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Fashion Graduate Profile: Sara Shepherd

Sara Shepherd, 2005 Fashion & Textile Design Graduate

After attending Central St. Martins School of Art and Design, British-born Sara Shepherd received her BFA degree in Fashion and Textile Design from Academy of Art University in 2005. She premiered her senior collection at the first Academy New York Fashion Week show in September 2005. She later worked for fashion designers Jeremy Scott, Sandoval and Pamela Dennis before launching her namesake collection in 2007.

Combining the creativity and tailoring of Britain with American functionality and wearability, Sara focuses on unique design details, superb finishes and creative cutting techniques that are grounded in the tradition of men’s bespoke tailoring. Her Spring/Summer 2008 collection was selected for the Gen Art 2007 Fresh Faces Fashion Show. Designers are chosen for the show based on nominations from a selection committee of fashion industry professionals in each market. Designers launched by GenArt include Zac Posen, Rebecca Taylor, Julie Chaiken, Cloak, Louis Verdad, Milly, Twinkle, Duckie Brown, Sari Gueron and Shoshanna.

Sara’s line retails in San Francisco at M.A.C. and Eco Citizen Boutique in San Francisco. Her clothing has been featured on the cover of Women’s Wear Daily and in the pages of International Herald Tribune, California Apparel News, San Francisco Chronicle, 7x7 magazine, San Francisco magazine, 944 magazine and recently included in Worth Global Style Network’s round up of the most promising design talent from around the world.

You were in the first group of graduates that showed collections during New York Fashion Week in 2005, what did you think?
I was working in New York at the time and I was walking my friend's dog in Bryant Park one evening as they were putting up the tents. I cried, it was completely overwhelming! I hadn't ever seen the tents or a show in New York so it just blew me away. I still can't believe that we had the opportunity to show our senior collections at New York fashion week - it was the most amazing experience. All that you can imagine and more.

Favorite thing about New York City?
The energy, the people and the shopping. I also love to drive in Manhattan.

You showed your Spring 2008 Collection at GenArt. What was behind it?
The inspiration is the story of Alice in Wonderland, but in a modern figurative way - the idea of the personal journey. I translated a number of elements from my trip through Europe this summer. The color story is literally derived from the tale (the blues and whites traditionally associated with Alice and the reds come from the Queen of Hearts). The curved seaming, bias cutting and silhouette make reference to the characters in the tale and also the idea of playing with scale (the getting bigger, getting smaller etc.)

Favorite thing about San Francisco?
The laid-back attitude, the view of the city from Portola/Twin peaks, and the weather.

What is the inspiration for your Autumn/Winter 2008 Collection?
The fabrics are silks, wools (Cashmere and suiting) and cottons. Inspired by the idea that Queen Elizabeth I was taking on a very traditionally male role and trying to balance it with her own femininity. There is a play on the feminine and masculine, tailored jackets with soft detailing in the back, the use of traditional pin stripe cut on the bias to give diagonal detail. Bias cut tops that drape and flatter the figure, worn with straight leg, sharp cut trousers. Clothing that transitions effortlessly from day to evening.

Favorite thing about the School of Fashion?
The teaching style I work best in (very honest but encouraging) combined with the fact that it's in California.

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