Tony Bravo from the San Francisco Chronicle published behind the scenes coverage at SF Gate.
The quality of the collections continues to attract attention from both San Franciscans who make annual trips for the occasion and New York celebrities looking for the next up-and-coming designers. This year, 13 designers presented to a celebrity-filled house on Feb. 7; four collections featured collaborations between fashion and textile design students and graduates.
The show started with a standout pop of pop culture with Jaci Hodges and Nisha Hanna Btesh's psychedelic, shibori-felted collection inspired by "The Brady Bunch." The mood changed dramatically with Frank Tsai and Andrea Nieto's urban decayed menswear, which made use of laser-printing technology in subtle herringbone details. Arijana Kajdic experimented with masculine-feminine balance, juxtaposing hand-dyed lace and beading with relaxed, unstructured shapes, reminiscent of early 1980s Japanese experimental fashion.
Flora Cervantes utilized a mix of canvas, cotton, wool and latex for her collection with Lori Solem, whose prints were drawn from the work of 19th century French illustrator Gustave Dore. Earnest Haung and Hong Ni mixed natural materials and man-made fabrics, including Phifertex and viscose, with a range of influences including Hong Kong streetwear, aerial photography, and sociological relations of space and class.
Elizabeth Castellon tailored her menswear collection with an eye toward futuristic architecture and a nod to the 1930s. Jasmine Gonzales' sculptural, oversize knits were created from yarn the designer made by hand as well as hand-dyed velvet. Mingyu Du and Joseph Khawane repurposed Army tenting, wool blankets and parachute material in a collection inspired by 1960s DIY youth quakers.
Following the show, writer and man-about-Manhattan Michael Musto gave the academy the ultimate New York endorsement: "I only see two shows at fashion week," Musto said from his perch in the front row. "The Blonds and the Academy of Art University."