BACK TO IT: For the first time in two years, the Academy of Art University School of Fashion will be staging an in-person fashion show for its bachelor and master of fine arts graduates.
The May 12 evening event will also honor fashion designer Giles Deacon, who is a familiar face to Simon Ungless, executive director of the academy’s School of Fashion. Ungless and Deacon were classmates at Central Saint Martins. The school values the work Deacon has put forward across fashion, costume design, illustration and others, a school spokesman said.
The London-based designer and illustrator blends fashion, fine art, theater and glamour in his creations. His designs can be found in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Deacon teamed up with IWG, a leading operator of office and flexible working spaces, last year to design the WFA (work from anywhere) capsule collection. He also crafted Pippa Middleton’s wedding dress and Billy Porter’s 24-karat gold-foiled feathered ensemble at the 2020 Oscars. His portfolio includes designs for Marvel, Lions Gate Films, Fox Searchlight, the New York City Ballet and the dance company A.I.M by Kyle Abraham.
For next month’s show at St. Brigid Church, Ungless will orchestrate 30 current and recent BFA and MFA graduates’ works on a diverse range of models. Deacon will receive his honorary doctorate — a doctor of humane letters — for his fashion achievements from Academy of Art University president Elisa Stephens. She described the upcoming event as “more than just a showcase of our students’ journey through their craft,” but also as “a glimpse of the next generation of fashion, art and design.”
Ungless and other faculty worked virtually and in-person with students to create a fashion week-inspired runway show that will feature womenswear, menswear and knitwear. Special consideration was given to students who graduated during the pandemic lockdown and were unable to present their designs to the public and peers. The catwalk lineup will include a choral performance as an accompaniment.
The fashion show for 450 will be closed to the general public, but it will be livestreamed. In advance of the main event, Deacon will be hosting a drawing class at the academy for students that will also be livestreamed.