With Talk Style AiCA San Francisco fashion show date rapidly approaching, the students and staff are all focusing on the final details. Photos by Christian Hadidjaja.

The Art Institute of California – San Francisco (AiCA SF) student fashion show, titled “Talk Style” is less than two weeks away. 13 student designers will showcase their latest collections on June 13 at SOMArts Cultural Center, 934 Brannan St. When we came to AiCA San Francisco campus to see the model fitting session on May 23, there was still a great deal of things to figure out. The room was humming with concentration when Chris and I arrived around 11:30 am.

Does this look right to you?
Will she be wearing that?
Should we add something else to that section?
Should we take that part away from there?
How does the garment fit on her?
What are you thinking about the styling?

And so on, and so forth. Details, details, details.

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It’s the last stretch before the big day; strong communications and decision making about the final garment details are key. Not to also mention the show production itself, led by Michael Rosen. For his 3rd time producing the AiCA San Francisco annual fashion show, he chose a non-traditional path. There will be three platforms, each featuring a student collection. The models will walk amongst the crowd and go from platform to platform.

At this point, it’s no longer about “just” finishing a collection. With the final production elements starting to take shape, telling a compelling story that leaves an deep impression is perhaps as important as the finishing the garments and styling themselves.

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Many of the students, who have been working on their creations for almost a year look exhausted. Of course, the long hours of labor, pouring their all into making their garments leaves a mark on their young features. On one hand, they cannot wait to be done with it. On the other hand, the excitement of the unknown – will everything be finished? how will people react? – awaits them. It’s fascinating to be in the middle of the room and feel their energy.

Jesus Romero, whose 2014 collection I can still remember vividly, create a collection inspired by “Miss Havisham”, a character from Charles Dickens’ “Great Expectations” novel. Belgian linen, mongolian fur, and a great deal of intricate hand stitching technique come to play in assembling a fragile-looking, but visually stunning collection.

Lauren Barisic, who will show her 3rd collection titled “Eccentric’s Perspective,” went outside of the box and challenged herself. She’s the first AiCA SF student who show a collection three years in a row, as far as I know. To see her continued growth as a designer year after year is rather amazing.

Josh Charles, the student designer behind the two distinct collections of dramatic gowns and drag collection last year, refined his designs to created “Saint Society.” He’s taking it to church this time, with large hats and more controlled drama. I can’t wait. His work-in-progress already looks fantastic.

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We also saw Mark Figueroa’s “Foggy Nights” garments when we first arrived, giving off strong vibes complete with dark visors. The garments look strong and it would be cool to see all looking dominant when presented side by side. There’s also nude-colored garments from Tayler Melhart’s “Monolith” collection and white outfits from Daniela Ramirez’s “Meso Warrior” collection, inspired by traditional Mexican costumes.

Then there’s Syliva Trammel’s “Industrial Circus” inspired stenciled top and samurai pants, Alberto Cuiriz’s “Lost in the Woods” menswear pieces, and Leila Entezam with her knits inspired by “Summer Breeze.” The room was humming.

We did not get to see all of the designers when we were about to leave shortly after 1pm that Saturday. I got a glimpse of Lucia Mendez’s piece, inspired by “Greek Goddess” at the last moment, and I anticipate seeing Lauren Ortega’s “Huntress,” Armando Ortiz’s “Technicolor Mayhem,” and Betsy Ann Ruhlen’s “Atmosphere” during Talk Style on June 13. For now, you can get ready for the show by visiting AiCA SF’s Facebook page.

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Thank you Geetika Gupta and Michael Rosen for inviting and welcoming us despite their non-stop busy schedule. And special shout-out to Steve Phipps of FAMAMOCA; it’s always good to see you! According to Geetika, the judges for this year’s AiCA San Francisco fashion show are Ben Ospital from MAC, Daniela Province from SF Chronicle, and a yet-to-be-announced AiCA SF alumni. It’s going to be exciting event. Are you ready to Talk Style soon?

It’s definitely humming.

Thanks for reading; until next time,

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