The Art Institutes show during NYFW has grown to be one of the NYFW fixtures of sorts… one that we anticipate each season like few other. It’s like a barometer for where fashion is headed, as each of the designers chosen to show are literally doing so for their first time, especially on such a grand stage as NYFW. We’ve rarely been disappointed & this season was no different. In fact, this could well be the best showing the institution has ever assembled.
Adrian Escoto- The Art Institute of New York City- Mr. Escoto pieced together (literally) a collection of denim in various shades & hues into one of the few modern interpretations of urban streetwear we’ve seen in uncountable seasons. This is one designer who needs to be watched. It’s only a matter of time for him.
Bianca Zidik- The Art Institute of Illinois – Chicago- At first, this collection looked to be little more than a literal interpretation of 1960′s Carnaby Street in London, but upon closer inspection, the subtle updates to the silhouettes, along with a fit & needle better than that seen on most runways of the name designers showing for the week & it’s was clear to see that there’s far more here than mere reinterpretations.
Melody Hernandez- The Art Institute of Dallas- A mix of various fabrications that left the observer deciding between confused & intrigued, yet there were some interesting takes on color blending as well as some thoughtful placements of ornamentation that gave a hint that there’s a talent somewhere in there that simply needs to be more developed.
Julissa Arrington- The California Art Institute of San Francisco- A collection of all Whites & a few Creams that had an almost antiqued feeling were used in a variety of fabrics & finishes then wrapped & tortured into strikingly beautiful pieces that were both restrictive & feather light & lofty. This collection was instantly covetable.
Devon Pezzano- The Art Institute of Philadelphia- Just when this observer felt that I’d run screaming at the very sight of a piece of neoprene fabric walking down another runway, came this collection that showed that the fabric may not be the problem, but rather the lack of imaginative silhouettes that were at fault. I was left feeling that I had seen neoprene for the first time ever. In a word: Brilliant!
Mimmy Begazo- Miami International University of Art & Design- This designer look forward, in fact far forward, into a future where radiation is a constant menace & we are all dressing to avoid exposure. However, the cows obviously survived as this collection was constructed of radiation reflecting mesh & organza with metallic embossed hair calf. Contrived & strange? Yes. Beautiful & intriguing to the eye? ABSOLUTELY. Reminiscent of Alexander McQueen in his later years, yet not the least bit derivative. Mimmy Begazo is another name to bookmark from this show.
René Mejia- The Art Institute of Ft. Lauderdale- Subtle evening wear that was at once simple, yet somehow storied in it’s unexpected uses of tulle & contrast linings to create color depth. The models seemed to float down the runway with the most important element of the overall beauty being the wearer herself. These clothes do what clothes are supposed to do… make the wearer look even more beautiful.
Esther Ashiru- The Art Institute of Vancouver- This collection was red carpet ready from the first piece out to the last ensemble to walk. Sequins & lace & chiffon were mixed together to delight with some silhouettes that the queen “B” herself, as well as countless of numbers of her contemporaries would flock to for awards season.
Maria D’Ocon- Miami International University of Art & Design- Maria D’Ocon says she only began sewing a few years ago when she entered school. If this is the case, her teachers are either miracle workers or Ms. D’Ocon is proof positive that talent of this level is innate, as these garments rivaled the work of any number of the major names in the bridal & formal business. Move over Vera, Elie, & dare I say it… Mr. Rucci. A new name has joined the roster & she hails from Miami!
All the designers in this show rose to the occasion once again proving why this show each season truly is one to watch & a launching platform for the schools’ talent. Other institutions in the fashion education realm ought to be worried. The Art Institutes has once again upped the game. We can’t wait for next season!
The Art Institutes Website: www.aifashionweek.com
Show Publicity: The Bromley Group
Photo Credit: Elvia Gobbo