Friday, November 28, 2008

THE ACADEMY OF ART UNIVERSITY spring 2009 runway show at Bryant Park

Text, Vivian G. Kelly
Images, Randy Brooke, Courtesy of Academy of Art University

ACADEMY OF ART has the distinction of being the ONLY fashion school that shows on the New York Runway. Each season, a handful of students are selected to showcase their designs to the fashion community of retailers and press. Also in the audience are prospective AAU students and their parents. Recently, the excitement level has escalated and the buzz in the air at this show was palpable.
The lucky students who got to come to New York and show their collections this year to a packed house that included Saks' Michael Fink and ANTM [America's Next Top Model] host, Nigel Barker in the front row. The varying aesthetics made for a great overall show mix.


*Jamie Cole [her second time, this time as a solo act]
*Elena Akoulova
*Eric Tan and Karina Cordiale
*Tara Bradley
*Anne Jones & Michelle Clarke
*Daniel Emir Armosilla
*Desiree Daniels
*Ali Khan & Sook-Yeong Kwong
*Kara Laricks
*Johanna Hatzenbuehler
*Warot Subsrisunjai & Michael Feeney

As it's Jamie Cole's second time on the New York runways, we spent our backstage time chatting with her to find out how life was treating her after having been one of the three subjects on MTV TRUE LIFE I'M GOING TO FASHION WEEK.

Jaime is an AAU 2008 MFA Menswear and Textile Designer who was born in Meriden, CT and graduated from Lasell College (Newton, MA) BS in Fashion Design – 2004. She’s graduating this year from Academy [of Art University (San Francisco, CA)] with an MFA in Menswear and Textile Design.

Her motto: “Street art and style always have inspired me to make clothing.”

We’d met Jaime at a preview at the Flatotel in February 2008, 2 days before the AAU runway show at Bryant Park. At that time, we observed her backstage being filmed by MTV watching her watch the show which included a menswear collection she and textile designer, Young Jun Ryu, collaborated on. Upon graduating, Young accepted the job as a textile designer for GM [General Motors] he told us he was considering when we interviewed him at the Flatotel.

SIX MONTHS LATER, at the spring 2009 shows,
Jaime presented her own menswear collection inspired by street art and music. Influences of primitive art of the Northwest Indians are shown through her textile designs and the totem pole shape in her silhouette. Her 6-piece collection was sponsored by Cone Denim. Pieces ranged from a white printed cotton poncho and pant to a white cotton tank and over-dyed cotton pant.

This time, when we spoke with Jaime, it was in a more relaxed setting, as there weren't MTV camera crew video-ing every word.
LYRA MAG: You looked great on MTV, you have real on-camera presence.

JAIME: Thanks, after a while, I just forgot they were there. It was easier in a way, because I was still in school and not facing the pressure of looking for a job, as I am now since I’m graduating this year. In a way, it mattered less.

LYRA MAG: It’s been 6 months since that AAU show in New York and about that long since the MTV episode aired. What we all want to know – has it changed your life?

JAMIE: Yes and no. Yes in that friends call me all the time and say, “Omigod, I saw you on MTV!” No, in that it hasn’t landed me a hard job offer, but it has stirred-up some interest.

LYRA MAG: That’s kind of disappointing, the job part, but it can’t have hurt to have done the show.

JAIME: Yeah, it all helps, everything like this you do that tells people you’re out there is a plus.


ELENA AKOULOVA - her linen dresses were a hit with Michael Fink, VP Women's Fashion Director of Saks Fifth Avenue. Mr. Fink wants to keep in touch when she eventually goes into production.

TARA BRADLEY - is fulltime at Catherine Malandrino

MICHELLE CLARK - is currently doing an internship with Diane Von Furstenberg and will be on staff fulltime at Abercrombie & Fitch in January. She is the textile designer for the melted mylar pieces in the collaborative collection with Anne Jones.

MIKE FEENEY'S acrylic shoulder piece from April SF show is worn by Lady Gaga in her "Poker Face" video. Mike's acrylic accessories for WAROT SUBSRISUNJAI in the NY Show.

To read more about Academy of Art, visit