Local fashion designer prepares for his biggest show yet
By Richard Gaw
By Richard L. Gaw
To David Ferron at Unionville Saddle, there is something so quietly majestic and beautiful about the Southern Chester County woman. It is an understated elegance, one not fussed over and made to be more apparent than it truly is. It is found in the application of clothing made for the work of a modern woman that tugs at the terrain of the region she lives in; the breeze of a hand through hair in the morning; the subtle hint of make-up, if any; and the fitting of well-worn boots that are complimented by the perfect sweater.
Accidental perfection, traversing along country lanes and small towns.
On March 28, Ferron will introduce “Collection One,” his new line of 50 styles that he created in honor of these women, at the Brandywine River Museum of Art. Sold out for weeks, the show will draw 240 admirers to the museum at sunset for an evening of cocktails, hors d'oeuvres, and a runway presentation on local women and models.
For Ferron, “Collection One” is the dovetail effect of his love of a local museum and his willingness to add a big and bold stroke to his young career in fashion. He began to design the collection last June, as part of his aspiration to create a line of styles that women can custom order.
“I'm getting to the point where custom work is going very well, but I want more people to have access to what I have been designing,” Ferron said. “I'm saying to women, 'This is the style, these are the fabric options and colors, and we can make it for you based off of your measurements.'”
Last year, a client of Ferron's came into the studio to pick up a custom order. She told Ferron that she had just come from the Brandywine River Museum of Art. How ironic, Ferron thought. He then told her about the times when his mother Ann – the art teacher at Patton Middle School – would occasionally take her son David out of school to join her and her classes on trips to the museum. When he began to conceive his ideal location for a runway show, the museum came immediately to mind. He loved how its large windows captured the flowing eloquence of the nearby Brandywine River, particularly at sunset.
The client connected Ferron with Thomas Padon, the museum's director.
“I told Mr. Padon, ‘I see this as an event for the community,’” Ferron said. “I see this getting a lot of local women there who will be wearing my custom clothing and an opportunity to debut Collection One. I also see utilizing the three-floor circling atrium and transforming that entire space as a runway.”
Ferron then created a 30-page booklet as part of a presentation he gave to Padon. It gave clear arguments in fine detail: why fashion should be in art museums; and how culturally relevant clothes are to personal expression. Just before Thanksgiving, Padon told Ferron, “Yes.”
Even though Ferron was born and raised locally, his March 28 show represents, in many ways, his official “Homecoming.” After graduating from Unionville High School in 2007, Ferron attended the Parsons School of Design in New York City, and in 2011, was selected as Parsons' Womenswear Designer of the Year. He then spent seven years in the highly-competitive New York City fashion industry, before returning to Chester County in 2018.
“What’s changed the most in the past two years is that this studio has become an incubator for my designs, where I now have the opportunity to talk one-on-one with the woman I am making a garment for,” Ferron said. “In that process, I'm not only getting to know the clothes better and how I like to design, but I am getting to know them. They’re not only investing in a beautiful dress to wear to their daughter’s wedding, but they’re also investing in an experience using their own creative capacity, which is rare in garment-buying.
“I am listening to them. I am understanding the fit issues they have with off the rack garments and why they chose their desired style. It becomes more community-driven.”
As he prepares for the biggest show of his career – one that will unveil 50 styles and 20 different runway looks – Ferron said that his “Collection One” event will serve as the generous overlap to his mission as a clothing designer, and the styles he has been creating for the women of Chester County. “I have lost the New York sensibility of making ‘chic’ clothing and make a big statement,” he said. “Now my goal is to design clothing with spirit that make women feel great.”
Select pieces from “Collection One” will be available to order on davidferron.com on the day of the show, and all other pieces will be available to order at David Ferron's shop in Unionville. To make an appointment, email email@example.com or call (610) 470-1254.