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Hats Off to the School of Fashion’s Designers at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Lincoln Center

School of Fashion Designers: Meredith Acton, David Doerr, Dipti Irla,
Juhyun Vivi Park, Sun Young Youn,
Lisa Nguyen, Jen Chen
Photo: PhotoEventsNYC

Back for their 11th show during New York Fashion Week, Academy of Art University’s School of Fashion once again impressed with their innovative and unique designs. A total of 15 designers who are recent graduates or current students from the school’s MFA Fashion program showcased their collections at the Spring 2012 show.

As the only school to show at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, Academy of Art University offers its designers a chance to launch their collections on a runway watched around the world.

Design: Meredith Acton;
Photo: Randy Brooks

“Part of our commitment to the designers is to help launch their careers and have their collections seen by as many industry professionals as possible,” said the President of Academy of Art University, Dr. Elisa Stephens. “Debuting their collections during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Lincoln Center is an incredible opportunity, especially since the national and international fashion community are gathered in New York City during that time.”

This season’s designers have been featured in a number of publications, including The New York Times, Women’s Wear Daily and San Francisco’s own 7x7 magazine. Legendary fashion journalist Suzy Menkes, who has also been an honored guest at the School of Fashion’s graduation fashion show, wrote of the show in The New York Times:

“The digital revolution has transformed both the fashion industry and pop culture. A new generation, familiar with the cyberworld, is pushing ahead. … Hyper-modern fabrics are crucial to the evolution of fashion, and the material world of the Academy of Art University, based in San Francisco, proved how smart a new generation can be in refreshing the familiar.”
Design: David Doerr; Photo: Randy Brooks

The first collection to hit the runway for the School of Fashion’s show was a collaboration by seven MFA Fashion Design students and one MFA Textile Design student and sponsored by the Italian Trade Commission. The eight students who collaborated on this women’s wear collection are Ginie Huang, Zenia Kim, Kate Lee, Jessie Jie Liu, Iglika Vasileva Matthews, Tanja Milutinovic, Ilana Dora Siegelman and Cecilia Q. Xie.

For Jessie and Cecilia, this show marked a major milestone in their new careers. Jessie had previously been an accountant, and Cecilia earned her undergraduate degree in law. Both women decided to pursue their true passion for design and enrolled at Academy of Art University.

“Actually I did my accounting job very well, but it was something I never had a true passion for. Transforming my career from accounting to fashion design was definitely the bravest step I’ve ever taken in my life,” said Jessie.

Design: Dipti Irla; Photo: Randy Brooks

Sun Young Youn, Dipti Irla and Meredith Acton each presented women’s wear collections.

Playing on the straight lines and geometric shapes of architecture, Sun Young combined lace and vinyl in her collection to juxtapose beauty and function. Dipti Irla modernized fabrics from vintage Sarees with contemporary tailoring. Meredith found inspiration in Lewis Hine’s investigative photography of child laborers in the 1900s.

Presenting their men’s wear collections were Lisa Nguyen, Jen Chen, Juhyun Vivi Park and David Doerr.

MFA Men’s Wear design grad Lisa Nguyen designed a collection based on the idea of intergalactic combat wear. Collaborating with Lisa was Jen Chen, MFA Textile Design, who has previously designed a print for Azzedine Alaïa.

Gladys Perint Palmer with Banners for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week
Photo: PhotoEventsNYC

Drawing on the gradients of Rothko paintings and the fabrics of traditional work wear, Juhyun Vivi Park created pieces with linen fabrics which she had stonewashed to achieve a worn aesthetic. David Doerr’s bold and eye-catching collection was inspired by the adventures of Soviet Cosmonauts.

Adding to the glamour of the week, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week used fashion illustrations by Gladys Perint Palmer, Executive Director of the School of Fashion at Academy of Art University, in the event branding by Almeter Design for the Spring 2012 shows at Lincoln Center. This was the second season as Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week used her illustrations for their Fall 2011 event branding.

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