Crystal chandeliers, embroidered tapestries, carved marble fountains and columns, and frescoes and murals were the backdrop to Woodbury University’s popular fashion runway event. The fashion design students shared the runway with famed fashion duo Badgley Mischka at the historic landmark, Millennium Biltmore Hotel, Los Angeles.
The Fashion Design department’s premier event honored Mark Badgley and James Mischka with Woodbury’s Lifetime Achievement Award. The design duo, hailed by Vogue as among the “Top 10 American Designers”, has made their mark over the past three decades with superior craftsmanship and consistency in fine materials and design.
Industry professionals, media, dignitaries, and business leaders all gathered along the runway experiencing a showcase of student talent and creativity. The aspiring undergraduate designers shared billing of Woodbury’s 55th Annual Student Fashion Show with these fashion world luminaries. What a treat for the audience to enjoy the catwalk of designs by Badgley Mischka.
In bestowing Woodbury’s Lifetime Achievement Award, we honor BadgleyMischka’s remarkable body of work and celebrate the 30th anniversary of this iconic American brand. Throughout their partnership, their timeless and sophisticated style and integrity of their collections has pushed them to the forefront of fashion. – Sue Vessella, Dean | School of Media, Culture and Design
Founded in 1884, Woodbury University is one of the oldest institutions of higher education in Southern California. With campuses in Burbank/Los Angeles and San Diego, the university offers bachelor’s degrees from the School of Architecture, School of Business, School of Media, Culture and Design, and College of Liberal Arts, along with a Master of Business Administration, Master of Architecture, Master of Interior Architecture and Master of Science in Architecture.
Each year Woodbury’s fashion design department seeks to place the work produced by students in a cohesive thematic setting that allows for maximum creativity and diversity within their collections. This year’s theme ArchiTexture: form// fabric// fashion reflects on the long-lasting relationship between fashion and architecture and how architecture can be an influence and inspiration for fashion designers.
The student’s journey took them on a path of observation and education in learning the different architectural styles in both materials and design. They then formulated a concept where lines, form, color, and angles merged. This fueled the creative process, yielding each designer’s interpretation of the aesthetics of architecture onto clothing.
The runway show featured collections from the sophomore, junior, and senior class groups all inspired by an architecture period or specific architect. The collections were built true to the theme and the hard work to produce these collections was evident. Congratulations to all the students.
Our annual fashion show serves to enhance the learning experience of our fashion design students by placing their creations on the runway, and this year is no exception.
Anna Leiker, Chair | Fashion Design of School of Media, Culture and Design
ArchiTexture: form// fabric// fashion showed a breadth of design talent. Are they the next fashion superstars? What do they care about and how do they see the future of fashion? Does Woodbury nurture the free-thinkers, the mavericks, the people who think outside the box? Is the training anti-establishment or establishment? Are these designers ready to shake up an industry that is in need of a shift in it’s value system?
What was evident in the show is that these designers see themselves as part of a positive fashion movement. Fashion is an art form and a vehicle for self-expression. Statement pieces have much more longevity and are treasured. Ketorah Joy-na Jones believes, “making a statement every time you walk into a room speaks volumes. That’s how I want my brand to be seen.”
They see fashion as a universal cultural contribution, influenced by progressive social causes, environmental and economic issues. Chelsea Batres says, “fashion contributes to our everyday culture through exploration and experimentation”. “Clothing creates a universal culture transcending race, age, and gender. People connect when they have things in common”, says Amber Luke. Tina Masumi Stephens infuses her Japanese culture with a nod to social inequality, “I want garments that can be worn by anyone – without discrimination or prejudice. Many designs, therefore, are gender neutral.”
The designers feed off the power of nature and want to protect the planet. Kayla Stiff uses recycled materials in her collection. Tina Masumi Stephens, a vegan, uses a vegan approach while incorporating less waste in her practice. Joseph Dasalla’s motto is less is more while style identity is at the core of his vision.
Creativity and vision are not renewable resources, the industry must care to develop and nurture [up and coming talent] or we will lose the people who possess these.
Since Art Nouveau is my favorite movement, I present dragon costumes inspired by the architecture of Victor Horta. – Amber Luke
Antoni Gaudi’s use of stained-glass windows, nature, and geometric shapes are what inspired this collection. – Chelsea Batres
Architects like Richard Neutra and Kengo Kuma have influenced my collection from their philosophy that less is more with dynamic textures. – Joseph Dasalla
The debuted looks are intended to make people think about fashion and the world around them, similarly to Zaha Hadid’s architectural structures. – Kayla Stiff
Zaha Hadid and her successor, Patrick Schumacher, were my inspiration. The structural curves and fluidity of the building influenced the curves and flow of my collection. – Ketorah Joy-na Jones
My goal for this collection is to create a gender-neutral line that reflects the concept of movement. I was inspired by the playground architecture of Numen and Toshiko Horiuchi Macadams. – Tina Masumi Stephens
Junior Collections [a few highlights]
To the next generation of designers:
- Never compromise the integrity of your work. Stay diligent and consistent in the quality of design, materials, and construction.
- Keep pushing “out-of-the-box” thinking. It’s OK to be outrageous!
- Build ethically and environmentally right collections. Don’t be afraid to design for longevity; timeless statement pieces to be treasured. It’s sustainable.
- Find your niche and stay in your lane.
All photos – Wayne D. Fleshman – https://fleshphotos.com/