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NYFW Preview: Academy of Art University S/S14

Every designer dreams of showing their debut collection at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, and this season that dream will occur for ten designers from the School of Fashion at Academy of Art University in San Francisco. Since 2005, the School of Fashion has premiered the collections of students and recent graduates during New York Fashion Week. “Part of our commitment to our students is to help launch their careers and have their work seen by industry professionals,” said Dr. Elisa Stephens, President of Academy of Art University. She also said, “Debuting these designers’ collections during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Lincoln Center is an incredible opportunity for each of them.”

Tune in to the LIVE Broadcast on September 6th, 2013 at 8pm EST here >> http://www.academyart.edu/fashionshow/

For the Spring 2014 season, there will be four womenswear collections and four menswear collections. One of the womenswear collections is a Fashion and Knitwear Design collaboration, and one of the menswear collections is a Fashion and Textile Design collaboration.


Didvik Kuang, B.F.A. Menswear Design, was born in GuangDong, China, and graduated high school from Norwich Academy in Connecticut. Didvik’s collection was inspired by Giorgio Armani’s wardrobe for the 1980s movie American Gigolo, but with a lounge wear influence. Using linen, blended wool, nylon and suede, Didvik created a collection that channels Richard Gere‘s leading man look with a pajama like aesthetic.


Gwen Shihyao Lai, M.F.A. Fashion Design, grew up in Taichung, Taiwan and graduated from the Tainan University of Technology where she received the “Most Original and Creative” Student Design Award for her undergraduate fashion collection. Gwen was recently selected to participate in the Fall 2012 Inspirare Design Competition. Her Spring 2014 collection was inspired by the paintings of Filipino artist, Thaddeus Ochoa Pagaduan. The pleating of the collection’s cotton, linen, silk, and ikat fabrics was inspired by the artist’s use of tree bark. The collection’s bleaching represents the sunlight and fire from nature.


Leslie Dilloway, B.F.A. Menswear Design, grew up in Grass Valley, CA, and graduated from Bear River High School. The inspiration for her graduation collection came from ethnic Turkish prints and textures that she infused with a grungy 1990s feeling in her fabric development. Her muse was a fictional Turkish cab driver in London in the late 1980s – early 1990s who is mysterious and carefree. The drawstrings throughout the collection bring a casual, sporty element. Leslie’s work will be featured in the upcoming Fourth Edition of Emerging Fashion Designers for Spring 2014.


Marine Rongrong Wei, B.F.A. Menswear Design, grew up in Shijiazhuang, Hebei, China, and graduated from the Xi’ An Academy of Fine Art. The inspiration for Marine’s graduation collection comes from vintage crafted clothing during the time of the Great Depression in the United States. She was interested in how people combined fabrics with different textures and weights, as well as the oversized silhouettes of that era. Marine is currently working as an Alteration Specialist at Uniqlo.


Nika Tang, M.F.A. Fashion Design, was born in Guangzhou, China, and grew up just east of San Francisco in Berkeley, California. Nika’s Spring 2014 Collection focuses on volume, movement and texture. The initial shape of the garments takes on the half dome and ruffled silhouette of a sunfish, and the fabric reflects the textures of caviar eggs. Additionally inspired by the stone carvings of realism artist Kris Kuksi, the designs of Swiss architect Mario Botta, and the sculpture of South Korean artist Byoungho Kim, Nika’s collection combines traditional macramé and tailoring techniques, with modern textile printing and fabrication.


Ryan Morar, B.F.A. Menswear Design, grew up in Santa Monica / West Los Angeles where he graduated from Alexander Hamilton High School. His collection is inspired mainly by Robert Rauschenberg’s “Combines” mixed media artwork, along with influences of discordant sounds of early 1980s Sonic Youth and Beat Happening albums. Elements of garments were deconstructed to create different shapes, new silhouettes, and give a raw, free form aesthetic to the collection. Since graduating, Ryan has worked as a freelance designer for Stussy in LA, where he created a small collection of men’s denim garments. He also interned for Jeremy Scott where he made patterns and sewed toiles for the Spring 2014 Collection. Ryan is currently living in Antwerp, Belgium, and interning at Walter Van Beirendonck through the end of the year. Ryan collaborated with Melissa Avalos, B.F.A. Textile Design, who created the textiles for their collection.


Shanshan Bai, M.F.A. Fashion Design, is originally from the Hami, Xinjiang Province in China. During her time as a student, Shanshan was the winner of both the 2013 Four Seasons Hotel Uniform Design Competition in San Francisco, as well as the 2013 Sea Fashion Challenge. Shanshan was inspired by the natural curling lines of floral panels, and the continuous twisting of sculptured surfaces. She constructed her garments using a blend of silk gazar and wool, as well as linen yarn. She collaborated with Winbo Shiau, M.F.A. Fashion Design and Knitwear Design, on their Spring 2014 collection.


Vicken Derderian, M.F.A. Fashion Design, was born and raised in Pasadena, California, and graduated from the Southern California Institute of Architecture. With a formal background in Architectural Design, Furniture Fabrication & Design, as well as Fine Artistry, Vicken’s Spring 2014 collection explores the connection between fashion and architecture as they relate to containing both the body and the individual.


Melissa Avalos, B.F.A. Textile Design, was born in Houston, Texas, and grew up in Torreon, Coahuila, Mexico. Visually inspired by Robert Rauschenberg’s mixed media artwork, Melissa collaborated with Ryan Morar, B.F.A. Menswear Design, listening to old-school hip hop as her soundtrack for those long days spent printing her textile designs.


Winbo Shiau, M.F.A. Fashion Design and Knitwear Design, was born and raised in Taipei, Taiwan and earned an undergraduate degree from the Chinese Culture University in Taipei. Max and Lubov Azria, who were the 2013 Guests of Honor at the School of Fashion’s May Graduation Show, personally selected Winbo for a design internship in Los Angeles. Winbo collaborated with Shanshan Bai, M.F.A. Fashion Design, on their Spring 2014 collection, giving a dynamic twist of street-chic style to traditional woven knitwear.

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All Photos Credit: Academy of Art Univeristy



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