Academy of Art University Graduate Fashion Show back in 2007, I was immediately in love with the amazing pool of talents this school gathers. After a long hiatus, I finally was able to come to this year’s May 7 Open House fashion show that was previously showcased two nights before.

When I first came to It is no secret that student fashion shows coming from Academy of Art University (AAU) is always highly anticipated and I’m happy that despite the super windy day (that scared some of the visitors that the huge tent we’re in was going to be blown away), the talents in this school is as high as ever.

There were some interesting choices of experimental fabrics that didn’t necessarily resonate with me the first time I saw it, but after seeing all the pictures again at my apartment, I have gotten quite fond of all of them (well, not really). My absolute favorite is Lisa Relth’s bold giant-dark-strokes-like dyed garments with textured prints (see above). I think it’s absolutely brilliant and I want it now!

And of course, special thanks to Christian Hadidjaja for all the pictures.

1. Fashion and Jewelry Design Collaboration: Inez-Marie Galvez and Rachele Barretto
First of all, what a great opener. Yes, it’s a black dress. But looking closer, the textures on those black dress are very well-constructed, and the bold jewelries just shone through. The models’ styling make the dresses look so futuristic and detailed, so perhaps it takes certain kind of girls to pull off the outfit, but these creations are just so beautiful.

2. Margaret Yoah
Inspired by “Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s noble savage” and “Henri Rousseau’s jungle paintings”, Yoah’s rubber outfits and jungle prints are not my favorite, but they are bold and well-made. I’m not sure about that shade of dark green’s wearability, but considering the jungle theme, I guess it’s….understandable.

Margaret Yoah - AA Graduate 2011

3. Peter Loc Tan Nguyen
I love the first piece and the momentum just keeps on going. The white/silver contrast was smooth and I’m loving the overall feeling of the entire collection. Chic and strong and smooth. Oh, so uber cool…..what’s that? Oh yes sir, I want them all.


4. Ashley J Jung
I like this collection, but it’s a mix bag for me. The 3rd look’s vest was my favorite, as well as the trench jacket. But really, what’s up with the green top? I’m not feeling the green color so much, but again, the constructions look great and the fit is wonderful.

Ashley J Jung - AA Graduate 2011

5. Fashion and Textile Design Collaboration: Lauren Haut and Darrin George
Finally! A shade of green I can be excited for. The fabric textures are amazing and of course, the garment constructions were great. But I don’t particularly like the 3rd look, which looks like a very expensive but rejected-for-TV-female-office-lady-superhero-series outfit.

6. Juhyun Vivi Park
The white stonewash color is mesmerizing. And the outfits, although layered and textured, they look so peaceful and serene. The shapes are unlike Indian’s casual wear, with the long tunics and flowy pants. If I can be as serene as those outfits when I wear them, man, where can I sign up? Bravo, Ms. Park.


7. Fashion and Textile Design Collaboration: Brittany Burggraff and Wendy Tam
All I wrote on my notebook is “show stoppers”. Right from the get-go, the bright origami prints stacked in colorful tutus and oversize tiered gowns were setting a completely bubbly, bright mood that everyone just started clapping. Kudos for the designers for “making it work” and successfully produced these gorgeous creations.

8. Jannika Lilja
For a collection that’s inspired by beauty in decay and androgyny, Lilja’s collection is my 2nd most favorite collection of the show. They’re hard, edgy layered looks that sometimes on the edge of what I call “an assassin’s outfit” because they’re so badass. WOW! I want to walk downtown in the Financial District wearing one of that black layering outfit….that would be a bit psycho but so fun to do! If I can have one thing from this collection, that’d be the black long cardigan from her 5th look. That’s just brilliantly fabulous.

Jannika Lilja - AA Graduate 2011

9. Fayrouz Abi Assi
Clean, classic menswear garments with good construction and fit, nice textures with fine details. The pairing of each pieces on all of the outfits are spot-on, and the camel color is just so timeless.


10. Maggie Mo Luo
Beautiful women’s knitwear dresses and long cardigans (I want!) with deep, rich navy blue color, befitting a collection inspired by “secret of the ocean, beauty of illuminate under water”. Elegant and flowy, this is a ladylike casual wear.

Maggie Mo Luo - AA Graduate 2011

11. Shannon Wong
I didn’t particularly feeling this collection and I’ll tell you why in the 3rd sentence. Yes, the garments were lovely, with strategic bunching and pinching that influences the way they fall on the models. But oh man, that music. The music used to accompany this collection’s walk was so urgent, dramatic, and string-heavy, it really didn’t match the overall serenity of the collection. And that’s too bad. Because I stopped writing about my impression and wrote about my annoyance with the music instead.

Shannon Wong - AA Graduate 2011
Shannon Wong - AA Graduate 2011May 17, 2012Photos: 9

12. Drew Williams
Are you ready for all that gel-ly? The models sure did, and they looked fabulous wearing them. I’m still not sure about the marketability of these outfits, but hats off for Drew for experimental fabrics well done. They fit superbly and the textures were so interesting when looking at them close-up, but…I’m just…not feeling it yet. Especially because some of the colors look like my country’s (one of the popular) snacks.

Drew Williams - AA Graduate 2011

13. Fashion, Knitwear, and Accessory Design Collaboration: Stephanie Duarte, Baron A. Davis, and Christina Monic Chavez
I love the men’s knitwear and I think it’ll look great on San Francisco men, but I don’t think they will immediately go for the rubbery bags. Some of the outfits are better without the bags. I guess the bags are great but pairing them with men’s knitwear might not be the best route. One thing I like a great deal is the charcoal stirred leggings. Heck, I’d wear them myself!

14. Lisa Reith
Oh, it’s finally here. The collection that made me grin so widely from ear-to-ear. The bold strokes. The John Lennon glasses. The bohemian feel. The dyes. Prints. All clashed so harmoniously yet boldly together, they really formed a successful collaboration between East and (Bohemian) West. I want them all. Please. Enjoy the pictures, guys.

Lisa Reith - AA Graduate 2011
Lisa Reith - AA Graduate 2011May 17, 2012Photos: 14

15. Donna Dong Zhong
The 1940s zoot suit. Mix them with polka dots, shiny fabrics, and larger-than-life personality, and you’ll come to appreciate Ms. Zong’s creations. So beautiful in their own quirky vibe. My favorite is the 2nd look, but the collection is so fun to look at!


16. Fashion and Textile Design Collaboration: Cynthia Tran and Kassie Moody
Excellent choice for the closing collection. The earthy goddesses with white cone-like gowns with barely there prints. Subdued, regal gowns sure to turn heads. The serenity of it all floats the fashion show once last time before we’re all brought back to the reality of the tent we’re in (and the persistent wind that’s howling outside).

That’s it guys (whoo, 2.5 hours went into making this post). Congratulations for all the designers for job well done and looking forward for future AAU students’ collections!

Enjoy your weekend,