6 Mar


Text, Vivian G. Kelly
Images, Dan Lecca, Courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

Friday, February 13, 2009,8:45PM
THE BIG TENT @ Bryant Park

Last season, the 3 page article in September W Magazine propelled this San Francisco-based Art School to the front of the line, and put it on everyone’s radar screen. There’s nothing like the right editorial, in the right outlet, at the right time to turbo boost Industry awareness. Great editorial notwithstanding, every season, AAU gains in stature. This season, it was reflected from the get go with the appearance of top models such as CHANEL IMAN, who was featured prominently in the controversial issue of Vogue italia in July. Better still, these students aren’t guilty of living in an ivory tower. While it’s a student show and they have more creative license than seasoned designers, what we saw was with almost without exception, saleable.

Below, the best from each designer’s collection.
[*NOTE: We use the term designer loosely, as many of these collections were the result of collaborations between AAU students].
When to wear it: When you’re in the mood to cocoon and envelop yourself in fuzziness. These looks are as reassuring as “LINUS”’s blankie but MUCH better looking! What better outfit to weather the recession than Look #3 the Boucle and lame corset dress or Look #7 the cozy gray mohair coat with a back belt?

QIANYA MARTIN, Fashion and Knitwear Design
Little knit crop jackets like these make a nice substitution for a wool blazer.

Blazers are great, but they run the risk of looking too buttoned up or bourgeois. These jackets are the softer, hipper alternative.

HEATHER HOWARD, Fashion and Knitwear Design
The long navy burnout pea coat and long A-line tree print dresses reminded us of designer Alice Roi, who was in her day, a favorite with the girls in Elle Magazine’s Fashion Dept.
wear Design

I-SHAN LIOU, Fashion and knitwear design, and MYOUNG HEE KIM, Textile Design
This duo shows a lot of promise -, the soft cream and pearl gray dresses with soft prints were refined and ladylike but the line prints gave it that art gallery chick edge.

For more information on Academy of Art University, visit

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