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Friday, June 13, 2014

Academy of Art University - Fall 2014

nisha hanna btesh fashion

The Academy of Art University premiered their thesis collections by 13 student designers during NY Fashion Week. Since 2005, the institution has debuted the collections of their students and recent graduates. Five of the collections shown were collaborative efforts between students from the Fashion and Textile Design program. Eight collections were presented, both in womenswear and menswear.

Each collection had a unique point of view, representing the designer’s personal esthetic.

The first collection to hit the catwalk, and my personal favorite, was the design collaboration of the Dynamic Duo of Jaci Hodges (Fashion Design) and Nisha Hanna Btesh (Textile Design). Jaci was inspired by the prints and fashions of the late 1960’s. She credits the television show, “The Brady Bunch,” for the patchwork style in which she mixes quirky patterns and textured fabrics in the collection. Nisha was inspired by the Japanese felting technique called Shibori. This technique is used to create sculptural effects on fabrics like wool adding just the right handmade touch to the 1960’s inspired collection.
Superb collaboration…BRAVO ladies!

The mood and emotion of the photography collection, “Beauty in Decay” was the inspiration for the menswear collaboration by Frank Tsai (Fashion Design) and Andrea Nieto (Textile Design). Andrea created printed textiles for the collection inspired by personal struggle and raw emotion. The result was  head to toe layered looks in distressed fabrics printed to appear tattered & worn. The design collaboration was a perfect balance of artistic interpretation in wearable designs and fabrics. 

Arijana Kadjdic’s, Fall 2014 collection was a balance of masculine silhouettes and designs peppered with feminine details in elegant fabrics. Arijana who was inspired by the women in her family, particularly her grandmother, which have nurtured her through out her life. The coats were constructed in luxurious wool fabrics like mohair and alpaca. Pants, constructed using the finest silks, and, dresses in french lace, were hand dyed and beaded to perfection. A color palette of muted pale blue & grey, embellished with beads, and crystals, sparkled under the lights.

The next womenswear collection was the design collaboration of Flora Cervantes (Fashion Design) and Lori Solem (Textile Design). Flora’s designs come from her fascination with the environment, specifically, the sites, sounds, and gritty textures of the city. Lori found inspiration for the fabrics from twisted shapes in nature and industrial textures. The collection was filled with oversized coats, printed maxi dresses, and skirts, and latex treated cotton canvas rubberized jackets. The collection was modern and fresh, while staying true to the original inspiration. 

Earnest Haung (Fashion Design) and Hong Ni (Textile Design) collaborated to create a womenswear collection, inspired by the city of Hong Kong, travel maps, and Ariel photography. The collection was modern and clean. Leather and wool coats were shown over printed pants and shirts. Oversized mesh tanks, vests, and jackets, added texture and dimension to printed pieces. The standout piece of the collection- (Look #6) Leather and wool green printed coat, layered over a long printed shirt, paired with slim pants.

Elizabeth Castellon’s (Fashion Design) Fall 2014 menswear collection was inspired by sculptures, futuristic architecture, and sportswear themes from the 1930’s. She chose to work with leather, wool, and traditional upholstery fabrics for her collection. Her color palette consisted of dark mahogany, various shades of browns, beige, and navy jacquards. The overall look and feel of the collection, can be best decribed as Howard Hughes (Aviator) meets Gordon Gekko (Wall Street).

Jasmine Gonzales (Fashion & Knitwear Design) Fall 2014 womenswear collection, was inspired by the idea of peoples and cultures coming together and joining as one. Jasmine’s collection was all her from start to finish. The designer hand-made the yarns, hand- dyed the velvet knits, and hand-knitted many of pieces in the collection. Jasmine’s hand-knit oversized pieces were influenced by the design on the famous Faberge´ Egg.

The last collection to be presented was the last designer collaboration of the show. Mingyu Du (Fashion Design) and Joseph Khawane (Textile Design) collaborated for their Fall 2014 womenswear collection. Mingyu was inspired by the mod fashions of the1960’s and chose unique materials like army tents, parachutes, and cotton canvas to create the garments. Joseph was inspired to develop textured fabrics with dual purposes. The color palette of the collection was influenced by military camouflage. Shades of green, brown, and grey, were dominant through out the collection.

Well-done students…I am sure we will be seeing great things from you in the future!

Article by Elaine Fioravanti, publisher of bestdressedginger.com, Photos courtesy of Randy Brooke

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