story by Kerry Kong
photos by Adrianna Favero
Thinking of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, which designer names pop up in your mind? DKNY? Michael Kors? Ralph Lauren? How about Academy of Art University? For 10 seasons the San Francisco art school has been bringing its graduate students to New York Fashion Week for their chance to shine. This season there were seven collections showcased by different designers, all with distinct and diverse approaches.
Nude and black, Aura Taylor designed a collection that used only two colors. She wowed us with her great understanding of structures and lines and amazing tailoring skills. Minha Yoon’s collection also used limited colors in her collection. Inspired by the effect of light and shadows, she created a collection that was sexy and elegant with a little uniform sex-appeal. Designer Holly Smith got her inspiration from a diving water bird and made a collection that recreated its movements. Each of her looks was in a solid color, including a standout black wool jersey dress with black leather coat. She created some sophisticated clothes with great tailoring.
Another new designer, Stephanie Gelot, presented a collection that was much more colorful and fun. Inspired by the traditional nomads in Europe and Asia, she created a collection that played with knits and textiles with diverse color palettes and patterns. Hurst Chang-Wei Lin’s interest in different religions inspired him to use alchemy. From colors to styles, his collection resembled the alchemists’ robes but in a feminine and chic way. Thai Designer Dejchat Sriyoopum designed an all-black collection that was clean and simple. The details were mainly focused on the tops, but there wasn’t much detailing in the bottom parts. His intended theme of Thai culture and Victorian women was subtly shown in the clothing. Chicago-native Jonathan David Baker created a woven and knot collection from an inspiration of Japanese underground culture like geisha houses and tattoos. It’s overall very intriguing and it surely could keep a woman warm and smiley.