When Charleston Fashion Week founder, Ayoka Lucas, introduced the Art Institute show, she said that this was the "future of fashion." Well, I couldn't agree with her more. These talented student designers will become emerging designers and move on to be featured designers. The caliber of the work on the runway was skillfully produced but equally important was the plethora of ideas presented. There was vision and thought, manipulated through textiles and fitted to the body.
The runway show opened with four looks from Art Institute of Atlanta students, Karimah Ali and Zuri Zander (first four looks in slideshow above). Zuri worked with chiffon and an African print, layering the two and creating structure with horsehair. Karimah delivered a modern and youthful twist to classic styles. Ai Atlanta Director of Fashion, Dr. Hammonds and President Myvett were gleaming with pride, as was Ms. English and myself who worked closely with Karimah and Zuri.
Allow me to explain something - the process. Atlanta / Charleston student designers presented sketches which were created in muslin and fit to the models of their choice. Later, the looks were made in their respective fabrics. Students also worked independently with members of the hair and make-up teams to create the overall looks of their collections. Students were responsible for every detail and decision-making aspect throughout this entire process. It's these "real-world" experiences that are so crucial and instrumental to success and I commend all the parties involved for providing them to our young designers.
The Charleston students gave an impressive runway as well. From ready-to-wear to conceptual and sculptural looks, Ai Charleston rocked the runway with a dynamic level of modernity and sophistication. The fashion faculty, led by Ms. Dominca Baird, is as supportive and vested as we are. Two teams working for the same cause is a winning combination!