Runway looks in last Saturday’s Fashion Line Up from the Art Institute of California-San Francisco drew inspiration everywhere from Catholic school uniforms to safari gear to safe sex and placed a welcome spotlight on the school’s innovative, eco- conscious and, we dare say, fearless designers.
Held at the San Francisco Design Center, the annual fashion show and its young San Francisco designers did not disappoint. While the show was the fifth in a string of annual fashion shows held by local schools, the Art Institute’s production stands out for offering select student designers the opportunity to show not only one, but multiple collections. The result is a chance for participants to prove their versatility alongside their creativity.
Autumn Carlisle’s inventive knitwear opened the show, setting the bar high for her fellow students. Carlisle raised $2,500 to fund her collection, “Geometric Nightmare,” through online fundraising platform Kickstarter. The collection was a brilliant mash-up of slick geometric shapes and neutral tones contrasted with subtle pops of color; however, what made Carlisle’s line so identifiable was its bulky chain-like detailing, which was made from rubber tubing generally used in industrial machinery. For her efforts, Carlisle was awarded a $1,000 scholarship for Most Creative Construction.
Cameron Stewart’s menswear collection shined a light on the naughty side of Catholic school. His designs, which were primarily black and white with leather detailing, looked like a high-end, deconstructed version of the classic men’s uniform. Exposed zippers that had the ability to alter a garment’s length (as seen on the sleeveless jacket below) appeared in multiple pieces, making this line as transformable as it was edgy. Cameron Stewart was awarded the $2,000 scholarship for Best Overall Effect.
Many of the designers showed great creativity in their fabric choices, but Chad Leal’s collection featuring unused condoms (the M.C made sure to clarify) may have taken the cake. While garments designed from extreme materials such as this tend to lack a solid design aesthetic, no such problem occurred in Leal’s collection. Leal managed to create clean-cut garments that were evenly matched by the quirky condom detailing, making his collection as professionally crafted as it was interesting. Leal was named the runner- up for Most Creative Construction.
Once the first red and black dress from Dallas Coulter’s Victorian inspired collection floated down the runway, the audience’s approval was audible. With pristine construction and authenticity, Coulter’s collection contained pieces that could have been straight out of classics such as Sherlock Holmes or Gone With the Wind. Her second collection was much more contemporary, featuring an abundance of black feathers, lace and leather. The extreme collar and corset seen on the black mini dress below tied the looks back to her obvious love for antique silhouettes. Coulter was awarded a $1,000 scholarship for Best Construction.
Here are some other noteworthy looks from the show…
Photographs courtesy of John Agcaoili and Cortney Clift (pictures: 1, 6, 7, 8, 13, 14)