Academy of Art University Combines Cultural Designs for NYFW

Diversity in life and in design are key to this year’s Academy of Art University fashion graduates chosen for the New York Fashion Week. The students who attended the 88-year-old Art University in San Francisco fused their ethos into their fabrics and created a combination of designs that match their minds and souls. Each design represented a statement of self-awareness.

The fabrics were as diverse as the students. These delights included patent leather, recycled rubber bike tubes, knitwear, denim, vinyl, PVC, lightweight wool, lambskin, cashmere, brocades, jersey and wool. But, the embroidery, color contrasts, knitting with ends of prayer flags, and landscape photography, naturally and honestly enhanced these individual creations.

The Academy of Art University specializes in nurturing imaginations that allow students to use their talent beyond the fabric and design. Each student identified their culture and ethos within each design. For example, Ryan Yu’s space-age black and white designs of patent leather, jersey and wool follow his philosophy of leaving the darkness to embrace the light. Meanwhile, Saya Shen digitally transferred her own photographs, of snow covered Hokkaido along with San Francisco’s rolling hills, trees and ocean waves on to her fabrics capturing all her passions. Jelly Shan traveled to northwestern China where she encountered religious temples that brought her peace and joy. Her creations combine the sense of high towered temples knit with flowing prayer flags using soft colors.

The tradition of art and design started by Richard S. Stephens in 1929 continues with his granddaughter Elisa Stephens, who took over from her own father in 1992. Her tutelage has increased enrollment from 2,000 to 18,000. The Art Institute became fully accredited in 2007 by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. It offers associate degrees along with undergraduate and graduate fine art degrees. The tradition of inspiring and nurturing imaginations was evident in the NYFW 2017 show.

 

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