The Academy of Art University in San Francisco made the dreams of ten designers come true in New York this week with the debut showing of their collections at the Spring 2014 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. The show consisted of four womenswear and four menswear collections.
Chinese born designer, Didvik Kuang’s collection was inspired by Giorgio Armani’s wardrobe for the 1980’s move "American Gigolo," but with a lounge wear influence. Using linen, blended wool, nylon and suede, he created a collection that channels Richard Gere’s leading man look with a pajama like aesthetic. The line consisted of double-leg pants, button-down shirts and suede jackets with a structurally layered backs.
Gwen Shihyao, from Taichung, Taiwan attended the Tainan University where she received the “Most Original and Creative” Student Design Award for her undergraduate collection. Her Spring 2014 collection was inspired by the paintings of Filipino artist, Thaddeus Ochoa Pagaduan. The pleating of the collection’s cotton, linen, silk and ikat fabrics were inspired by the artist’s use of tree bark. The burnout effect in the fabrics in the collection represents the sunlight and fire from nature. The collection included printed botton-down shirts with burnout jackets and pants.
Marine Rongrong Wei of Shijiazhuang, Hebei, China presented a six look line inspired from the vintage crated clothing during the time of the Great Depression in the United States. She found interest in how people combined fabrics with different textures and weights, as well as the oversized silhouettes of that era. Wei’s line included Henley shirts, denim jackets and wool coats and blazers.
Collaborators, Shanshan Bai of China and Winbo Shiau of Taiwan, presented seven looks inspired by the natural curling lines of floral panels and the continuous twisting of sculptured surfaces. Bai constructed sculpted jackets, tunics, pleated skirts and pants using a blend of silk gazar and wool as well as linen yarn. Shiau, a Fashion Design and Knitwear Design M.F.A major created knit tank tops, a knit bomber jacket, knit pants and knit sweaters for the collection. The collaboration between the two designers gave a dynamic twist of street-chic style to traditional woven wear.
Leslie Dilloway is a menswear designer from Grass Valley, CA. Her collection was inspired by Turkish prints and textures that she infused with a grungy 1990’s feeing in her fabric development. Her muse was a fictional Turkish cab driver in London in the late 1980s – early 1990s who is mysterious and carefree. The collection consisted of drawstring pants, fanny packs and “liquid” fabrics.
Vicken Derderian of Pasadena, CA graduated from the Southern California Institute of Architecture before attending the Academy of Art University to obtain his M.F.A. is Fashion Design. His architectural background is apparent in his collection that consisted primarily of structural dresses with envelope sleeves and angled lines. The collection explores the connection between fashion and architecture as they related to containing both the body and the individual.
Menswear designer Ryan Morar of Santa Monica, CA collaborated with Houston born, Mexico raised textile designer, Melissa Avalos, Their collection was inspired by Robert Rauschenberg’s “combines” mixed media artwork, along with influences of discordant sounds of early 1980s Sonic Youth and Beat Happening albums. Elements of garment were deconstructed to create different shapes, new silhouettes and give a raw, free form aesthetic to the collaboration. Their mens’s line included printed pants, painted shirts and skirt pants.
Nika Tang of Guangzhou, China and raised in Berkeley, CA. Her Spring 2014 collection focuses on volume, movement and texture. The initial shape of the garments takes on the half dome and ruffled silhouette of a sunfish and the fabric reflects the textures of caviar eggs. Her collection was also inspired by the stone carvings of realism artist Kris Kuksi, the designs of Swiss architect Mario Botta and the sculpture of South Korean artist Byoungho Kim combining traditional macramé and tailoring techniques with modern textile printing and fabrication. Her line was comprised of voluminous ruffled coats and dresses with macramé caplet necklaces.
Established in 1929, the Academy of Art University in San Francisco is the largest accredited private art and design university in the United States. The school offers accredited degrees from Associates through Masters. The School of Fashion has over 2,700 students with 13 areas of specialization.