Photo courtesy of SCAD.


The Savannah College of Art and Design held its first “SCAD Fashwknd” late last month focusing on original student designs from its School of Fashion. The four-day event took place at the university’s Savannah and Atlanta campuses, and served as a chance for senior and graduate student collections to be showcased.

Each year, students from SCAD’s School of Fashion located in its Atlanta, Savannah and Hong Kong campuses are invited to contribute their final collections for critique by fashion industry experts. Students participate in a “Project Runway”-style jury review of noteworthy industry professionals and SCAD professors, who select the most outstanding collections to be exhibited at the annual SCAD event.

This year, 43 students were chosen to present their collections during this special event, which included up to three looks per designer. On May 19th, collections were presented on the runway in Savannah and the following day the SCAD Fashion Show moved to its Atlanta campus for the first time and showcased the same looks in a “reimagined vignette” format. It was the first time SCAD extended the event to a four-day affair while the runway event is in its 16th year.

Lottie Bertello, a fashion design major and fibers minor, unveiled her “Sobre Hielo” collection during the event. Inspired by a series of wintertime Canadian Rocky Mountain road trips, the collection speaks to the experience of seeing snow for the first time.

To see a video of the runway show, follow this link.

“Even though the collection is mostly composed of ready-to-wear pieces, I employed several eveningwear construction techniques in order to get such voluminous shapes,” Bertello said. “Through an incredibly successful collaboration with accessory design student Jose Criales and fibers graduate Juliana Vargas, we developed knitwear, embroidery and utilized upcycled fur to create an oversized hat. All the pieces in the collection are meant to be mixed and matched with each other, allowing the customer to style them in a way that fits their personal aesthetic.” Upon graduation, Bertello has plans to move to L.A. to work at Vince in men’s wear.

In preparation for the weekend event, the university’s “Style Lab” mentor program connects its budding fashion talent with reputable designers that offer guidance to students as they add final touches to their collections throughout the semester. Style Lab mentors this year included David Ruperto, senior director of Ralph Lauren footwear and Francisco Costa, a former Calvin Klein women’s wear creative director, as well as SCAD alumnae Marv Graff, a fashion designer and Emily Smith, a creative director.

Photo courtesy of SCAD. 

The event honored photographer and director David LaChapelle with the “SCAD Étoile” in recognition of his career and enduring contributions to the fashion industry. The “SCAD Étoile” honors “icons of style and design” and has previously been awarded to Jonathan Adler, Pierre Cardin, Carolina Herrera and David Yurman, among others.

Paula Wallace, the president and founder of SCAD, said the “world’s preeminent student fashion showcase for 16 years and counting, the SCAD Savannah Fashion Show heralds
 the top-flight designers of fashion’s future.”

“This year, the premiere of SCAD Fashwknd presents the prodigious skills of our students twofold, to audiences in Savannah and Atlanta, with a dazzling cross-city presentation of their work,” Wallace added. “It’s live fashion; it’s our students living their dreams; it’s the very look of life in the forthcoming era.”

SCAD specializes in preparing its students to directly enter the work force upon graduation by arranging top-notch internship opportunities that tie into curriculums and boasts a 98 percent employment rate, which is more than double the national average. The university has more than 32,000 alumni worldwide and offers degrees in 43 majors and minors in more than 75 disciplines. The school has an additional campus in Lacoste, France and offers SCAD e-learning alternatives.

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