“Designers offer the message on what’s new, what’s trending. MassArt fashion designers present a vision into the future with imagination and wisdom.″
Sondra Grace, Chair of Fashion Department, MassArt.
I was honored to attend the annual MassArt Senior Fashion Show a few weeks ago, a tradition at the college that dates back to 1907. This year’s show in three words? It was sensational! I have attended the last few years and have seen the show metamorphose into the professional, dynamic runway show that it was. The title was “Vision” and it was created by one of the largest classes of graduating seniors. Thirty-five aspiring designers displayed their work on the runway, and 15 of them were selected to show their entire collections.
While all the designers were inspirational, a few of the stand outs for me were Erin Robertson, Christian Restrepo,whose spiked platforms were to die for and Joseph Carl, who had some of my favorite looks of the night. His gowns were constructed pristinely, with color blocking and piping flowing down the runway as though they were made to walk the Carousel in Paris. The gowns had structure and high turtleneck collars, which were reminiscent of Hawthorne’s Hester Prynne—but with a modern twist.
Erin Robertson is a woman to watch. She was the recipient of the 2013 Council of Fashion Designers of America’s CFDA/Teen Vogue Target Scholarship (a $25,000 prize) when she was just a sophomore. That night she was wearing an outfit she designed-an elegant, banana yellow pantsuit with a matching stole and purse. Loved her look, her collection and was instantly intrigued by her.
Christian Restrepo finaled the show, closing with a strong multi-media textured collection. During my interview with him, he impressed me with his view on designing. It struck me that he was more interested in the design process itself and creating textures and movement, than being a “designer”. I liked the rawness of his attitude and the fact that it incorporated the same tenets that lead to the success of the fantastic duo Proenza Schouler. In a past interview with them, they spoke passionately of always being focused on the creation process, developing their custom fabrics and playing with the notion of ‘refined ease’ rather than being designers.
The entire show was tight and produced perfectly down to the lighting, the music and the large screen video footage of the catwalk that graced the back walls. The attendees were as beautiful and stylish as the runway show, and none of this would have been possible without the amazing help of the donors who provide scholarships to students in need. For the second year in a row, a gala was organized by those who volunteer their time and funds and believe in the continuation of the opportunity for an affordable education in the arts. As a guest of one of the co-chairs, Ashley Karger, I was grateful to be in attendance on this night, which was truly fashion perfection.
Michael Blanchard photographer
For more MassArt coverage, watch styleboston’s season 2 Fashion Forward runway show.
I was invited to serve as a professional reviewer for the Fashion Design Department at MassArt. It’s an honor to be invited to participate in this Review, and my third year being asked back. I took a close look at the portfolios, sketches, and actual garments of the four students I was assigned. Get to know the four fabulous and fashionable students below and take a peek at their designs. styleboston will be on site for the event titled “Vision” — taking place at The Castle on Columbus Ave on May 9’th.
Kimberly Gale Nowers
“I’m happy being anonymous.”
Those were the words told to us by a man whose designs have been worn for decades by pop culture’s greats, such as, Audrey Hepburn, Julie Andrews, Joan Kennedy, Nancy Reagan, Joan Collins, Ann Romney… just to name a few.
The late Alfred Fiandaca became a preferred fashion designer to some of the most affluent women in politics and entertainment in the last half century and whose stylings have become as timeless and beloved as the women who wear them. Before he passed on February 9th in his Palm Beach home at age 72, the East Boston native sat down with us to share his thoughts on his lifetime of achievements. Though, don’t expect any basking in the glory of being a favorite of powerful and beautiful women. Fiandaca was in love with the fashion…not fame.
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