The university’s annual Fashion Show proved to be a hit among the crowd. The main show was a few hours after the matinee, presenting the same looks to a different audience, this time beginning with the presentation of the André Leon Talley Lifetime Achievement Award to this year’s winner, Francisco Costa, the women’s Creative Director of Calvin Klein.
The award’s namesake, Talley, told a brief story on Costa with an appropriate introduction, “Open the door and never close it. Those were the very chosen words of Francisco Costa to abiding students at SCAD this afternoon.”
Talley’s story about Costa was powerful, creating a connection with him and the audience, despite the audience never having met Costa. Listing off his numerous accolades and accomplishments as a designer, there was no question that Costa was a well-deserved recipient for such an award.
The creative director humbly accepted his Lifetime Achievement Award with a coy smile and a brief speech. “I had so many words to say, so many things to say … I’m touched. Besides this great honor, one of the most relevant things tonight is the great work you will see by the students. I’m more than happy and honored to be here and support them. Thank you so much for this great hospitality.”
Then the lights dimmed and the show began.
Models came out one by one, donning the extravagant creations by this year’s graduating fashion class. And they were a sight to see. The upbeat playlist amped the pace of the show, eliciting hollers and applause at various names that flashed on the screens.
While it’s a great honor and amazing experience for all of the design students who were able to participate, there were a few stars that shined brighter than the rest.
Travis Mann’s unisex collection, inspired by medieval illuminated manuscripts, featured voluminous pleated coats and oversized and exaggerated silhouettes, with modest to vibrant colors providing the audience with a visual feast. Although his pieces weren’t as conceptual as other ones shown, it was still a unique look at how androgyny is being perceived in fashion today, adding the rather slight touch of donning his clothes on male models.
Other notable designs came from students Sarah Humphries and Joanne Henriquez. Humphries was one of the few, if not the only, designers to incorporate fur as a prominent fiber in her work. Used along with leather and reflective shards to make a dress, her all black collection was edgy and effortlessly cool, leaving the viewers yearning to see more. Henriquez had one of the most fun and playful collections. She used patchworks, prints, and vivid colors to pull off a candy-coated retro treat that looked almost as much fun for the models to wear as it was to admire.
The most impressive looks came from Michelle Leal. Elegant and beautiful, jaws dropped as models graced the runway in the feminine dress collection that was adorned with pleats and intricate ruffles. Patterned with flowers that were saturated hues of yellow and purple, the crowd was mesmerized at the last dress that was lifted down the runway and dropped with the softest bounce and flutter that was enchanting.
Then came the less-than-stellar looks.
Kyung Jin Lee’s menswear collection appeared to be a little overdone and boring. Her use of military-esque colors – beige, dark green, and brown – and overlaying jacket lapels didn’t evoke any extraordinary appraise, other than what energy was left from the audience while the show was still lively and bumping.
Inspired by Leonardo da Vinci’s drawings of human anatomy, Jean Song’s feminine white collection lacked any originality. The silhouettes and use of chiffon are a runway cliché, almost seeming to be a part of the affair just to fill the played out void.
There was a wide range of fashion that ripped the evening’s runway and it didn’t disappoint the audience. Ending with a standing ovation from the filled venue including university President Paula Wallace, Talley, and Costa, now until next year where there is new talent, new trends, and new industry leaders to leave another impression in the world of fashion.