The diversity of styles executed to the fullest by designers in AIC San Francisco 2013 Student Fashion Show was very refreshing to see. Ready-To-Wear for women and men, sportswear, swimwear, drag queen outfits, and couture gowns walked down (except for the drag queens who STOMPED down) the runway at San Francisco Design Center on Saturday, June 15. Expressions of style and individuality by these young emerging talents of San Francisco student designers once again proved that they are talented professionals.

The fashion show production was a great success for AIC San Francisco Fashion School, which starting this year is under direction of new Academic Director Geetika Gupta.┬áThe tickets for aptly-named “Style Wow” AIC San Francisco 2013 Student Fashion Show attendance were sold out, with 200 VIP tickets oversold. Great for the school, not too good for those standing VIPs on high heels :)

This year’s fashion show judges were (returning judge) designer Bacca da Silva, SFFAMA and Fashion + Tech Network founder Owen Geronimo, and designer Apeksha Ambaram. Awards for Best Construction, Most Relebant Design Best Creativity and Concept, as well as Best in Show were given that night.

Therefore, without further ado, here are the works featured at AIC San Francisco 2013 Student Fashion Show. Aside from one picture (that I noted below for Rie Yamamoto), photos are by Christian Hadidjaja.

Grad Showcase: Justin Jamison F/W 2013
It’s good to see Justin Jamison‘s work in-person again. I last saw back in AIC San Francisco 2011 Fashion Show, and it’s clear how much he has grown since then. I have seen his past S/S 2013 collection for Macy’s SF Fashion Incubator program, and this F/W 2013 collection follows the same thread of clean modern look of urban wear suited for San Franciscans.

Mikaela Roscano

Mikaela’s designs have that sense of “spunk” in them. Yes, they are feminine and girly, but at the same time they are sharp and tough. I would not want to mess with girl wearing Mikaela’s designs.

Rie Yamamoto

Rie’s collection is inspired by paintings of Augustin Lesage, and I felt it’s the most successful when done in her menswear outfits. The preceding womenswear have clean silhouettes, however they did not feel as focused. The one dress that I absolutely love was hidden underneath the coat in the 2nd outfit. Therefore, I included the picture of that dress (the last picture that’s clearly not a runway shot); that was shot pre-fashion show by Davina Nicole.

Sade Wallace

Inspired by Oakland artist Rtystk, Sade presented body-con royal purple jumpsuits and a leotard accessorized with vibrant headwear, accessories, and a whole lotta attitude.

Christopher Maracha

Chris won the runner-up award for Best Creativity and Concept, and it is well-deserved. These menswear outfits are cool, well-designed, and cleanly made, considering they combined several different types of fabric. And that first model’s walk made the collection all the more exciting :)

Anacelia Castro

The runner-up for Most Relevant Design, Anacelia designed looks inspired from fantasy and science fiction. Her interpretation translated very well into sporty, commercial womenswear. Perhaps a cooler take on Lulu Lemon’s yoga wear? Oh, and I like the first dress VERY much.

Katy Buchmueller

Yes, summer is here and Katy’s designs remind us all to go to the beach and have fun. Unfortunately, aside from the first look’s swimsuit, I was not feeling her other designs as much.

Poem Brasga

Poem’s designs are inspired by “the war between the natural and industrial worlds”.

Joshua Ugarte

It’s expected that Joshua won the Best Creativity and Concept award. His designs were rich, mystical, and downright gorgeous. The audience fell to a hushed silence as look after look went down the runway, each better than the one before it. When the last kimono look glided through the runway and back, the audience broke into a rapid crescendo of thunderous applause. What a talent, and I’m looking forward to see what he comes up with next. That, and I also want to watch “Memoirs of a Geisha” again.

Francisco Rodriguez

At first, I was like, “huh?” seeing Francisco’s designs. Loud comical colors, furry sleeves, safety-pin-ridden masks, vinyl skirts…but then they all came together. Somehow they worked brilliantly as a group! Bravo.

Emmanuelle Hertel

The winner of Best Construction award presented three mini collections that night. Emmanuelle’s first mini collection was very light and minimalistic; the second has that nostalgic vintage feel that’s executed well, and the last was the glamorous, more dramatic black and white collection inspired by what actresses wore in 1940s – 1950s.

Lauren Barisic

Lauren’s construction skills were deemed second only to Emmanuelle’s, making her the runner-up of Best Construction award. Like the plaids, silhouettes, textures, the styling…and that pooch only elevated the first outfit more. Yes, there’s an incident of broken zipper on one of the skirts (and the model looked quite frazzled there), but the overall looks were solid.

Josh Charles

The divas of the night showed everybody how runway is supposed to be done. This is the perfect example where the models really carried through and sell the outfits, killing it on the runway at the same time. As a result, Josh winning the Best Creativity and Concept aware is only natural. Can we have drag queen models every year, please? They are so amazing! WERK.

Fiona Leung

I honestly felt bad to Fiona, who had to follow Josh’s extravagant showcase and preceding Hugh’s couture gowns, however at the same time I understand why her designs were chosen to be the transition between those two. They were a mixture of that elegance and romance, with a healthy dose of “oomph” glamour with the sequins. The transparent fabric and high thigh slits were so sexy.

Hieu Nguyen

The big winner of the night, for the right reasons. Hieu won the Most Relevant Design and Best in Show awards. When we first met during model fitting back in April, he said he started working on his collection shortly after last year’s fashion show ended. In the midst of working, he had periods of “love and hate relationship” with those couture, high-fashion gowns he made. Well, his ambitious projects paid off big time. The gowns are beautiful, well-made, functional, and most importantly, beloved by the audience. A very well-deserved win for this talented young designer!

Congratulations again to AIC San Francisco 2013 Student Fashion Show production team, for an amazing night of Style Wow. It is very exciting to see this school get more and more exposure as the Fashion program grow from year to year.

If I can be critical of one thing, it’s the runway lighting. All those lights variation might be intended to give layers of intensity or mood, but they made it challenging for the photographers. It took me quite a while to sort and edit Chris’ pictures. At the end, there were some pictures that had to be dropped off. This is not to mention the first 3 – 4 collections’ models seemed “rushed” when they walked down the runway, making it even more difficult to capture crisp pictures with inadequate lighting.

Thank you Geetika Gupta for inviting us to this wonderful fashion show, and I hope to see what next year’s crop of student designers bring!

Until next time,
Musank