It was a bittersweet affair at Art Institute of California San Francisco Fashion Show 2012 on Saturday, June 16 at SF Design Center. On one hand, the talented students brought out great fashion at “What’s Next, Are You Ready To Wear” student fashion show, as expected. On the other hand, it was Bo Breda’s last student fashion show participation as the Academic Department Director of Fashion Design of AIC-SF.

Nevertheless, it was a successful fashion show production that promised new exciting direction for soon-to-be-emerging fashion designers of AIC-SF.

Bo Breda, wearing flower necklaces given by all student designers after the show.

The transition of leadership was very much felt during the fashion show production. In a way, the title “What’s Next” also reflected the general feeling of what’s coming after Bo Breda’s leadership, one that has brought such high standard of student fashion show productions for the last 5 years. That night, I was surprised to find out that fact, while at the same time grateful that I had a chance to do a Q&A session with Bo Breda prior to the fashion show this year.

(From left to right) Lorraine Wilner, Michelle Byrnes, and Angella Hoffman

Unlike past Art Institute of California San Francisco’s fashion shows, there were no “scenes” or theme names that customarily precede a grouping of several fashion collections from several student designers.

The judges for this year’s fashion show were Lorraine Wilner, a knitwear designer and consultant, Michelle Byrnes, Founder and Designer of Saga Swimwear, and Angella Hoffman, Macy’s merchandiser and AIC-SF’s Academic Department Director of Fashion Marketing & Management. The difficult task of choosing winners from the 15 student designers had fallen to their lap that evening. At the end of the night, they had chosen a runner-up and first place finisher from each of the following categories: Best Construction, Best Creativity & Design, and Best Overall Effect.

Do you agree with their decisions? Without further ado, let’s see each of the students’ collections below (and pick your favorites along the process :)
Many students showed their designs multiple times during the show, so they are listed below based on their designs’ first appearance. Many thanks once again to Christian Hadidjaja for the pictures.

1. Joshua Ugarte

Joshua showed a great deal of range and creativity, from stylized women’s casual wear, work wear, and evening wear. With the combination of his designs and the fabulous poses he displayed during the runway finale, it’s no wonder that he’s the runner-up winner for Best Creativity & Design :)

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2. Meagan Rogers

I love the antler bag handles and fur coats (so soft-looking!). And the three kids’ outfits are adorable.

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3. Kyuri Choi

I really like her designs; it’s chic, elegant, and very wearable. The oversize clutches are great DIY ideas, too.

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4. Brittany Hassler

Brittany’s collection has a lot of swagger ‘n style. The color-blocking is effective and the models’ fierceness really elevate the overall presentation on the runway. Great job.

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5. Lia Larrea

Other than the first dress’ (a little bit) too short hemline, Lia’s collection is a knockout. The color and pattern play is gorgeous, the silhouettes look fantastic, and the construction looks good. The last two dresses look fun and fresh, and they are a departure of the rest of her creations. She’s the runner-up winner of Best Overall Effect (she won first place in my book :). Congratulations Lia!

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6. Barbara Frances

Let me just say, the first model really sold it. Her walk is fierce and confident, and other models that followed her did not show as much conviction to really make the outfits alive. As for the outfits themselves, they look fun for summer!

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7. Tia Young

The big winner of the night; Tia is the first place winner for Best Overall Effect. The presentation of her swimwear was the most successful compared to presentations from the previous years I’ve seen her, so I’m happy that her collection stood out “by a landslide” (according to Bo Breda) to grab that first place finish.

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8. Rie Yamamoto

From the moment the classical tune played and Rie’s collection came out, she got my attention immediately. The use of batik prints, especially on the male aprons is so hot! Congrats for Rie for winning the Best Construction award! Omedetou gozaimasu, Rie-san!

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9. Fiona Leung

My favorite piece of Fiona’s collection is the tulled-up-from-underneath yellow mini skirt. I want it for summer!

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10. Samantha Armann

Her collection feels very romantic. Even the silhouettes for her kids wear feels very girly and romantic. My favorite is the 50s-style emerald green bustier dress (that preceded her three wedding dresses). I usually don’t go for that silhouette, but I LOVE this one…my gosh! She’s the winner of Best Creativity & Design; congratulations Samantha!

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11. Andreala White

The balloon silhouette and bold dress pockets are great, but her last outfit (black top with pants) is my favorite. Andreala is the runner-up for Best Construction that night :)

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12. Shweta Singh

Her three head-turning dresses are so elegant and fit for the hottest black-tie events or parties. They look sexy and romantic, and the construction looks nice.

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13. Karen Perez

The red dress is gorgeous, but obviously the model had a hard time walking in it. She’s a good sport though, smiling through it the whole way (and back).

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14. Mikaela Rascano

Mikaela only had one dress to show on the runway, but it’s a great dress. I really, really like it, especially with the divine open-back details. Lovely work!

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15. Chad Leal

Chad played it demure this year (after presenting last year’s condom vest). I wished I see more of his work, because he’s crazy talented.

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So that’s it for Art Institute of California San Francisco Fashion Show 2012! Thank you Clarissa Nicosia (Fashion Show Production Instructor) and Vincent Oliver (Facility Manager, Photo & Video Lead Coordinator) for the correspondences. And most of all, thank you Bo Breda for everything and the legacy of high standard that you’ve left AIC-SF fashion shows. Have fun in Hawaii, we’ll miss you much!

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend, everyone,

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