David Greene: Style Wars winner talks fashion
The unanimous winner of TV3’s Style Wars, David spent weeks taking part in an intense competition with impossible tasks and a serious amount of bitching. I talk to David about the show, what he really thought of Caprice and what’s next for the bow-tied builder...
Not your average path to the world of fashion! Tell me a little about your work experience to date.
Well my degree is in Building Surveying, some might think this and fashion are worlds apart but it’s all about structure, flair and creativity. My fashion experience stems from modelling where I got lots of inside knowledge on the world of design and backstage processes of runway shows etc. I worked in Divine Boutique in Malahide for a while, gaining experience in visual merchandising and display and working as a general assistant and stylist.
Did you get a hard time from the lads on the building site or were they supportive of your new career?
Fortunately, I never had to work on the sites - my calf leather boots would have been destroyed! All my building surveying skills were pumped into creative drawings of existing buildings and doing home surveys. I’m sure everyone in my college class were aware of my love for fashion - the eccentricity of my clothes meant that I stood out a little in Dundalk.
Are you relieved that it's finally all over or do you miss the other contestants?
I don’t know how to feel about the show being over, mixed emotions I suppose. But, I have been in constant touch with most of the contestants. I’ll definitely miss them when I go off to London though!
Your TV wardrobe was ace! Did you spend a fortune buying a new outfit for each episode? And, please tell where you get your signature ribbons?
Well thank you. I did spend a bit on some new things but then other stuff I have from over the years. Some of it I inherited from my dad, he was a classy dresser and his Mac was so useful for the show. It was my favourite piece. His camel suede trimmed cardigan went down very well with the other contestants. Oh, the ribbons, my little pals, they come from Rubenesque. I was always a fan of customising my own stuff to give it a vintage feel.
Do you have a style icon?
Male - Marlon Brando - his oversize sailor jumper from an interview in 1950’s has been an inspiration, he was classy, preppy and tailored but with an interesting twist.
Female - Brigitte Bardot - for her tousled, free-style, hippie chic look that took Hollywood by storm and has influenced how modern icons like the Olsen twins dress.
Was Caprice as fierce as she seemed on screen?
She really was. She gave us some mental critique but it was all aimed at seeing how we could take the criticism and build ourselves back up. Apparently she was preparing us for the “cruel world of fashion”.
Peter O'Brien has been designing couture for years, while Caprice is an ex-model who does knickers. Who were you all intent on impressing?
Peter was the one I always felt I could relate to most. Obviously I did try to impress all three judges, but I suppose it was his opinion I was looking forward to hearing. Ian’s was very important too, given that the job is with Aurora.
Spill the beans, who was your favourite contestant and who did you just not 'dig'!?
Oh I’ll be killed. Am I allowed to have more than one favourite?
Gracie Lou Freebush is a brilliant person, Roisin for her style and love for things nobody knows, Niamh for being a rockstar and my fellow finalists for being themselves. Not digging, em I don’t think Zoe was a big fan of mine and Dee did cause a lot of tension in the show, but it’s fine now it’s all over.
Is there anyone that you still see as competition?
Eh, NO! I’d kill them if they tried to get in my way. Most are very talented in their own right and will go a long way, but I would never feel threatened by them or their abilities. I’m a nice guy and hope things go well for them, but I won. So there!
You're new job will open endless doors but what area are you hoping to get into in the long term-design, styling, buying?
Oh that’s a tough one because I would like to dabble in all three and other areas as well but I got a real feel for design in week 5 on the show, the Special K task. Having never touched a sewing machine in my life, I really felt like I excelled and came up with a fashion forward design that incorporated my background of surveying through structure and shape. The judges seemed impressed with the first dress I have ever made. That said if I could kill one person for a position, it would be Grace Coddington - fashion editor at Vogue. I feel like I belong in fashion direction and styling at the moment.