by Ariston Anderson
Standing out among the current New York Fashion Week insanity, seven talented young designers from the Academy of Art San Francisco took to the catwalk a collection of 1960s inspired womenswear, making for a Mad Men ambiance for their collaborative showcase at the Bryant Park tents.
Each designer spoke to the theme, their individual collections reflecting their personal take on the era with futuristic Mod looks such as Jetsons cartoon-like shoulder pads, knitwear flowers, draped geometry and quilted Lurex.
Highlights of the show include Kara Sennett, a designer who grew up on U.S. military bases in Germany and Brittney Major, from North Carolina.
Sennett's collection comprised mostly of wool and vinyl materials in bold pinks and blues popped against the white runway, with models sporting retro sunglasses and calculator wristbands painted with White-Out (pictured below).
"Being an American in Germany, I always wanted to be overly-American, and so I was really obsessed with California," Sennett told CH backstage. "The inspiration is David Hockney's Beverly Hills Housewife, a whole series he did on California houses and pools and how things that seem really beautiful are actually really flat." A concept she captured with seams made to appear as pockets and stitching that appeared as seams were actually pockets.
Major also turned to the mid-century housewife, speaking to her southern roots by creating a line of silk plaid taffeta ensembles. A housewife-meets-unconventional preppy look, she tells CH "I took more of my inspiration from my own experience living in the South and kind of the style that people dressed down there. I love the silhouette and I wanted to bring together a collection that was fun and sophisticated." The gorgeous cuts and ruffles revealed the designers technical skills, resulting in the most wearable collection of the show.