Apple and the Academy of the Arts

Collaboration is major key when seeking to shift the fashion industry dynamic. We all know it too well Heidi Klum’s signature adage“one day you’re in, the next you’re out.” Encouraging cross-collaborations among students has always been the stepping stone at that the Academy of Art University (AAU). On November 12, the School Of Fashion participated in a “Today At Apple” panel discussion on the creative design process. Leave it to the AAU senior fashion design showcase as a trivial moment for designers to test the boundaries within the fashion industry. This “behind the scene” discussion, was full of unconventional and organic talent of four School of Fashion designers: Mario Chinchilla, J. Church Iglesias, Vivid Yunan Ma, and Eden Slezin, as they expanded on their creative process that inspired their recent collection, the creation of textiles, and three-dimensional garments.

The creative design process seems to only be the beginning stages when designers seek out innovative ways to transform the future of the fashion industry. Here are four AAU fashion designers doing just that.

Images courtesy of True Fashionista

Mario Chinchilla“As a traveler constantly looking for inspiration, I believe that fashion is found through a person’s life,” Chinchilla told the CFDA. With the creative mission to stay true to oneself, Chinchilla collaboratively created a collection that focused on the integration of digital-print photography. Chincilla manipulated these digital photographs throughout his collection to create a story. Visual storytelling was utilized to capture the spirit of and everyperson’s culture.

Image courtesy of Fashion School Daily

Church J. Iglesias“It’s very easy to make foil look cheap, [my greatest challenge as a designer] was finding a way to make it look expensive,”,said Iglesias. Inspired by New-York–based metal artist Hugo McCloud, Iglesias experimented with different techniques and textures to create a customized womenswear collection with the designer Denise Ramos. The metallic accents applied required the right time and heat pressure to manipulate the gold into wearable fabrics.

Images courtesy of Brooke

Vivid Yunan Ma Out and about around San Francisco’s Haight Asbury district, Ma stumbled upon Mark Nixon’s book “Much Loved.” The portrait photography found within the pages highlighted the lives of children, which in turn inspired Ma’s textured knits and color palette for her collection. The distressed and frayed hems of old teddy bears were the backbone to Ma’s creative approach and knitwear development.

Images courtesy of Fashion School Daily

Eden Slezin “How do you take something not so luxurious and make it fashion,” questioned Slezin. Slezin’s design approach was adopted from his everyday affairs as a Marine Corps officer. “Design is always best when it’s personal. If you pull from what your passionate about, it manifests,”stated Slezin. With a strong focus on sustainability, Slezin sought out to challenge a fashion staple and necessity, denim. “Fashion is the number two polluter,”said Slezin. Sourcing local fabrics and recycled materials, Slezin design process evolved throughout the creation of his collection. “Not a single sketch [made it] to the end … when you finally see it on a dress form or a person, [the design itself] evolves,”Slezin.

— Courtney Wilkins

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