ARLINGTON, Va. — Michael Kors brought a bit of "Project Runway" to Marymount University here, where he was named designer of the year at the school's 18th annual fashion show.
Before the event, produced by students who also designed and modeled the looks, Kors offered a few encouraging words and they reciprocated with affection for the designer who has emerged as a television personality because of "Project Runway.''
Scores of starry-eyed students waited to have their pictures taken with him and one even shouted, "I love you, Michael."
About 225 of Marymount's 3,600 students study fashion design or merchandising. The show culminates the fashion students' four-year education.
"It's like the Super Bowl of our school," said Janice Ellinwood, department chair of the Fine and Applied Arts program.
Ellinwood said the students not only conceive and produce the show, but also put together the marketing and the advertising. It seemed from the audience, which filled the school's basketball court, that the sales pitch worked.
Kors sat in the front row to take in the show, featuring mostly dresses, but also some men's sportswear and kids' clothes and even doggie duds. The designer said he was pleased that the students, who didn't shy away from bright colors, weren't bound by the traditionally conservative view of the Washington fashion scene.
The show was choreographed with models walking to thumping music in pairs or threesomes, and sometimes escorted by other students costumed as Secret Service agents.
"I thought it was fun," said Kors, who stressed that young designers have to accept that success doesn't come overnight and that each has to follow his or her own path.
In addition to being the star of the show, Kors examined their portfolios. "I've never had so much work to do in my life," said Stephanie Burke, who was so busy she didn't have time to think about Kors looking at her sketches.
Leigh Spatafore felt much the same. "I'm really ready for a break," she said. "I'm feeling kind of starstruck, too, but definitely nervous."
When Kors looked at the students' portfolios, he was straightforward. "You're into sportswear, that's nice," he told one student. "The world does not always wear dresses."He also told the seniors not to think that "intern is a dirty word," and to specialize if they have a passion.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast