14 young designers premiered ten collections launching their careers in the Bryant Park Tents. Three menswear and seven womenswear collections were shown. Academy of Art University is the first and only educational institution to promote its recent fashion graduates with this extraordinary opportunity.
Simon Ungless, Director of Graduate Fashion, who is the Executive Producer for all the University’s fashion shows, worked with Kevin Carney “DJ Nitedog” on the music. Simon selected the opening music segment from the 1973 movie Badlands featuring Martin Sheen and Sissy Spacek whose look from this movie was the theme for the make-up and hair.
Model Cintia Dicker opened and personified the look of the show with a dress by fashion designer Laurie Browne and textile designer Young Jun Ryu. Young’s inspiration for the fabric came from an old folding screen. He broke down the images and redesigned them into contemporary prints. Laurie took inspiration from the exaggerated proportions of European expressionist painter Egon Schiele and Balenciaga’s design structure and volume of the 60s.
Fashion designer Masamichi Matsushita collaborated with textile designer Susan Fort on their futuristic menswear collection using “O-Wool by Jasco” organic wool, which was donated by Vermont Organic Fiber Company [www.vtorganicfiber.com].
Li-Jen “Alan” Lee’s couture-like structured denim collection was sponsored by Cone Mills Denim [www.conedenim.com].
Fashion and knitwear designer Quyen Nguyen created a very modern and saleable collection using Girl Scout uniforms and menswear shirts as her inspiration.
Stephanie Sauceda visited her Spanish roots for her sharply tailored menswear collection drawing inspiration from armor, military and based each look on a Spanish conquistador. She hopes to return to Spain to pursue her fashion career.
Academy of Art University upholds its commitment to educate designers on environmentally sound practices. This sustainable program is put into practice through Masamichi Matsushita’s use of organic wool as well as Christine Welcher’s womenswear collection. Christine collaborated with textile designer Lydia Timken and used organic color-grown cottons.
Avani Pratap Bhansali’s passion for ancient civilization and dynasties led to her inspiration from the intricacies of Persian art. She researched archival metal work, pottery and textiles and incorporated the texture into her designs. She also took architectural elements and was inspired by the loose silhouettes worn at that time. Born in Bombay, India, Avani’s collection was also included on the runway of the 24th Annual Macy’s Passport 2006 Fashion Extravaganza in San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Pablo Fernandez, a native of Uruguay, incorporated his fashion and knitwear design focus into an avant-garde collection inspired by the early-80s, vintage cartoons and WWI paraphernalia. Pablo was a 2004 CFDA Scholarship Award recipient. In May 2006, Pablo was awarded an internship at Louis Vuitton in Paris for 2007 after Christophe Girard, Deputy Mayor of Paris Responsible for Culture and Director of Fashion Strategy of the LVMH Fashion Group, met Pablo and viewed his portfolio. Pablo’s collection was showcased on the runway of the 24th Annual Macy’s Passport 2006 in San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Japanese fashion designer Mari Matsumoto and Korean textile designer Kyung Min Kim are listed on Forbes.com as “Designers to Watch” and an image from their collection appeared in Women’s Wear Daily with the review of the show. Mari incorporated her understanding of Japanese clothing and the Kabuki way of styling into her collaborative collection with Kyung who based her textiles on Mari’s journey from grief to growth following the death of her mother. Mari and Kyung were also featured in a two-page spread in the Summer 2006 issue of Art Works Magazine.
Swedish and African-American designer Shanti Rose Markstrom’s heavily constructed and hand-detailed collection closed the show to great applause. One vest took her over 35 hours to make! Shanti took inspiration from Commedia del’arte and Victorian circus performers as well as French artists Jean-Antoine Watteau and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. Her collection was also included in the 24th Annual Macy’s Passport 2006 Fashion Extravaganza in San Francisco and Los Angeles.
For more information:
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