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First Look: 2013 Academy of Art Graduation Fashion Show

There's one thing that's certain—the Academy of Art always manages to outdo itself. Last night's graduation fashion show took over the old Exploratorium space at the Palace of Fine Arts, filling the venue's halls with students' portfolios and leading the way to the longer-than-life runway. The show, whose guests of honor were Max and Lubov Azria of BCBG, featured nineteen outstanding collections. And by the end of the night, several themes were apparent—neutrals, blacks with bursts of shimmer, boxy shoulders with super-skinny pants, and the shalwar-kameez look for men.

Standouts included Candy Hsin Yu Chu's sporty collection of dresses, skirts, and pants with drawstring cinching and cargo pockets with lots of fun fur vests and jackets. This was one of the more wearable collections of the evening. Kudos goes to Alicia Karynn Teixeira's textile design for her collection with womenswear designer Claudia Simoes. Teixeira's designs were reminiscent of brush strokes and paint splatters by the likes of Rothko and Pollock. The fashion, textile, and jewelry/metal arts collab by Lili Pham, Kaitlin Anne Perkins, and Ashley Lagasse gets props for being both innovative and wearable with gorgeous fabrics and fun, Asian-inspired shellacked mesh purses. Shumpei Okamoto and Andrea Nieto, also in a fashion/textile design collab, impressed with their futuristic sportswear of graphic, lasered neoprene. But my absolute favorite goes to the super chic knitwear, suedes, and leathers inspired by the tribal aspects of Native American culture by Pipatchara Kaeojinda and Emma Mengchen Yang. Knitwear is easy to overdo, but these pieces were intricately light and ethereal in a neutral palette that rendered them elegantly wearable.