New York Fashion Week Fall 2011: The Academy of Art

What: The Academy of Art University’s School of Fashion presented its Fall 2011 graduate collection and we checked it out.

What they said: Last year, The New York Times enthused, “How was it possible that clothes from six selected students with global origins … could seem more inventive and creative than established New York brands? … The inspiration level was as high as the imagination at the Academy of Art University show. … While New York fashion tends toward the dutifully wearable, the San Francisco-based fashion college gave food for thought.” The same was true this year as six designers presented their womenswear collections from their fashion, knitwear, technical, and textile design programs.

What we say: As in years past, the collections this year were, overall, unwearable. The bulky layers of clothing were even falling off models as they made their way down the runway. While the apparel surely seemed warm, an often overlooked, but extremely important quality of clothes is that they stay on. What’s more, many of the pieces were unflattering to the female figure, while others left us wondering, “what underwear could I possibly wear with that?”

All that being said, there were pieces more wearable than others. These particular items would have fared better on their own rather than piled upon other “clothing” (read: art posing as clothing). And of the six mini-collections our favorite was Sabah Mansoor’s, which used felted merino wool, felted alpaca wool, mohair and some amazing crystals. The jewel details added to her black and charcoal collection looked fantastic.

Each look was truly a work of art which serves to inspire, but clothes must have fashion and function. They’ve got the fashion down. Now, these bright and talented students have some time to work on the latter part.