ORIGINS: BORN INTO CREATIVITY
David Santillanes a.k.a Davisanti has been creating ever since he was old enough to hold a crayon in his hands. From an early age, he was constantly drawing on any surface within his reach. TV screens, doors, and bathroom vanity were among his canvas of choice, much to his parent’s dismay. It developed into his favorite pastime and transcended into an outlet of artistic expression.
In the days of his precocious youth, he studied various forms of art including stippling, acrylic painting, oil pastels, and line drawing. Art and music became his religion. David’s love of music naturally led him to be influenced by the glittering fashion of Hollywood’s iconic celebrities. He saw fashion as a form of visual grammar. It wasn’t long before he began designing custom gowns for his classmates.
EARLY CAREER: JAZZ NOIR
Upon graduating from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, his career reached new heights when he met classic jazz vocalist Sylvia Brooks. She needed a designer to create custom looks and style them for her publicity shoot. It was then that he had the opportunity to create garments that implemented the core principles of couture. David effortlessly captured Sylvia’s classic Hollywood sultriness and blended it with his edgy and sophisticated design aesthetic.
GETTING INTO CHARACTER: BURGEONING AESTHETIC OF A COSTUME DESIGNER
David embarked on his career in Costume Design while working freelance for Underwraps Costumes. Although it wasn’t the ideal career venture for a fashion designer, he relished in the opportunity to leverage his sketching skills and design sensibilities. He began to master garment construction techniques and the implementation of literal and superficial elements that make a character effortlessly identifiable. He would eventually move on from Underwraps to become the Head Designer of Incharacter Costumes in San Diego.
After the launch of Incharacter’s provocative Costume Confidential line, his passion for costume design became fueled by its wildly imaginative artistry and quality craftsmanship. It was during his tenure at Incharacter that David developed a level of refinement that allowed him to bring wearable works of art to life. He relentlessly pushed the boundaries of overseas mass production by challenging himself to translate haute couture into costumes that are seductive yet elegant. He simultaneously gained a strong understanding of how to utilize wardrobe styling and art direction to convey juxtaposition through editorial photography. All the while, the creative direction of David’s company began to blossom.
HAUS OF DAVISANTI: A NEW VISION
Since its inception, the eponymous Haus of Davisanti has been founded on the core principles of imaginative artistry and exquisite craftsmanship. Our mission is to tell a story by taking what is unfamiliar or unexpected and transform it into something that is relevant to the modern world. We pride ourselves in breathing life into creations that oscillate between fragility and strength, classic and modern, fluidity and severity. Any creative inspiration is always grounded in these guidelines of juxtaposition and the core principles of couture. Currently catering to private clients, photographers, and entertainers, the Haus of Davisanti offers a variety of services including custom made garments, wardrobe styling, and the conceptualization of editorial photography.