AAU’s Spring 2012 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Lincoln Center

8 Sep

Text, Vivian Kelly

Every season, I look forward to Academy of Art University’s student fashion show for a few reasons.

1. I’ve been an on-line teacher there for over 4 years and love it and the opportunity to talk about fashion with like minded individuals 24/7 if I could stay awake as AAU’s on-line courses are asynchronous. Students at Academy don’t find it in the least bit bizarre that I’d be obsessed with the Missoni for Target Collection.

2. AAU’s shows are produced by their Fashion School’s Department Head, Simon Ungless, who possesses that too cool for school  British vibe that has obsessed American editors since the early Nineties, when British stars such as Kate Moss and Grace Coddington were deemed major fashion stars.

Like Grace, Simon’s a consummate stylist – no surprise, being that he’s a Central St. Martin’s Grad and collaborated with the late Alexander McQueen on the first 10 collections show in New York.

Simon Directs and styles the AAU shows, which consistently show student work that is edgy and interesting but don’t look for 3 headed sweaters here. Students are challenged to present work that people will want to buy and wear. Achieving a balance between edgy and commercial is a challenge that the students who show will have met before they go into the work place and have to do just that. Fashion is an art, but we want to sell the clothes, right?

This season, there are eight collections hitting the catwalk tomorrow evening. The one that caught my interest at first glance is The Italian Trade Commission Collection. This is a collaboration of seven M.F.A. Fashion Design students and one M.F.A. Textile Design student, sponsored by the Italian Trade Commission. The ITC arranged for an instructor from the School of Fashion to visit some of the most prestigious Italian Mills [such as Estethia- G.B. Conte of the Marzotto Group and Groupo Ratti S.p.A. The selected fabrics will range the gamut from tropical Melange wool to liquid black satin chiffon, and sueded microfibre nylon. Texture, obviously, continues to play an important part in fashion design. I’m intrigued to see the designs  the eight students who  worked on this segment came up with. Until tomorrow, 8:00p.m., the Tent at Lincoln Center!

Below, a few sketches of designs by students Sun Young and David Doerr.

To learn more about Academy of Art University, visit their website and have a look at their social media outlets on Facebook and Twitter.

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