By now, you probably have pinned all New York Fashion Week looks to death. But check your Pinterest board(s) again, perhaps you were so busy pinning looks from the big and famous names and skipped the student designers. At NYFW earlier this month, the Academy of Art University (AAU) showcased 13 student designers who presented 8 collections (4 of which were collaborations between Fashion Design and Textile Design students) at Fall 2014 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week (MBFW) at Lincoln Center, New York. Out of the 8 collections, there were 6 womenswear and 2 menswear collections. Let’s see them, shall we?

*Runway images by Randy Brooke / WireImage

Jaci Hodges (M.F.A. Fashion Design) and Nisha Hanna Btesh (B.F.A. Textile Design)

Jaci and Nisha presented a 1960s-inspired womenswear collection created with Japanese Shibori technique. The garments are bold and vibrant, in line with the duo’s inspiration of “the excess of prints worn during the late 1960s, in particular to those seen on the Brady Bunch, and the costumes worn by Mia Farrow in the film Dandy in Aspic”. I really love the rich textural details they put into the collection, as well as the ballgown skirts. They remind me of Carolina Hererra and Oscar de la Renta. Rich, luxurious, brave, and strong. This collection stood out in the midst of the black, gray, dark green, lavender, and purple that followed afterwards.

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Frank Tsai (M.F.A. Fashion Design) and Andrea Nieto (B.F.A. Textile Design)

The inspiration for this menswear collection is a bit intense. Frank and Andrea were inspired by mood and emotion of an international photography collection Beauty in Decay, personal struggle, raw emotion, and different stages of the healing process. It’s dark and “slithery”, if that makes sense, but captivating at the same time.

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Arijana Kajdic (M.F.A. Fashion Design)

Arijana mixed masculine and feminine element in her collection while paying homage to women who have nurtured her, especially her grandmother. A great amount of handwork was poured into this collection, ranging from hand-dyeing to hand-beading. As for fabrics: lace was provided by the French lace company Sophie Hallette, while alpaca, mohair, wool, suiting, cotton, silk, and gauze are all types of fabric incorporated in this collection. WOW. That’s all I can say.

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Flora Cervantes (M.F.A. Fashion Design) and Lori Solem, (M.F.A Fashion and Textile Design)

First, it’s worth noting that “Flora drew inspiration from the environment, in twisted shapes found in nature, and in the way human emotions are bent and gnarled by life experiences”, while “Lori was inspired by gritty industrial textures and illustrations of the French artist Gustave Doré.” The collection felt very poetic with all the long lines and brush-strokes-on-a-canvas impression. It’s not a surprising feeling since this collection is constructed from canvas, cotton, wool, and latex. I’m a huge fan of the last look; the vertical stroke of orange just solemnly brings the garment to sing.

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Earnest Huang (M.F.A Fashion Design) and Hong Ni (M.F.A. Textile Design)

This collection is made of a mix of natural materials such as leather, wool, and cotton, as well as man-made fabrics such as Phifertex and Viscose. It’s simply my favorite of the bunch; the garments are definitely on the bold side of the line, but they’re not too extreme. I particularly LOVE the last look the most.

Earnest was inspired by his travels to Hong Kong, while Hong’s (she is the chief designer for two fashion
companies, LingLuoHui and Dacheng Cityscape Design LLC) textile designs were inspired by the scale and fine details of aerial view photography and contour maps of the countryside. I’d say these two are a match made in heaven based on the success of their collaboration in this collection.

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Elizabeth Castellon (M.F.A. Fashion Design)

Elizabeth’s Fall 2014 menswear collection is comprised of leather, wool, and upholstery fabrics. She drew inspiration from Futuristic architecture, interiors, sculptures, and 1930s sportswear. She aimed to blend classic tailoring with an abstract, futuristic appearance, and I think she was successful in doing so. This is a pretty rad collection!

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Jasmine Gonzalez (M.F.A. Fashion and Knitwear Design)

I love the fact that Jasmine was inspired by the idea of all cultures combining as one. Her collection includes hand-knitted pieces, hand-made yarns, and hand-dyed velvet. The main details of her knits were taken from Fabergé eggs design, while the oversized silhouettes were her interpretation of traditional Inuit outerwear.

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Mingyu Du (M.F.A. Fashion Design) and Joseph Khawane (M.F.A. Textile Design)

Ah, the finale collection from Mingyu and Joseph did not disappoint. I mean, look at the third look! If that’s not awesome, I don’t know what is. But let’s backpedal a little bit. Their collection is made of unique fabrics (ooh) including army tent and parachute materials, wool blankets, and cotton canvas. The inspirations are mod 1960s fashion and the period’s youth attitude and freedom. Moreover, Joseph drew inspiration from Ghanaian sculptor El Anatsui and Syrian contemporary artist Diana Al-Hadid. My gosh, this collection is such a rebel. Too cool for school, you know what I mean?

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Please go to Fashion School Daily for more information about Academy of Art University’s Fall 2014 MBFW presentation, students’ bios, behind-the-scenes, and beauty reports. Moreover, thank you Ian McKintosh for providing me with these images.

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*Image by David Dooley

If you’d like to see the video of the AAU Fall 2014 MBFW presentation, here it is:

Congratulations again for all the AAU students; it’s so inspiring to see such truly amazing work!

Thanks for reading, until next time,

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