Lights. Camera. Catwalk.

The School of Fashion's finest debuted their Fall 2015 collections at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at New York City's Lincoln Center

 Saturday, February 14, M.F.A. designers from the School of Fashion at Academy of Art University presented their Fall 2015 thesis collections at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Lincoln Center in New York. Since 2005, the School of Fashion has helped foster the careers of students and recent graduates by premiering their collections at New York Fashion Week. For the Fall 2015 season, 15 designers presented 10 collections, four of which were collaborations between fashion design and textile design students. 

“We are committed to helping our students launch their careers, and we are thrilled to give them the platform to present their work to fashion industry professionals,” said Dr. Elisa Stephens, president of Academy of Art University. “It is an incredible opportunity for our student designers to debut their collections during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.”


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Academy of Art University fashion designers and textile designers from the School of Fashion at MBFW. (L–R) Xue Yang, Oom Terdpravat, Stella Xingyu Hu, Xiaowei Liu, Ozanhan Kayaoglu, Paulina Susana Romero Valdez, Tam Nguyen, Erin A.F. Milosevich, Emmanuelle Ciara Jones, Christian Willman, Han Tang, Ghazaleh Khalifeh, Farnaz Golnam, Andrea Nyberg and Kevin C. Smith. Photo by David Dooley.

The show began with designer Emmanuelle Ciara Jones and textile designer Ghazaleh Khalifeh’s African inspired textiles and brush stroke prints inspired by the late Jean-Michel Basquiat. The famed New York City painter known for playing with suggestive dichotomies such as wealth versus poverty, integration versus segregation and inner versus outer experience in his work inspired many. 

EJ & GK photo line up

Designs by Emmanuelle Ciara Jones and Ghazaleh Khalifeh. Photos by Getty Images.

Like a Manhattan skyscraper, Christian Willman’s women stood tall. Willman’s sleeves were realized using mathematical equations and handcrafted 3-D modeling techniques. Inspired by installation artist Matt Calderwood, these looks are brazen enough to lay on the backs of many a hard-edged, Park Avenue power player or set up in an art gallery as an installation of their own.

Christian Photo Line up

Designs by Christian Willman. Photos by Getty Images.

It’s to the darkroom for Han Tang, whose wool and silk collection was inspired by the haunting photographs of Italian photographer Yvonne De Rosa and the silhouettes of Cristóbal Balenciaga. Textile designer Tam Nguyen took to creating fabrics, which sought to emulate decaying and chipping surfaces of the featured abandoned hospitals. The same destitute beauty captured in De Rosa’s Crazy God series of the dilapidated and forgotten are made anew with Tang’s nod to iconic fashion design. 

Han & Tam photoline up

Designs by Han Tang and Tam Nguyen. Photos by Getty Images.

The work of Xiaowei Liu and Stella Xingyu Hu is a lesson in successful partnership. Liu’s combination of denim, cotton and leather is inspired by Boro, a type of Japanese indigo patchwork. Hu’s faux rainbow-colored leather tape incorporated in her menswear jumpers were inspired by the Rubik’s Cube. Together a marriage of the traditional with the unexpected created something deliciously entertaining to watch and to wear.

Xiaowei photo line up

Designs by Xiaowei Liu. Photos by Getty Images.

Xiaowei & Stella Photo line up

Designs by Xiaowei Liu and Stella Xingyu Hu. Photos by Getty Images.

Prepare to be bewitched by Erin A.F. Milosevich’s rendition of bohemian couture. Meant to illustrate the balance between movement and restraint, which is portrayed through the juxtaposition of flowing fabric with constructed silhouettes, each look included a handmade crinoline. 

Erin Photo lineup

Designs by Erin A.F. Milosevich. Photos by Getty Images.

It’s Only Heritage was the title of Mexican born Paulina Susana Romero Valdez’s deeply personal work, a baroque collection of wool brocade, wool tweed, silk, cotton and hand-dyed leather. The collection was accented with hand stitched traditional Mexican embroidery. Paying homage to the generations of fierce women in her life and designed for the death-defying woman of the world.

Paulina R.Valdez Photo LIne Up

Designs by Paulina Susana Romero Valdez. Photos by Getty Images.

Clear as a California sky, Kevin C. Smith took inspiration from Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s 1976 24.5-mile long installation art piece, Christo’s Running Fence to create menswear collection built for the hybrid man. Textile designer Andrea Nyberg added satire and sophistication. Her inspiration was as lighthearted as the smoke, condensation and dew that were integrated throughout the collection.

Kevin & Andrea Photo Line up

Designs by Kevin C. Smith and Andrea Nyberg. Photos by Getty Images.

Power and social order lay in the sharp tailoring and rusted prison metal prints of Ozanhan Kayaoglu. This collection was inspired by French philosopher Michel Foucault’s analysis of social theorist Jeremy Bentham’s Panopticon prison architecture and was designed with the body used as the central focal point of power. 

Ozanhan Photo Line Up

Designs by Ozanhan Kayaoglu. Photos by Getty Images.

Your eyes do not deceive you; Farnaz Golnam’s inventive collection is all it takes to make you reconsider how you’ve looked at clothes. Golnam’s rousing garments are sculpted to the interpretation of nature. Constructed in grey and black wool, Golnam’s looks are fine examples in expert craftsmanship.

Farnaz photo line up

Designs by Farnaz Golnam. Photos by Getty Images.

Fascinated by the labor and dedication of embroidery pieces done by ancient southwest Chinese women, Xue Yang and Oom Terdpravat shifted antiquity to the contemporary. Culminating in colorful cocoons and printed furs, Yang and Terdpravat, crafted pieces made for a fashion vanguard.

oom & Xue phot line up

Designs by Xue Yang and Oom Terdpravat. Photos by Getty Images.

“This group of designers focused on transformation,” said Simon Ungless, executive director of the School of Fashion. “They used fabric manipulation and printing techniques to change the inherent qualities of textiles to create new textures and surface qualities. There is a focus back to the body and wearability in silhouette, which the designers have utilized advanced tailoring techniques to achieve.”