The Academy of Art Fashion Design students showcase their creations to the industry to jump start their careers on the runway at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week. Student Designers, are the lifeblood of the fashion industry. The opening collection was a collaboration of a group of fashion and textile design students who worked with fabrics donated by French mills from UBIFRANCE and the French Trade Commission. Their successful partnership yielded interesting results.
Most of the young designers were captured by the spirit of the 80s with structured jackets and shaped shoulders. Others, were enthralled by the thrill of saturated colors, feathers or graphic prints. Some had a more 1960s architectural point of view, with tailored lines and seaming that served as both function and design. This technique was successful in many collections.
One designer to watch, was Stephanie Touch, whose design and execution was effortless and reminded me of the 1960s Mod Designers who also used tailoring with a sense of ease and wit. Many students, after discovering the patterning process tend to overuse their new skills. Stephanie's collection was exceptional in conception and execution using white and creme colored pieces that were very wearable. Her background as a professional patternmaker showed not just by her technical expertise, but by the ease and simplicity of the fashion story. She is the Donna Karan of the future, no doubt.
Another standout designer was Ginnie C.Y. Huang showing her affection for saturated colors and birds. I thought her ideas were great, her use of color very amusing and the feathers were a nice runway touch. Ladies who lunch, will find in this group of designers perfect for their needs, as the outfits all had elegance and simplicity as well as surface interest. Just add the family jewels and you'll be set.
The Academy of Arts show designers are all successful technicians, a tribute to the excellent education they receive at the Academy. It seems that becoming a fashion designer isn't necessarily for dreamers anymore. The solid educational background needed by today's young designers balanced with the creative skills required is a challenge for any university to accommodate and these students really showed their guts, skills and sensibilities.
For further information about the show, contact the university through its various social media channels: