Anyone who wears one of jeweler Azita Mireshghi’s bold statement pieces is bound to feel like a bit of a badass. Inspired by the mystery and beauty of nature, her designs emanate strength and power. Examples include a chunky red and black metal cuff that resembles molten lava and a delicate but fierce mesh necklace that looks like skin shed by a golden snake. Mireshghi usually works with brass, bronze and copper, often incorporating organic materials—such as horsehair—in her jewelry for added texture. Tribal ornaments and armor shapes also influence her designs.
Costume renderings. Photo by Annelyn Ayran.
It’s four days out from opening night and B.F.A. Costume Design student Shelby Lionella has a laundry list of alterations and decisions to make before the first technical, or in-costume, rehearsal. Altering dresses and pants, labeling shoes for the actors, organizing a quick-change protocol, meeting with the director and production team; the list goes on. But for this moment, her focus is on buttons.
School of Fashion graduate Aastha Shah takes part in a Project Runway AR 2.0 app test. Photo courtesy of Peggy Kuo.
There’s never a shortage of interesting projects going on at Academy of Art University. In more recent years, the School of Game Development (GAM) has embraced concepts bridging the department’s ability to create interactive technology with other fields: Think landscape design, web design, communications and more.
Will Anielewicz, an Academy graduate advisor working primarily with the School of Animation & Visual Effects, is piloting a project that would marry fashion and augmented reality (AR) technology. Using graphic hardware, tracking markers are placed on garments so when viewed through an AR app on a mobile device or tablet, animations appear on top of the designs.
Following a screening of the documentary Franca: Chaos and Creation, the audience was treated to a post-film Q&A moderated by School of Fashion Executive Director Simon Ungless. Photo by Bob Toy.
With her petite frame, big blue eyes and mane of wavy blonde hair, long-time Italian Vogue Editor-in-Chief Franca Sozzani possessed a delicate beauty until she died last year at age 66. The subject of the documentary Franca: Chaos and Creation—directed by her son, Francesco Carrozzini—may have looked fragile. But the woman who revolutionized fashion publishing during her 28-year tenure at the iconic magazine was no china doll.
On Wednesday, Nov. 8, Academy of Art University’s School of Fashion and the Italian Cultural Institute co-presented a screening of Franca: Chaos and Creation at the fittingly elegant Castro Theatre. The event kicked off the pre-opening of the recent New Italian Cinema festival.
Pictured (L-R): Michael Berge’, Moegi Hara and Hairi Chen. Photo by Bob Toy.
On the evening of November 16, music pulsated and a strobe light bathed the walls of a spacious event room at the W Hotel San Francisco in a swirling sea of neon purple, blue and pink. The fun nightclub-like setting was the site of a fundraiser for an organization with a serious mission, the San Francisco chapter of Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS (DIFFA). Proceeds from the event support UCSF’s HIV Clinic Ward 86 at the Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital.
Deanna Wardley poses next to her work on display at Past, Present, Future II. Photo by Bob Toy.
On the evening of Nov. 2, suite 105 at Academy of Art University’s Cannery Galleries buzzed with School of Jewelry and Metal Arts (JEM) students, faculty and guests. They mingled and munched on snacks while perusing an array of wearable and decorative art during a reception that kicked off Past, Present, Future II, the second installment of an exhibition that debuted last year. The show continues the celebration of JEM’s rich history by showcasing exceptional work from current and former students.
“Jewelry has been part of the school for a long, long time,” said Charlene Modena, executive director of JEM. “We have this wonderful legacy and I wanted to honor that by bringing in work from the people who are part of it. Things have changed a lot in the world of art and technology, so we also wanted to show works made using lasers and 3-D printing. We teach traditional and new techniques but we’re always focused on contemporary outcomes.”