Academy of Art University Fall 2010

Six of the best and brightest students at the Academy of Art University debuted their collection at the tents at Bryant Park on Saturday, February 13th. The collections are representative of 4 of the school’s programs: Fashion, Knitwear, Technical and Textile Design. I always look forward to this show, if only to take a peek at what young designers are thinking about, if they’re questioning or reacting to the current climate of Fashion or if their approach is more interior. More often than not, their ideas are always conceptually rich, drawing from models of nature, or the history of photography or painting or architecture. Sometimes, it is the personal telling of someone’s memory or past. It is always exciting to see how they will translate it into clothing, and being that Fall is always big on knits, I was ready for some textural surprises. Knits in beautifully geometric shapes sprouted cone-like off of shoulders in Steven Oo’s merino wool collection, inspired by the Architecture of Massimiliano Fuksas. Hyo Sun An created spaghetti like strings hanging riotously off of shoulders on strong silhouettes which quite easily felt sci-fi and kind of streetwise/rock and roll. The romantic, prairie like creations of Naomi Sutton was my own personal favorite. It felt both dark and naieve, almost Amish, with long white cotton dresses that resembled undergarments taking on an American goth feel. Sabah Mansoor nestled jewel shaped crystals in her crocheted knits which had an interesting stars in the night sky effect. She also employed a Japanese technique of dying which consisted of creating a pattern by binding, stitching, folding and twisting fabric. Marina Solomatnikova’s collection was elegant, feminine and had a strong art-deco feel, with high silk blouses peeking out of structured sueded jackets. Bethany Meuleners truly employed the layering technique in her deep plunging gowns, mixing sheer chiffon over wool and lace and letting them as she states,”land off kilter.” A promising show for 6 young designers to watch.
—Jeanie Kwak
Photos by Stevyn Llewellyn