Welcome to the jungle! Thankfully, Margaret Yoha's stunning graduate collection is less 80's power rock and more "Noble Savage".
One of the first collections presented was by Margaret Yoha, and it immediately set the bar for the rest of the graduates. Using slick, latex fabrics in varying shades of green, the clothes evoked a sense of fluidity, which contrasted nicely with the sharp lines of a fun grass/leaf motif. My favorite piece from the collection was a white opaque jacket that reached the model's mid-thigh, and was simply decorated with mossy green sunbursts. Simple yet a bit quirky, Ms. Yoha's collection was also a big hit with those with truly discerning eyes.
Peter Nguyen's clean and classic woman isn't afraid to work some men's tailoring into her wardrobe. You go girl!
Next up was Peter Nguyen, who, if judging by the sheer number of awards he has received, is a name worth of mention. His collection of easy separates seemed to be a follow-up to the currently trendy minimalist trend -- clean, tailored silhoutte executed with exacting precision and supreme confidence. Working mainly with a palette of neutrals with pops of black, Nguyen's work also bore some unmistakable similarities to Reed Krakoff's Spring 2011 collection, particularly in the use of short aprons tied over trousers. But fashion deja vu is just an inevitable part of the business, and I've got high hopes for this up and coming designer.
Maggie Mo Luong was another standout womenswear designer, taking the grunge elements of knitwear and gussying it up with some midnight blue sequins. The final result was comfy, sophisticated, and surprisingly punk (although that could have just been the creeper shoes talking).
While the silicone in Drew Williams' collection reminded me of baking mats, apparently the choice was inspired by her past as a molecular biology student.
One collection that left an indelible impression was the work of one Drew Williams. If you've ever baked cookies on a silicone mat, just imagine taking that strange synthetic material and making a dress out of it. Add to that mix a dash of mod, some bold stripes, and a generous dosage of candy colors, and you've got the basic premise. While I shudder to think how that material would feel against the skin on a hot, July day, I have to commend Drew for a unique collection that certainly stood out from the rest of the designers.
What girl doesn't like a man in a suit? Or a nice jacket? Heck, anything but a baggy pair of shorts and ratty T-shirt will do! All images courtesy of Fashion School Daily.
I was also happy to see menswear being represented (for diversity purposes, of course, and definitely not because I like to have an excuse to ogle at well-dressed men walking in front of me), and was particulary fond of Ashley J. Jung's collection. Sticking to sturdy khakis and soft, grey suedes, Ashley fashioned Hamptons-ready motorcycle vests and slouchy trenchcoats perfect for the commute to the big city. My personal favorite was one of these foggy grey, suede trenchcoats -- I thought the khaki collar was an especially nice touch to an otherwise sombre looking coat.
With their incredible skill set and soaring imagination, it's hard to believe that these fashion designers are only just graduating from the Academy of Art. Perhaps in the near future we may see their names at New York Fashion Week, or maybe as the next candidate to head a luxury design house. One thing's for sure, these fledgling designers have success written all over them.
Assistant Blog Editor