Academy of Art Spring 2011 Collections

I’m always exited to see what the future of fashion might be and who will we might be wearing a few years from now which is one of the reasons why I love to attend the Academy of Art show during Fashion Week. I love to see the artistic and fashionably expressions of the students and most of them don’t disappoint.

This season six individual students and a group of 15 students (2 Tech Designers, 2 Fashion Designers and 10 Textile Designers) showcased their collections at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week. I didn’t love every collection – one really wowed me and two others made me smile. I’ll begin with the ones I liked the most.

Though she was the sixth designer to show her collection, Camilla Olson’s was my favorite collection. I loved all six looks. Camilla founded five companies before pursuing her M.F.A at Academy. Her inspiration for this collection was the awesome movie, Blade Runner and Samuria arts. Her bio states this collection “women as rebels breaking restriction of their historically constrained roles” – “the soft silk under-dresses represents a women’s inner nature and the outer “cage” her strength and armor”.

My second favorite was Cara Chiappetta, who coincidentally was the second designer to show. Her inspiration for her collection had my heart because it is from one of my favorite movies (mostly for the soundtrack) – The Point of No Return with the title character Nina as her muse. Considering some of her fabric choices – rubber, mesh, nylon – her collection seemed very classic and chic. Cara’s collection was all dresses with the exception of one trouser look and were clean silhouettes with lovely shoulder and neckline details

My next favorite was April Howard. A designer who actually started as a designer of home, tabletop, giftware and linens for Tommy Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren. Her inspiration for this collection was found objects sculptor, Kathy Kelley and Cormac McCarthy’s 2006 novel “The Road”. Her shapes do remind me of Kathy Kelley’s work with old tires, the way she manipulates the tough material to curve and bend. April’s off the shoulder dress (the third photo) is absolutely gorgeous, though its leather, she makes the fabric seem light and flowy.

I was also impressed by the menswear collection from Menswear Designer, Louie Llewellyn and Knitwear Designer, Xiang Zhang. Though I believe men wearing the knit pants in public to be a very dangerous (I see lots of accidents and whiplash due to staring), they are perfect as loungewear. I do love the casual and relaxed looks as well as the softness and easiness of the fabrics.

The other designers include Jungah Lee, whose collection was inspired by the faded colors of used books. She was innovative in her fabric choice for this collection – hand-dyed and painted Latex. I imagine Latex is a difficult fabric to work with but Jungah makes it look very light and airy.

Maria Korovilas featured a beautiful embellished collection, her incorporated metal encrusted pieces and hand beading which took her over 600 hours to complete. Her collection actually reminded me of movies which featured the Gods. I could see Goddess Hera or Aphrodite wearing these pieces.

Lastly, the Print Collaboration from the collective of 15 designers. It was my least favorite collection as it was not my style – it reminded me of Little House on the Prairie. I would say the work of the textile designers were the prominent statement in this collection. The idea of this collection looked very cute on the little girls who wore them but as an adult wearing them – I’m not so sure but that’s just my taste.

Out of seven collections, I only disliked one – I’d say that’s pretty good odds and shows just how much talent is present at the Academy of Art.

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