NEW YORK — The 2013 Spring/Summer season’s crop of new Academy of Art University student designers did not cease to amaze the crowd during Friday’s presentation at Lincoln Center. Students Iglika Vasileva Matthews, Jisun Lee, Liza Quinones, Yanfei Fan, Jie Jessie Liu, Tanja Milutinovic, Ginie C. Y. Huang, Stephina Touch, and Jarida Karnjanasirirat were chosen from hundreds of hopefuls from the school’s advanced technique classes.
The international fashion press was on hand to document the unveiling of their collections as well as the collaborative project, UBIFRANCE, which was done in conjunction with the French Ministry of Commerce.
The show buzz peaked just as the lights dimmed. Spotted in the crowd were such A-listers as Suzy Menkes, Michael Musto, and Patrick McDonald settling into their front row seats. The opening nine looks touted an eclectic mix of metallic lace skirts and abstract jacquard tops and dresses. These art-inspired pieces were part of the UBIFRANCE project challenge given to the students from the French government. Themes that reverberated throughout the collections included angular shapes, bright pops of color, and sleek minimalism.
This modern aesthetic was especially evident in the Jie Jessie Liu collection. Although every designer was strong, Liu’s work held a special appeal both design-wise and from a commercial standpoint. With dramatic sloping, vertical collars and stark hemlines – each look was tailored to perfection. When asked about the root of her inspiration, the designer credited the commissioned work of Anish Kapoor and his use of biomorphic structures. Jessica collaborated with fellow student and textile expert Iglika Vasileva Matthews in creating strikingly distinct patterns for her line.
All in all, this season’s show proved delightful in giving those of us hungry for fresh new talent, a sample of what we can look forward to as these young designers master their craft.