Academy of Art University celebrated the graduating class of the School of Fashion with its annual runway show last Saturday presenting creations from 19 graduating students who collaborated with jewelry, textile and knitwear students to create more than 100 looks.
Notable among the student looks were Estene Marquez’s six elegant pieces, including eveningwear of laser-cut silk organza in black and nude. One standout was a long-sleeved hoodie in laser-cut wool faille worn over floor-dusting wide-leg organza pants with suspenders.
Jeanne Marie Sanguinetti designed Seventies-inspired ivory minidresses embellished with embroidered patches of Pac-Man video game characters. Sanguinetti’s long black fused canvas jumpsuit was adorned with Pac-Man appliqués and a series of flickering yellow resin LED lights that raced around the body and legs. Jiran Xia’s bold-shouldered peach cashmere and wool full-length coat had flower-motif panels floating down the front, worn over an abstract print dress in yellow and orange cotton.
“Students make every possible use of classic tailoring and sewing techniques and have embraced digital printing, 3-D printing and laser cutting, and [they] use Photoshop and computerized pattern-making and drafting, and wearable tech, “ said Simon Ungless, executive director of the School of Fashion. “At the same time, they have a great appreciation of craftsmanship and traditional techniques, and they love to apply those skills to new tech fabrics.”
Erika Tompkins designed a short white cotton knit dress and added texture with front and back panels of thin white silicon molds of a handknit cable sweater. Her full-length charcoal gray wool twill shirtdress had pockets of clear silicon, and a pair of shorts in cream cotton/Lycra had two-inch strips of clear silicon as cuff trim.
Ungless said the recently opened Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute exhibit honoring Rei Kawakubo has encouraged students to experiment more with fashion silhouettes and embellishment. “The Met show is a powerful message to students to be fearless, to explore new ways of looking at men’s and women’s wear,” he added.
Ungless noted that students have grown up with earth-friendly practices central to their daily lives so ecoconscious practices are followed with each design. “Sustainability is a central focus with all our fashion initiatives, and we look at the entire lifestyle of fashion, from yarns to production, to use, and wear and after-life,” he said.
Dagny Steindórsdóttir recycled beige stamped vintage telephone cables for a fringe effect threaded through her boxy, bold-shouldered mustard lambskin coat.
Inspirations for other students’ designs included Chinese opera, survival gear and extreme sports, Japanese biker girl gangs, Salvador Dalí, Japanese fishermen, as well as circuit boards and 3-D printing.
Jewelry students collaborating with fashion students created 3-D-printed decorative earphones as well as large-scale colorful buttons.
On Friday, Ungless presented a conversation between Sara Kozlowski, director of education and professional development for the CFDA, and Sarah Mower, chief critic at vogue.com, who was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Academy. They discussed career preparedness and global opportunities for young fashion professionals.