The School of Fashion at Academy of Art University premiered the Spring 2018 and Fall 2018 collections of ten recent BFA and MFA graduates at New York Fashion Week: The Shows. Ten designers presented a total of five womenswear and two menswear collections with two of the collections being collaborative efforts.
Hailun Zhou, MFA Fashion Design, was born and raised in Qing Dao, China. For this collection, Zhou was inspired by her observations and the photographs she took while “on a journey” from San Francisco to the Oakland Museum of California @oaklandmuseumca, as well as the abstract sculpture “Volume and Space Organization” by artist Knud Merrild.
“The combination of transparency and the use of letters are what I find most interesting,” said Zhou, who even incorporated the geographical location of the museum into her designs. Materials for her collection include vinyl and PVC, as well as fabrics she created by fusing different materials together.
Saya Shen, MFA Fashion Design, was born and raised in Beijing, China. For her debut collection, she was inspired by the black and white photography of Michael Kenna for her own personal photographs that she took of scenes in nature such as landscapes, trees, ocean waves, and the topography of San Francisco. The snow forms she saw when visiting Hokkaido, Japan last winter were the inspiration for the oversized silhouette seen throughout her collection. “We were in the mountains where everything was completely covered in snow. We were surrounded by nature and the snow was untouched and beautiful. I designed the collection to be oversized like the snow forms, and to be comfortable as the scene was so peaceful,” says Saya in reference to her voluminous garments that wrapped around each of the show models like fluffy hills of snow.
Ryan Yu, MFA Fashion Design, was born and raised in Shenyang, Liaoning, China. For his collection, Yu was inspired by the expression of light and the philosophy of how it leads us from darkness which came about while listening to his favorite song, “In the Light” by Led Zeppelin. He felt that the concept of darkness versus light would be “a good starting point for my collection” and conveyed this through the bold contrast of black and white in patent leather, jersey, and wool that he locally sourced in the Bay Area. Yu believes that construction is the foundation of fashion. To achieve the clean lines, shapes and silhouette, he focused on the construction of his garments. While some in the audience at NYFW: The Shows commented on the futuristic silhouette of his debut collection, others saw references to the 1980s. Both may be correct but one thing is for sure, he was correct. Construction is the foundation of fashion.
Portrait photography by Danielle Rueda, Bob Toy, and Robert Curry.
Runway photography by John Perez.