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Academy of Art Students Debut Fab Looks at New York Fashion Week

Big name design stars weren't the only ones getting time in the limelight at New York Fashion Week last month. 13 student designers from San Francisco's own Academy of Art University also debuted eight fab collections. Comprised of an array of seasonal pieces constructed with innovative shapes and playful textiles, we loved all of the fearless looks. 

Academy of Art kicked off the show with a colorful womenswear collection by designers Jaci Hodges and Nisha Hannah Btesh. Bright, felted-Shibori texturing and Andy Warhol-esque prints gave off a vibrant 1960s vibe. Other bold moves included unexpected elements of geometric netting and handsomely woven pieces from designer Earnest Huang in collaboration with textiles by Hong Ni. 

Juxtaposed chunky knits and tailored outerwear came next from designer Jasmine Gonzalez’s collection, which included vibrant purple slouchy sweaters and feminine mid-length skirts. Then came a collection of luxurious-looking menswear garments by designer Elizabeth Castellon. She constructed 1930s-inspired coats that seamlessly married impeccable tailoring and traditional silhouettes with floral prints. Menswear designer Frank Tsai presented boxy wool coats with futuristic shapes, fabricated in Andrea Nieto’s edgy, black and white textiles. A fashion and textile design collab by Flora Cervantes and Lori Solem included a womenswear collection that displayed earthy themes; one standout piece was a sleek gown embellished with a prominent red anatomical heart. The Bosnian born designer Arijana Kajdić showed a violet-hued collection, which featured intricate beading and layered-lace pieces that wowed the crowd. Particularly striking was an embellished, asymmetrical coat with pronounced shoulders and rich detailing.

The students received lots of love from Fashion Week attendees, who gushed over the glamorous collections. Designers Mingyu Du and Joseph Khawne's structural military coat was even featured briefly in "Evening Hours,'' famed New York Times fashion photographer Bill Cunningham's video wrap-up of NYFW.