Last night, I attended the Academy of Art University's 2010 Graduation Fashion Show in San Francisco. The works of sixteen graduating fashion design, textile design, knitwear, and men's wear students were displayed before a packed tent of guests.
Inside the tent before the show started.
Academy of Art produces a publication called "One Eighty," which displays the work of its fashion design students.
I had a "Where's Waldo?" view of the guests sitting at the stands opposite me.
The front row (from left): Julie Chaiken of Chaiken Clothing, Dirk Van Saene and Walter Van Beirendonck of the Antwerp Six, Joe Haller and Ian Hannula of Nice Collective, Patrik Ervell, Humberto Leon and Carol Lim of Opening Ceremony, and Keanan Duffty.
The show started out with a few words of welcome from Dr. Elisa Stephens, the University's president, and Gladys Perint Palmer, the Executive Director of Fashion. There was then a brief presentation by Suzy Menkes, who is both a Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur and the Fashion Editor of the International Herald Tribune. I had previously seen Suzy Menkes in a video entitled, "On Fashion Blogs," which made seeing her in person as well as sitting across the runway from her even more thrilling.
Knitwear by Stephanie Hoffmann.
One of the first collections was a knitwear line by Stephanie Hoffmann. This was definitely one of my favorites: I really enjoyed how she combined different textures and a simple color palette to create very appealing looks.
Collection by Amelia Statler.
The next collection was by Amelia Statler, who was inspired by women of the 1920's and 1930's as well as antique lace. Her all-lace line allowed her to experiment with different cuts and lengths.
Collection by Kiki Yunqi Wu.
Kiki Yunqi Wu followed with a line characterized by black, white, and blue as well as clean silhouettes. She was inspired by what she referred to as the "repetition of classic fashion."
Collection by Ghazaleh Khalifeh.
The next collection was by Ghazaleh Khalifeh, who was inspired by fevers, narcotic flowers, hallucinations, and India's Ganges River. She used deep reds and gold to experiment with interesting cuts and layering.
Collection by Julia Hsiang-Ling Chang and Mariah Groves.
The next collection was a fashion design and jewelry design collaboration by Julia Hsiang-Ling Chang and Mariah Groves. Their line can be characterized by blocks of muted colors and architectural silhouettes.
Knitwear by Young Ae Koo.
Up next was Young Ae Koo's knitwear collection, which was inspired by what Koo referred to as the "dark romance of beauty women." It included a black and white color scheme and hypnotic patterns.
Collection by Rinat Brodach.
Rinat Brodach's line of voluminous black pieces and gold accents took inspiration both from androgyny and nightlife.
Collection by Eunice Cheng.
Eunice Cheng's collection was influenced by retro futurism, Barbara Hepworth's sculptures, and Andre Courreges' sensibility. I was shocked to see the models walk down the runway in Cheng's designs, which can easily be compared to straitjackets.
Collection by Ivy Fu Man Tam.
Ivy Fu Man Tam's x-ray inspired collection was a little more lighter. It featured multiple materials and a gray and blue color palette.
Knitwear by Ronnie Omar Nery.
Ronnie Omar Nery's knitwear line could only be described by the words neon and structure, the designer's sources of inspiration. This collection was very popular -- Nery won at least one internship after graduation.
Collection by Melody Bainter and Mariah Groves.
The next line combined the fashion design talent of Melody Bainter with the industrial design skill of Mariah Groves. Bainter's futuristic, cut-out looks were complemented by Groves' neon plastic pieces.
Collection by Andrew Wedge.
The next line included color-changing hair accents and unique silhouettes. It was designed by Andrew Wedge, who was inspired by "great white shark attacks."
Collection by Ashon Sylvester.
The final collection was the only men's wear line. Inspired by "futuristic Native American warriors on another planet," Ashon Sylvester created several looks with leather and human head accents on the shoulders.
The end of the runway show.
Following the show, many of the designers were awarded with scholarships from the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) and internships with various companies and fashion houses. Some of the internships were with Opening Ceremony, Diane von Furstenberg, Abercrombie & Fitch, BCBG Max Azria, Chaiken Clothing, Nice Collective, and the lines of two members of The Antwerp Six.
Dr. Elisa Stephens, the University's president, spoke at the close of the show.
Suzy Menkes, the Fashion Editor of the International Herald Tribune, also closed the show. All photography by the author.