The evening news on New York City’s popular NY 1 News was blaring noticeably louder music,
images of top models were flashing across the screen while weekend evening anchor Cheryl Wills said
“ graduate students take center stage” as she introduced reporter Jill Scott. NY 1 News is
seen in more than 2.1 million homes, representing approximately 4.5 million viewers. “Under
the tents of Bryant Park we’re used to seeing designers who are fashion forward,” said reporter
Jill Scott, “but at one show, we met designers who are fashion’s future.” This news program
aired the evening of the show, again on Sunday morning and repeatedly throughout the week.
On Saturday, September 9th, Academy of Art University MFA graduates from the School of Fashion
showcased their graduate collections in the Bryant Park Tents during New York Olympus Fashion Week
for the second year in a row. Academy of Art University is the first and only educational
institution to promote its recent fashion graduates with this extraordinary opportunity.
Seven womenswear collections and three menswear collections were shown to a full house of guests
including national and international media, fashion industry and store executives, recruiters and
company HR staff, photographers, television crews, family and friends.
Cintia Dicker who is a L’Oreal campaign model opened the show with a dress by fashion designer
Laurie Browne and textile designer Young Jun Ryu. Young’s inspiration for the fabric came
from an old folding screen. He broke down the images and redesigned them into contemporary
prints. Laurie took inspiration from the exaggerated proportions of European expressionist
painter Egon Schiele and Balenciaga’s design structure and volume of the 60s. SFLuxe picked
up on this and wrote that Laurie “has softened and feminised the strict Balenciaga style in a way
we have not seen before.” ZooZoom exclaimed “Laurie Browne was the clairvoyant of the group,
whose baby doll dress with bubble skirt bottom had dozens of cousins on the catwalks.” Elle
Magazine has just pulled their collection for possible inclusion in an editorial shoot.
Fashion designer Masamichi Matsushita collaborated with textile designer Susan Fort on a
futuristic menswear collection using “O-Wool by Jasco” organic wool donated by Vermont Organic
Fiber Company. Their collection was also showcased on the runway of the 24th Annual Macy’s
Passport 2006 in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Masa has accepted a position with Nice
Collective here in San Francisco.
Marilyn Kirschner wrote about Li-Jen “Alan” Lee’s denim collection which was sponsored by Cone
Mills Denim on FashionLines: “Li-Jen used intricate seams, curved and bubble hems, to create
couture like pieces, and added prominent pockets to infuse practicality into the delicious
design. Talk about treating denim in a most couture like manner! What perfect timing, since
jeans and denim are all over the place and the humble fabric is getting much attention as a couture
fabric (thanks to Karl Lagerfeld who used denim throughout his fall/winter 2006 couture collection
for the house of Chanel).”
Fashion and knitwear designer Quyen Nguyen “created a very modern, very wearable and very
saleable collection” according to Edge New York. Girl Scout uniforms and menswear shirts
inspired Quyen. Elle Magazine has just pulled Quyen’s collection for possible inclusion in an
editorial shoot. Quyen is designing for Old Navy and working on launching her own line.
Stephanie Sauceda’s sharply tailored menswear collection was included in the Forbes menswear
trend report and noted as having a “film noir impression” by Edge New York. Stephanie visited
her Spanish roots drawing inspiration from armor and military. She based each look on a
Spanish conquistador and hopes to return to Spain to pursue her fashion career.
Academy of Art University upholds its commitment to educate designers on environmentally sound
practices. This sustainable program is put into practice through Masamichi Matsushita’s use
of organic wool as well as Christine Welcher’s womenswear collection. Christine collaborated
with textile designer Lydia Timken and used organic color-grown cottons. Their collection was
featured in San Jose Mercury News.
Avani Pratap Bhansali’s passion for ancient civilization and dynasties led to her inspiration
from the intricacies of Persian art. She researched archival metal work, pottery and textiles
and incorporated the texture into her designs. She also took architectural elements and was
inspired by the loose silhouettes worn at that time. Born in Bombay, India, Avani’s
collection was also included on the runway of the 24th Annual Macy’s Passport 2006 Fashion
Extravaganza in San Francisco and Los Angeles. San Jose Mercury News found her collection “
Pablo Fernandez, a native of Uruguay, had a two-page spread in the Spanish newspaper El Diario
La Prensa who interviewed Pablo backstage before the show. They also put one of his looks on
the cover of their Sunday, September 10th edition.
Pablo incorporated his fashion and knitwear design focus into an avant-garde collection inspired
by the early-80s, vintage cartoons and WWI paraphernalia. Pablo was a 2004 CFDA Scholarship
Award recipient. In May 2006, Pablo was awarded an internship at Louis Vuitton in Paris for
2007 after Christophe Girard, Deputy Mayor of Paris Responsible for Culture and Director of Fashion
Strategy of the LVMH Fashion Group, met Pablo and viewed his portfolio. Pablo’s collection
was showcased on the runway of the 24th Annual Macy’s Passport 2006 in San Francisco and Los
Angeles. He has accepted a position with Nice Collective here in San Francisco.
In addition to being featured on NY 1 News, Japanese fashion designer Mari Matsumoto and Korean
textile designer Kyung Min Kim are listed on Forbes.com as “Designers to Watch” and an image from
their collection appeared in Women’s Wear Daily with the review of the show.
Mari incorporated her understanding of Japanese clothing and the Kabuki way of styling into her
collaborative collection with Kyung who based her textiles on Mari’s journey from grief to growth
following the death of her mother. Mari and Kyung were also featured in a two-page spread in
the Summer 2006 issue of Art Works Magazine.
FashionLines hailed “The unique and amazingly hand detailed ribbon-based couture like pieces
from Swedish and African-American Shanti Rose Markstrom who literally brought down the house with
her heavily constructed ivory ribboned corset top and narrow brocade pants.” Shanti took
inspiration from Commedia del’arte and Victorian circus performers as well as French artists
Jean-Antoine Watteau and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. Her collection was also included in the
24th Annual Macy’s Passport 2006 Fashion Extravaganza in San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Shanti is presently designing for Blanc de Chine.