Since 2005, the School of Fashion at Academy of Art University in San Francisco, California premiered the collections of recent graduates during New York Fashion Week. "We view this show as the University's commitment to help launch the careers of our designers," said Dr. Elisa Stephens, president of Academy of Art University. "To be a part of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Lincoln Center is an incredible opportunity."
This season six women's wear and one men's wear collection premiered on the runway.
Jungah Lee, M.F.A. Fashion Design
Jungah used the faded colors of antique books as inspiration for the hand dyeing and painting of her latex and silk fabrics. She mixed water with the dyes and used brushes to obtain a water stained look. She layered, pleated and manipulated the silk fabric to mimic warped and torn pages of old books. Traditional Korean dresses influenced the soft silhouette and lines of her collection.
Cara Chiappetta, M.F.A. Fashion Design
In addition to being a Fashion Group Foundation Scholarship recipient and participant in a LVMH Creative Briefing Design Challenge, Cara interned for N.I.C.E. Collective and Michael Kors. She found inspiration in femininity and examining how a woman is perceived. Bridget Fonda's character Nina in the film "The Point of No Return" became Cara's muse. Her fabric choices of rubber, silk, mesh, wool, and nylon influenced garment details, manipulations and bonding techniques. Helmut Newton's photography helped her capture the mood.
April Howard, M.F.A. Fashion Design
Before pursuing her M.F.A. at the Academy, April received a B.A. in Anthropology, A.A.S. in Textile/Surface Design, and worked professionally designing home, tabletop, giftware and linens for Tommy Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren. For this collection, she was inspired by the work of found objects sculptor Kathy Kelley, the decaying concrete and plastic of an urban wasteland, and Cormac McCarthy's novel "The Road." Her organic shapes and details are representative of discarded items.
Louie Llewellyn, M.F.A. Men's Wear Design, and Xiang Zhang, M.F.A. Knitwear Design
Louie used the theme of a disagreement between a hard and soft men's wear silhouette. He designed the woven pieces with sharp edges then added softer fabrics for contrast. He used one of his favorite paintings, Incision by Jay Defeo, for the color inspiration and selected fabrics to evoke a feeling of strength and desire.
Xiang designed the knitwear for the collection. 30+ swatches were created before final combinations were selected. A time-consuming plating technique, knitting with two strands of yarn held by hand and twisted to obtain the desired effect and color combination, was used. Each piece took approximately 50 hours to finish.
A group of Technical Design, Fashion Design and Textile Design students worked together on this collection. The designers used several sources of British influences as inspiration such as the television series "Brideshead Revisited," British interiors, and uniforms of Oxford University and cricket. The textile designers focused on the prints, the fashion designers created the look, the technical designers drafted the patterns, and then the technical and fashion designers constructed the garments.
Technical Designers Lindsey Gong and Jackie Nguyen. Fashion Designers Anasa Greaves, Han Yoon, and Emma Erickson. Textile Designers Ruby Guerra, Gabrielle Cols, Yi-Hui Wen, Amanda Carrillo, Chanchai Tanapornwattana, Jennifer Chen, Sarah Appiah, Jennifer Filo, Adriane-Lauren Hueso, and Leah Rossi.
Camilla Olson, M.F.A. Fashion Design
With a B.S. in Microbiology and a M.B.A. in Marketing, Camilla patented several products and founded five companies before pursuing her M.F.A. at the Academy. She participated in the LVMH Creative Briefing Design Challenge this past summer. Inspired by the movie "Blade Runner" and samurai arts, Camilla's collection represents women as rebels breaking the restrictions of their historically constrained roles. The soft silk under-dresses represent a woman's inner nature and the outer 'cage' is her strength and armor. Camilla plans to launch her own line.
Maria Korovilas, M.F.A. Fashion Design
After completing classes in Tambour Beading in the School of Fashion, Maria incorporated metal encrusted pieces and details into her collection. The hand beading took over 600 hours to complete. The starting point of her inspiration was the Jenny Lewis song "You Are What You Love" from which she pulled visual and conceptual references for her moody collection.
Photos: Randy Brooke