Academy of Art 2013 Graduate Fashion Show

Last night celebrated the Academy of Art University’s 2013 graduates with a fashion show at the Palace of Fine Arts, bringing all of San Francisco’s most stylish people into one room together to cheer them on. Max Azria and wife Lubov Azria (both of BCBGMAXAZRIA) were special guests of the evening and were presented with honorary doctorates.

The show began with “The Saudi Project” – textile and fashion designs from students commissioned by H.R.H Princess Reema Bandar Al-Saud for Harvey Nichols in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. This portion contained mostly black slinky gowns with various textile treatments and heavy beadwork.

Following that presentation, there were 18 additional “mini” shows from select graduate students. A giant backdrop screen projected the models and show in real time, sometimes zooming in close, others tracking the model down the runway in a grand overhead shot. Every so often cameras would catch glimpses of the audience, and each show ended with a dramatic close-up of the last model before they left the stage.

The show definitely had some standouts for me. From the collaborative team of Shumpei Okamoto (womenswear design) and Andrea Nieto (textile design), I loved the graphic grey and red patterns on what looked to be neoprene, creating an all-in-one-piece patterned design.

Inspired by Japanese ikat prints, the team of Claudia Simoes (womenswear design) and Alicia Karynn Teixeira (textile design) made a bold statement with graphic black, white, and gold patterns on 1960’s inspired silhouettes. The addition of black round sunglasses with gold accents completed the retro vibe and were on trend for the season. Where can I find a pair of these?!

My personal favorite of the night, Pipatchara Kaeojinda (womenswear design) and Mengchen Yang (knitwear design) paired chunky knits with breezy dresses in pale dusty greys and pinks, creating an ethereal look. The open-weave lattice detail on the knits especially caught my eye.

Alexander Toy showed accessories based on common office supplies, and his modern wooden suitcase and briefcase made the audience do a double take. I kept wondering how heavy they were, and wanted to take a closer look.

I congratulate all of the 2013 graduates and look forward to seeing some of their names emerging in the fashion world soon!