When it comes to fashion, Dani Lane is an expert possessing a keen sense of style and an interest in up and coming designers and eclectic works in the industry.
Lane, a graphic designer by profession, is the producer of Fashion on the Shore, the innovative style show scheduled for April 26 at Heritage Museum & Cultural Center in St. Joseph, Mich. She is the president of the board of directors of The Lubeznik Center for the Arts in Michigan City and is also on the board of Michigan City's Dunes Summer Theatre.
A resident of New Buffalo, Mich., Lane grew up in Chicago's Old Town neighborhood and is a native of Los Angeles.
We talked with Lane about Fashion on the Shore and her personal fascination with style and the apparel design industry.
What is the background of Fashion on the Shore and how long have you been involved with the project?
We did this type of fashion show for the first time at the Lubeznik Center for the Arts three years ago and it was something we thought about doing for our special events program at the center. We thought it would be great to do a project runway type of show and thought it would be great to use top student designers - juniors and seniors - from design schools in the area. It was quite successful. It drew a very good crowd and it was really fun. At the center, we're always looking for how we can get more people in the door.
Who helped work on that first show?
One of the people I was lucky enough to work with was Nena Ivon. She had been one of the top buyers at Saks Fifth Avenue for years and she's a style icon in Chicago. She had also done fashion shows for years. We met through a mutual friend and she helped us do the fashion show at Lubeznik. I had been involved in fashion myself in the past but she brought a whole new level to the whole field of doing a style show. Shore Magazine covered it that first year and one of their staff members was a judge. Then later Pat Colander of Shore Magazine and Millicent Huminsky, who is head of travel and development for Southwest Michigan, decided the fashion show would work at the Heritage Museum in St. Joe.
What do you look for when choosing models for Fashion on the Shore?
Models who are tall and slender. We're not looking for emaciated but tall and slender because most of the designers build their clothes to fit sizes 2, 4 and 6. I can't have models who aren't going to fit their clothes. This is one of a kind clothing and we have to fit them to the models that very day.
What initially drew you to the fashion world?
When I was quite tiny, I read Vogue Magazine and (Harper's) Bazaar and I loved Coco Chanel and Diana Vreeland who was a style icon. I just poured over old Vogues and Bazaars and my mother was very fashion oriented and dressed beautifully. Then I started sewing my own clothes and always sewed one of a kind designer type things. I would make dresses from paintings I had viewed. I went to the Art Institute and studied in the fashion and costume department. Although I didn't graduate from there, I did attend there for awhile. Fashion and design has always been a huge part of my life. I'm just intrigued by it.
Where do you see the fashion industry headed and are you happy with what's out there?
Oh yes. Definitely. Especially with some of the younger people coming out of the design schools. For instance, last year at the show, the level of the student designs was absolutely incredible and so was their creativity. Many of the clothes we saw last year were very wearable and very high quality workmanship. There was also creative, avant garde types of clothing made from wool or wire with a costume type of look. It was quite intriguing. Many of these students will be the top designers of the future.
Why are people fascinated by runway shows?
They're fun. Everybody likes to look at new clothes even if they can't wear them. It's inspiring and it's fun to watch and the shows are very high energy. There's music and video and the girls are terrific.