Saturday, September 20, 2014

Academy of Art University Spring 2015 #NYFW S/S 2015

Mercedes Benz Fashion Week/Lincoln Center

We had to be out of town for one of our fav bi-annual shows…the Academy of Art University's School of Fashion runway show- that- to quote Simon Ungless, Executive Director of the School of Fashion:

"The group of designers have gone back to the essence of what the fashion designer should do,   focusing on proportion and silhouette development as opposed to decoration. I see them as a collaborative Le Corbusier moving towards a new fashion sense of the architecture of clothes. I see what they are producing as a shift in fashion that will no doubt become an influence on trend in future seasons."

Knowing it would be a highlight of NYFW (see the video for proof)-

We sent a niece to her first ever backstage experience…with little guidance really-except to try to speak with the designers, get close-ups of the amazing hand-wrought fabrics and textiles which are works of arts in themselves…and some beauty/grooming pointers.


For the designers I spoke to Madison Detro and Die Zhou. 

Madison Detro (M.F.A. Fashion Design)was inspired by architecture and wanted to have a lot of shape and structure to her pieces. They were all made of lambskin leather or calf suede…and…"explores geometries and imbalance as a catalyst for beauty…reminiscent of the angles found in architect Le Corbusier's famous chapel Notre Dame Haut de Ronchamp."
Notre Dame Haut de Ronchamp image from

 Die Zhou (M.F.A. Fashion Design) was inspired by nature, generally, and butterflies specifically. Her favorite designer is Chanel and the influences were seen in her choice of tweed for the coats which were cut and overlapped to look like wings of a butterfly. She is drawn to pastel colors. 

Szu Chi Huang (M.F.A. Fashion Design) also has a B.A. in Costume Design ---and her inspiration by traditional Japanese samurai armor was translated into incredible, modern fashion by using really-innovative construction techniques to achieve three dimensional feeling of armor-compiled from many small pieces. It must have taken forever ---as Szu used origami folding techniques on leather and wove grosgrain ribbon in mesh fabric to mimic the woven texture of the samurai garments. The simple black and white color palette is a nod to traditional Japanese ink paintings and calligraphy----but there certainly isn't anything simple about these stunning hand-crafted pieces. (The 411 from the run of show…)

Juliette quilted jacket by Szu Chi Huang

Leomie-leather tank atop a ribbon woven dress
close up of the ribbon woven dress by Szu Chi Huang

Mia Jianxia Ji (M.F.A. Fashion and Knitwear Design) named her collection "SILHOUKNIT"-and used the texture of knitted fabrics to evoke shapes and feelings of Ana Rajcevic's art collection "Animal-The Other Side of Evolution."
Dakota - knit dress---on the runway, under a trench coat-Look#2
close-up of knit by MIA JIANXIA JI

What Else:
No backstage pics-but equally amazing---the tomboyish, tailored silhouettes that are evocative of the neo-Edwardian Teddy Boy style-popular in England in the 1950s (and now)-by Wei Bai (M.F.A. Fashion Design) and the seven designers (four countries too) menswear collection by Asiyat Tsalikova (M.F.A. Fashion Design), Max Lu (M.F.A. Fashion Design), Liz Li (M.F.A. Fashion Design), Jihyun Kim (M.F.A. Fashion Design, Menswear), Jingci Wang (M.F.A. Fashion Design), Yin Yang, (M.F.A. Fashion Design), and Yaqiong Zhou (M.F.A. Fashion Design)

Jon Reyman for Aveda did the hair:
...  going for a very short and androgynous look, which they accomplished by swooping the models hair all around the side and plastering it down and finally pinning it to the other side, so that it looked like a boys cut.

"First the hair needed to be blown out stick straight, and then it was plastered down using lots and lots of gel and hairspray... The hair even looks slick to the touch. He wasn't inspired by anything in particular but wanted the look to be very sleek. 

Also neat trick... When momentarily pinning the hair in place he put a card from a standard deck between the Bonny pin and the hair so it wouldn't leave a ridge!"

Other credits: Makeup by Victor Cembellin and the MAC PRO TEAM, Nail Services by Patricia Yankee,