April 23, 2011 was an amazing night creativity and eclectic rhapsody; Paul Mitchell the School Atlanta and Live Sound Promotions celebrated the Second Annual Charity Fashion Show & Concert. Fashion Pop – a fusion of fashion and music smashed with performances by Universal Motown recording artist Gail Scott!!! As well as recording artist Neon, Carly Krantz and Sergio Valentine. 100% of the proceeds from the event benefited the following charities: The Leeza Gibbons Memory Foundation, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, The Andrew Gomez Dream Foundation, Cancer Schmancer and Children’s Miracle Network. The event was very vibrant, up beat, and it certainly did POP!!!! Every designer by no means came short nothing less than Extra-Ordinary. It was as if you were apart of a “Fashion Fantasy!”
I had the opportunity to sit down with one of the designers from the show, Dean Pardue & talk about his collection as well as get an insight of this free spirited guys life. This is actually Dean’s second time gracing the page of BE-Style as a feature designer. Almost two years ago, we visited Dean to discuss is appearance on the Real Housewives of Atlanta franchise and his hopeful matriculation through the fashion industry. Within the next few lines, you will see that Dean has definitely made strides and is continuing upward on his path to influence the design world.
London V: Thank you so much for taking the time out to sit and chat with BE magazine. So, my first question is, What is your inspiration when it comes to your designs?
Dean P: Well my view was largely inspired by Grace Jones and a lot of the 80’s high fashion glamour. I love to make of an artistic statement in the woman’s dress.
London V: How did you come up with the name “ White Chocolate” for your line?
Dean P: Well I’m originally from the hood…Lol, and I was the only “white” cookie in the entire hood so they deemed me ‘white chocolate”. The nickname was a contradiction within itself and it seemed befitting of my collection being that I am a couture designer with an urban flair.
London V: When did you first fall in love with fashion?
Dean P: I was five and a well dressed lady, a diva!!! I think everything about the 70’s & 80’s and what my mom and the other women in my family did with their clothes really made me want to learn more about fashion. I actually created my first piece when I was five, it was a handbag that my mom would always carry.
London V: What can we expect from your Spring/Summer Collection?
Dean P: What you can expect from my S/S collection is something TOTALLY different from what you viewed tonight. Spring is going to be all about femininity, pastels mixed with a safari edge. I want to do a fusion of maybe combat boots with a flower or maybe a gun with a flower. Mixing the two, the hard and soft describes most females.
London V: What would you say separates you from other designers?
Dean P: I would say it’s the fact the I’m eclectic and that I personally make everything by hand. Overall, I would say that i am a cornucopia, a mesh, maybe even an evolution of so many cultures, races, and historical backgrounds. So I think that it comes through in my fashion because there’s a little bit of femininity, a little bit of high class, a little bit of ethnic – I like to take all of those influences and fuse them together.
London V: What words would you use to describe White Chocolate?
Dean P: Always sexy, always a strong woman, and someone who isn’t afraid to go against the grain to express themselves. And once again that fusion, and everything always ending up falling in a shade a gray; nothing is black and white to me everything is a shade of gray. For example, maybe it’s a gown that is six inches to short or maybe it’s casual apparel made with sequence – intentionally. I like to take the two elements of ying and yang and mesh them together.
London V: What would be your words of encouragement for aspiring designers?
Dean P: Express yourself!! Don’t ever let anyone tell you, no. Find your inspiration and never second guess yourself.
London V: What has been your greatest accomplishment thus far?
Dean P: Just making so many women feel pretty. Anything that I’ve created has been an accomplishment. This is my life and I love what I do.
London V: Who are some of the people you’ve designed for?
Dean P: I started early on just doing local socialites, but I’ve worked with Kim Zolziack (Real Housewives Of Atlanta), Keisha Cole, Kim Porter, Sanaa Lathan, Taraji P. Henson, Jane Fonda, and a wide variety of women.
London V: Where do you see yourself in five years?
Dean P: In five years, I see myself somewhere on the beach making fabulous clothes. And maybe even doing a men and children’s collection.
London V: How can our readers and potential clients get in contact with you?
Dean P: They can contact me through my website www.deanparduefashions.com. I’m also in House of Brides in New York and make sure you join the Dean Pardue fan page on Facebook.
I would just like to thank Dean Pardue for this AMAZING interview. A free-spirited, vibrant, warm hearted individual whose journey in the fashion industry has just begun.