The Academy of The Arts Spring 2019

If you are scouting for that new, innovative fashion designer that is not afraid to take risks, The Academy of the Arts has a slew of young creatives that fit the bill. Once a year the San Francisco–based fashion design school presents some of their most talented design MFA students during New York Fashion Week: The Shows (NYFWS), usually occurring during the spring collections shows. Though it is a long-extended show, showcasing 5 or 6 garments from each selected MFA student, the show is definitely worth it.

Some years there is some great fashion, reflecting now or next, and some seasons not so much. This season the selected MFA students delivered!!

“The collections reflect the designers’ abilities to explore their individual spirit while mastering their craft. They’ve honored the essence of the industry and carry conscientious practices into textile design, three-dimensional design, tailoring, and construction techniques; at the same time, they’ve intelligently integrated the use of technology and sustainable concepts into their work,” explained Simon Ungless, Executive Director of the School of Fashion.

Some of the standouts for the spring 2019 season were Yoonsuk Lee inspired by the visual associations of the ‘walk of shame,’ the surrealist black and white photography of Vivian Maier and Irving Penn, and his grandfather’s custom-tailored suits; Snezana Anicic-Van Pelt inspired by observations of the ways our society has been shifting; different qualities (identifies) that can coexist as a whole; Mark Kazu Mekaru, Katy Fang Liu, and Yu Ling Chou collaboratively inspired by Miyako Ishiuchi’s photograph of a disintegrated garment destroyed during WWII, along with some elements of the Japanese art of origami, representations of disintegration, peeling, and falling away are incorporated in the garment shapes, textiles and knits; Zhihan Liu inspired by the movie “Shutter Island” with scenes evoking feelings of hurt, pain and darkness, austerity, and purity, and lastly Changsheng Yu inspired by compositions, contrasts and shapes created by natural light and shadows in San Francisco, the black and white photography of Andres Canal and Horst P. Horst, and long-exposure photos of dancers.

Coincidentally, many of The Academy of the Arts selected fashion design students are inspired by film, movement and photography. Hopefully, as these aspiring fashion design transition from their studies to the real world of fashion design they maintain their incredible skill and craftsmanship, never compromising their design acumen for market traction and viability.

Images courtesy of zimbio.com

The Academy of the Arts should continue to be commended for its brilliant assemblage curriculum that enables its student to mine the craft that sets them on a path to greatness. Which is particularly significant in an industry that continues to sacrifice the art of fashion for commercial success. The Academy of the Arts demonstrates the commercial viability and artistic brilliance can be compatible bedfellows!!—William S. Gooch

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