marketing plans, FIDM really makes sure you get what you need to make sure you are ready no matter what job you take on.
Any advice for someone considering applying to be a DEBUT student? From my experience, pull out all the stops; show the pieces you are most proud of and talk about what makes you unique. Show how you design from pencil to fabric. That's what will make you stand out.
Anything else you’d like to share? I cannot wait to become a part of the elite group that is DEBUT. I and everyone else have been working so hard and it really shows in our final product. I have put so many hours of hand work and couture methods into this collection and I couldn't be more proud of what I've done. We really are changing the future of fashion.