Academy of Art University’s AW13 show was a euphony of styles and sensory delight, from the shock and awe of Heather Scholl’s colorful 90’s queer culture club pieces, all intricately beaded wool, cotton and wool knit separates that blew up the catwalk, all oohs and ahhs from the audience, to a very different feel by Janine M. Villa and Amanda Nervig. American sportswear focused on print knits inspired by vintage Welsh blankets. Loved the pant suits, the choices of prints worked really well together and I see them as pieces every girl will want next fall. Standouts were Chenxi Li’s collection, a color masterpiece of different shades of blue, midnight blue, baby blue all inspired by the fashion of the 1950’s featuring exaggerated silhouettes and voluminous shoulders and sleeves modeled after traditional Chinese armor. Heavily fur based I must be true to my beliefs and suggest that we consider the moral and sustainable issues that revolve around the factory fur market.
Designers, take a beautiful challenge and consider using new, innovative textiles that look and feel like fur. In fact, even better! Qian Xie also delivered a collection of complicated pieces centered around technique. Woven leather, lots of detail and again, the use of a lot of fur. No matter my personal beliefs, I can not deny the talent both of these designers have in bringing us elegant, rich collections reminiscent of the couture houses of the past. Finally, Heather McDonald showed her collection inspired by Fritz Lang’s 1927 film Metropolis, exaggerated, angular silhouettes and contoured knitwear that explored the relationship between humans and technology.
Teresa Field, James Thai and Leah Aripotch went for etched leather, another example of artisanal design excellence, structural geometric shapes with organic elements focused on the figure of the snake. Burned flora and fauna images on the leather further emphasized the organic element, also present in the jewelry and accessories. Finally, Yuming Weng brought a soft sigh to the show, her very quiet and understated collection was inspired by Henrietta Harris’ soft, distorted portraits. Earth tones dominated these wearable, closet staple pieces. Another exemplary show by AAU, they continue to produce designers that give us stand out, refined and visionary fashion. They are all a testament to the excellence that AAU holds itself to. This is where the big boys go to source their new talent… rightly so as Academy of Art continues in it’s rich tradition of being the premier resource where they cherry pick the best of new talent from this vast pool of exceptional talent.