MFA graduates from the San Francisco Academy of Art University recently showcased their final collecections at New York's Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.
This season an edited selection of seven womenswear graduates got the chance to impress fashion industry insiders at New York Fashion Week with their creative graduate collections. With a packed-out front row including Suzy Menkes, Hilary Alexander and Diane von Furstenberg the pressure was on for the soon-to-be graduates.
President of the University, Dr. Elisa Stephens, commented: "These designers have the incredible opportunity of being part of Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week. We view this group showing as the University's commitment to help launch the careers of our graduates."
Tapping into her Thai heritage, Sawamya Jomthepmala created origami-esque structured garments replicating the details of Krathong (small boats made from banana leaves). Also taking her cues from Thai religious imagery, Jomthepmala used traditional Buddhist temples as textile inspiration for her abstract repeats.
Jie Pan chose the theme of abstract painting to express her pattern-cutting skills. Working with contrasting fabrics, Pan teamed horsehair with silk chiffon and natural linen with organza. Having already interned at Anna Sui, Pan plans to work as a costume designer for the Hua Yi Performing Group later on this year.
Choosing to look beyond glitz and glitter, Richelle Valenzuela looked at gem-cutting and the many facets of precious stones. Silk and organza complemented Valenzuela's intricate layers and structured pleats. With powerful pattern-cutting remaining a dominant theme throughout his sophisticated collection, an understated palette of gunmetal gray and slate blue demonstrated his mature approach to design.
With an undergraduate degree in graphic design, Amanda Cleary used product packaging as her initial design inspiration. Bonding black silk lurex to calendered cotton twill, Cleary created minimalistic silhouettes which held a modern-day patchwork appeal.
With future plans to launch a career in pattern-making and technical design, Brittney Major flexed her notable technical muscles with a brightly coloured collection of bold plaids. Using 'unconventional preppy' as her inspiration, Major worked mismatched colour plaid over thigh-skimming buttondown dresses and short shorts.
Philanthropist Betty Freeman and painter David Hockney formed the unlikely design inspiration for Kara Sennett's, retro-futuristic collection. Cool colour combinations highlighted precisely cut separates while white panelling showed off Sennett's body-conscious shapes.
Knitwear design graduate Marina Nikolaeva Popska kicked off proceedings with a sumptuously feminine lightweight knit collection. Inspired by nature and the 'chaos' of colour, Popska created softly unstructured silhouettes in an ethereal palette of duck egg blue and plaster pink. Jacquard and intarsia techniques created a marbled and mottled texture, which married well with the delicate colour choice.