The Student Fashion Installation opening reception took place at Art Institute of California – San Francisco (AICA-SF) Gallery, 1170 Market St. on February 20. Academic Director of Fashion Geetika Gupta and London Fashion Week Founder (now a Professor at the AICA-SF) Michael Rosen hosted the intimate 1.5-hour event that celebrated the serious talents from the students and alumni, as well as gave the guests a glimpse of behind the scenes of a fashion production. The Fashion Installation is open to the public and runs through March 3, 2014 in the AICA-SF Gallery.

Michael Rosen proved to be an incredible host; always suddenly appearing beside you with a new filled glass whenever your glass was empty, no matter where you were. While looking around the gallery interior, we helped ourselves to some refreshments (chocolates and brownies, anybody?) and mingled with the AICA-SF Fashion School instructors and staff, students and their families.
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On 6:30pm, Michael gave a quick introduction to the Fashion Installation theme of “emerging…established…eclectic” and the agenda for the evening. Shortly after, the fashion production students helped introducing the four student designers forming the collaboration group “N/A”: Francisco Rodriguez, Tayler Melhart, Jesus Romero, and Daniela Ramirez. One by one, they claimed the center stage and started drawing, working with the dress forms, and adding into the mood / inspiration boards on the back wall. These four students are going to be part of 2014 StyleNOW Student Fashion Show, which is scheduled for June 14, 2014 at SOMArts gallery.

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While the four student designers got busy, Geetika invited the three emerging designers from AICA-SF who showcased their collections at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week (MBFW), New York earlier this month, to share a little bit of their experience. Lauren Barisic (Student, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Fashion Design) opened the show that featured 13 students from 5 Art Institute schools around the US. Christopher Maracha (Graduate, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Fashion Design, 2012) and Rie Yamamoto (Graduate, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Fashion Design, 2013) rounded out the 3 featured designers coming from the San Francisco campus.

All three seemed very ecstatic about the learning experience and how surreal it was to show their collections at MBFW. I saw the Art Institute MBFW fashion show video and I’m excited for all of them; they all did a great job!

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Geetika then invited one of the N/A group member Jesus Romero, who is the 2nd place winner for Cool vs. Cruel Contest 2013 sponsored by The Humane Society of the United States. The contest challenged Art Institutes students to improve runway looks so that they’re cruelty-free and animal friendly. While this is happening, the remaining members of N/A continued their drawing and draping process on the center floor.

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Up next was Rachel Richardson, an AICA-SF alumni (I remember her 2010 student collection at The United Street of Fashion) and now is working at fashion tech start-up company Fashion for Globe. The company held a print design competition, and three student designers were named two runner-ups and one winner. Mai Xiong and Josh Charles are the runner-ups, while Anacelia Castro took 1st place.

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Throughout the event, we thoroughly enjoyed viewing the finished garments from the featured students as well as the work-in-progress from the N/A students. Geetika and Michael were beaming, they’re clearly so proud of the accomplishments and future promises of AICA-SF students and alumni. The students present innovative designs that gain traction from fashion industry professionals, and I cannot wait to see more during the June 14 student fashion show.

As the event drew to a close, we helped ourselves to some more chocolates (Chris couldn’t stop) and spotted guests such as fashion stylist Robert Oren and entrepreneur Rod Guthrie. By 7:30pm, Michael gathered the fashion production students to start cleaning up and concluded the evening. The last thing we saw before we left was a people-free Fashion Installation space…and it’s so serene in its own chaotic way. Maybe it’s the perfect epilogue to this evening full of celebration.

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It’s really exciting to see great works and accomplishments from AICA-SF students and alumni. Thank you again Geetika Gupta for inviting us to this Fashion Installation reception! If you’d like to see the full album from this event, feel free to browse the album below.

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Thank you for reading, until next time,

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