Academy of Art University’s top 10 designers show East-to-West elegance

Renee Minus White | 12/21/2017, midnight
From unconstructed garments to classic and tailored cuts, Academy of Art University’s top 10 designers focused on 2018 spring and ...
Spring/fall 2018 designs by Academy of Art University for NYFW

From unconstructed garments to classic and tailored cuts, Academy of Art University’s top 10 designers focused on 2018 spring and fall designs. At New York Fashion Week, the looks were futuristic, colorful and highly detailed.

“The Academy of Art University is honored to have a platform of this magnitude at the NYFW shows, to introduce the work of graduates from both the BFA and MFA degree programs,” said Simon Unglass, executive director of the School of Fashion of the Academy of Art University in San Francisco.

“Each year our designers have shown an amazing showcase of their talent, and this year is no exception,” boasted Jayne Foster, director of the School of Fashion. “This group had crafted each collection, and every piece within the collection has its own unique identity.”

Throughout the creative process, the 10 designers have stayed true to their vision, and showed experience and exploration of silhouette and textile techniques.

Born and raised in Qing Dao, China, Hailun Zhou was inspired by her observations and photographs that she took while traveling from San Francisco to the Oakland Museum of California. For women, her voluminous shapes are created in vinyl and PVC. She also uses fabrics that she created by fusing different materials together. “The combination of transparency and the use of letters are what I find most interesting,” said Zhou.

Eden Slezin was born in the Bay Area. His menswear collection was inspired by his “life and loves” for sustainable menswear looks. They were created from locally sourced organic fabrics and recycled materials, including twill, organic denim, recycled cotton and recycled rubber. The use of denim represents his working-class upbringing and favorite denim piece, which is a 1940s U.S. Navy uniform jacket replica. He used natural dyes without chemicals and electric hand sanders for the denim plaid, argyle and strip surface prints. School uniform influences were also noticeable. By using recycled rubber bike tires, Slezin has found an inspiring way to support sustainability.

Los Angeles-born Dina Marie Lam conveyed a feeling of transition in her collection. She selected soft and luxurious materials to evoke warmth and comfort. Carlos Rodriguez was born in Mexico and grew up in Clarksburg, Calif. He created embroidery using a mixture of traditional hand and machine embroidery techniques to enhance the contemporary feel of Lam’s collection. Rheanna Oliver-Palanca from Kennebunk, Maine provided a wool blend knitwear that mimicked Rodriguez’s embroidery. Oliver-Palanca’s Arts Thread Portfolio offered pretty pieces.

Coming from Beijing, China, Saya Shen’s debut collection was inspired by the black and white photography of Michael Kenna and her own personal photographs. Her creations touched on scenes in nature, such as landscapes, trees, ocean waves and the topography of San Francisco. She worked with Kornit Digital to digitally print the fabric that was used in her collection.

Joanna Jadallah’s collection was inspired by her ancestors in Palestine. Born in Chicago and raised in Orange County, Calif., her collection captured the beauty of her culture. The collection included light wool, suiting fabrics, lambskin, leather, cashmere knits and brocade.

Born in Queens, N.Y., Cana Klebanoff grew up in Monmouth County, N.J. Inspired by Samurai armor and the architecture of castles, his pieces communicated wearable comfort alongside a sense of pride.

Ryan Yu from Shenyang Liaoning, China was inspired by the impression of light and the philosophy of how it leads people from darkness. His design idea came about while he was listening to his favorite song, “In the Light” by Led Zeppelin. In black and white, he focused on contrast with clothes made of leather, jersey and wool from local sources. His silhouettes were futuristic. There were also references to the 1980s in his collection.

Jelly Shan’s collection was inspired by the sense of peace and joy she experienced while visiting Northwest China. The religious environment, such as monks, temples and clothing were very interesting to her. The prayer flags that covered the mountains sides and were faded from years in the wind and sun. “I want my collection to make people feel peaceful and full of joy,” said Shan.