Academy of Art University Fall 2009 Graduate Collection, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week: New York

fall-2009-mb-fashion-wk1Photo credit: Getty Images

Each year, the Academy of Art University chooses a handful of outstanding collections to be featured in Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, in New York.  The Academy of Art is the only school IN THE WORLD to be invited to participate, so to say that these fashion students are talented is an insult to their abilities.

When you combine the creme-da-la-creme of design students with top-notch textile designers, the result is mind-boggling! Among the few elite and amazing designers privileged enough to attend this prestigious event were design teams Heather Howard & Cat Janky, I-Shan Liou & Myoung Hee Kim, Emily Melville & Ivanka Georgieva, Qianya Martin, Scott Macfarland, and The Britex Fabrics Project.

Victorian vacation: This collection was inspired by drawings of early American colonial life. While the quaint nineteenth century prints paired with adorable, lace-up Victorian boots transport you right back to the prairie, I’m reminded of the reason why Laura left her Little Home.

Color palette: Consists of mostly neutrals like beige, taupe, and black, paired with soft periwinkle and shots of navy. Very subdued and natural, the colors depict a visual homage to the simplicity of an early settler’s wardrobe. 

Shapes and silhouettes: Most of the garments were long and voluminous, A-line dresses. One tailored menswear-inspired piece stuck out as the slimmest silhouette.

I could have done without…the horrible fingerless gloves and black knit caps, precariously perched, making the models look like homeless Amish women, or T.I. Either way, not the way I would have styled this collection. 

Overall critique: The collection is a bit dowdy and matronly, if not impractical. Other than being used as a set wardrobe for HBO’s Big Love, I don’t think anyone will get much use out of it. Also the way the collection was styled wasn’t appropriate in evoking the mood. In an attempt to modernize the look, several “hip” accessories were added, but instead, just ended up confusing the eye. Left to stand on it’s own, though, the collection is a beautifully crafted piece of workmanship.

 To view all of the collections visit www.academyart.edu/021309_nyc_fashion_show.html

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