Dallas Does Delaware

This Trolleywood habitué makes the New York connection weekly. So if you want the inside track on fashion, ask her. The designers do.

Photograph by Jared CastaldiDelaware, meet Dallas. Dallas, meet Delaware. Now that we’re friends, let’s get something straight: Dallas Shaw is a pretty fabulous lady to have in your social network.

The artist-slash-style guru points you in the right direction when it comes to dressing for a night out in Trolley Square: “No club clothes—ever—in my opinion. Jeans and a men’s tee, a blazer, an amazing scarf and either a boyfriend watch or a thin vintage watch.” And she can just as easily have you looking your best for, say, a whirlwind tour of Fashion Week in Manhattan: “A lot of black, gray or ivory. High-heels—no flats at Fashion Week. Ever. Mix your designers.”

Shaw can so easily bridge these two vastly different worlds of style because she lives in both. For most of the week, Shaw, who resides in Trolley Square, works from home, drawing for major fashion houses up and down New York City: DKNY, Oscar de la Renta, FCUK, 9 West and Rent the Runway are but a few of the designers she collaborates with. Then, once a week, she heads to Manhattan for a day of meetings, which can involve anything from stopping by the Oscar office for a chat or two, or taking in a new collection from one of the many major designers who value her fashion chops. “I’ll get to go and see a designer’s latest collection and walk around and say why I like this or that,” Shaw says. “It is such an honor to be invited to do these things.”

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Shaw the artist calls on fashion as her muse. Her work outside of her design clients includes acrylic, watercolor, pencil, charcoal and her custom medium, vintage-inspired wallpaper art, all for sale for private collections (dallasshaw.com).

“I’m completely inspired by the fashion industry,” she says. “I’ve been drawing since I was 4. Looking back, it’s so obvious what I wanted to do. I used to draw my mom fashion magazines and staple them together.”

For her client collabos, she creates fashion illustrations to complement the designer’s brand. “You know those drawings, those girls with the really long legs? That’s me,” she says. Shaw also does fashion picks, in which she pulls her favorite pieces from a collection, writes why she adores it, and bundles her choices with fashion illustrations, all of which will go on the designer’s Website. She’s currently doing fashion picks with FCUK’s latest collection. “The best part about it is the very personal relationships I get to form with the designers,” she says.

How personal? “Well, I got to see Oscar de la Renta’s office,” she says. “They invited me [to the Fashion Week show] because they’re interested in my work. And it was unreal. You have not seen fashion until you’ve seen his beadwork up close. It was the best day of my life—well, besides my wedding day, of course.”

One thing strikes Shaw as ironic when she’s traipsing around backstage at fashion shows, checking out the gorgeous threads in person and making mental notes for the artwork that the pieces will spawn.

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“I walk around and it’s ‘Hey Dallas,’ ‘Hi Dallas,’” she says. “People know me. But here in Delaware, my home, nobody knows me or what I do.” She laughs. “I wish it weren’t that way, because I really love it here. Delaware is gorgeous. I love being able to come home from a busy day in New York, walk around and not have to throw elbows to get down the street. It’s just so nice, peaceful. I want to stay here.”

Hey, no complaints from us.

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