Academy of Art University’s School of Fashion presents the New York Fashion Week Spring 2020 Graduate Show at Skylight on Vesey
THIS ARTICLE WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE OCTOBER 2019 ISSUE OF THE ACADEMY ART U NEWS NEWSPAPER. | PHOTOS BY DANIELLE RUEDA.
As eager attendees ascend to the third floor of the Financial District’s Skylight on Vesey, six womenswear designers and three menswear designers anxiously wait backstage ready to unveil their New York Fashion Week (NYFW) collections. The show venue is a former trading floor. It offered an urban feel and, at first sight, a darkened space with an open industrial floor. Around it, industry insiders, influencers, and global media filled the seats of the prized front row, including esteemed journalists Suzy Menkes and Cathy Horyn and New York designer Andre Walker.
One by one, models turn the corner to reveal captivating collections focused on exaggerated silhouettes, intricate draping, and effortless layering of oversized statement pieces. Inspiration fills the room, pulled from the most unlikely objects and people who reside on the fringes of society; the social misfits, the warriors, the ostracized, plus the occasional mystical flower with elusive powers. Their thesis projects offer understated fashion with a purpose. Woven into the seams are social and political implications affecting the world, such as globalization, climate change, and representation, to name a few.
The show’s strong focus resonated with the crowd. In a post-show Instagram post, Menkes, editor of Vogue International, wrote: “I like the way this college focuses entirely on the clothes designed by students—no bells and whistles, but a chance to see the cut and flow of fabric.”
Simon Ungless, executive director of the School of Fashion, echoed that sentiment about his students in an interview with Menkes,
“You are going to see a really edited group of graduate designers. They are not interested so much in decoration— more in cutting, construction, proportion and silhouette. They are very craft-related in terms of really beautiful construction. They do everything themselves.” He continued, “We eliminated nearly everything. It’s just clean, pure clothes.”
For these next generation designers, the future of fashion is both sustainable and purposeful.
View the collections as they appeared on the runway in the slideshow below: