This week’s Friday Five centers around the world of fashion. Dallas native Mila Hermanovski, who attended RISD for apparel design, has worked in many facets of the business. She started her career at Calvin Klein, worked at a trend forecasting publication, as a visual merchandiser on Fifth Avenue, and with Hollywood costume designers. That said, you may best know her as a contestant on Project Runway Season 7, on which she placed in the top 3 and showed at the Fall 2010 Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in New York City. You may have also caught her on an episode of Project Runway All Stars this month. Hermanovski launched her own label, M.I.L.A. for Spring 2011 and also designs a capsule collection called M|R|C created from vintage and re-purposed cashmere. Her Friday Five picks perfectly encapsulates her aesthetic.

1. Vintage neckties
I have a significant collection of neckties from the 1940s to the present, the majority being from the ’50s and ’60s. I just love the patterns, particularly the mid-century ones. They have abstract graphic elements that seem to be randomly placed (though I’m sure they weren’t). To me the ties are artworks — studies in composition. My obsession with neckties started at a very young age. Something many people don’t know about me is I made skinny neckties out of sparkly, leopard print, and Madras plaid fabrics when I was 15. I actually got some orders!

2. Piero Fornasetti
I find Fornasetti’s work very compelling. His pieces are my favorite examples of surrealism. I’m working on slowly building a Fornasetti collection, but for now I’ve only got three pieces. The most recent one I acquired is this fabulous incense burner (I love frankincense and church incenses, so it was a bonus that the delicate little sticks that accompany the burner smell similarly).  It makes me happy just passing by it in the hallway.

3. Clouds
Clouds are simply fascinating and intriguing to me. They are humbling, majestic, and mysterious. I almost designed an entire collection based on clouds; it was put on hold but one day it will absolutely materialize.

4. Maison Martin Margiela shoes
So sublime; the perfect marriage of minimalism and surrealism. Not to mention they are extremely well made, comfortable, and timeless. Totally worth the investment!

5. Anni and Josef Albers
The inspiration for my Fall 2012 collection, this couple’s work individually and collectively inspires me. I admire the perfect graphic compositions and Josef’s use of subtle color shifts and gray scale.

Photos (with the exception of #5)  by Matthew Betcher.