Ready for the Runway

Ready for the Runway

Stephen Smith 15 AP is debuting an eye-catching collection of womenswear at Collection 2015, RISD’s popular runway show.

Standing in a sunlit studio stocked with mannequins, bolts of fabric and plenty of process books, Kylie Mara 16 AP holds up a pair of medium-length shorts made of stretchy rayon. She takes a moment to measure them, then grabs her scissors, makes neat gashes in the neon yellow pocket liner and expertly sews the excess fabric. She made the shorts as part of her sophomore-level print project, which challenges students to create a unique garment from printed fabric donated by fashion icon and RISD trustee Nicole Miller 73 AP.

“During my first year in Apparel Design, I learned that successful designers are able to manipulate fabric and make alterations on the fly,” Mara notes while picking up scraps of fabric strewn about the table. “Luckily, this was an easy fix. Nothing can be out of place when a garment hits the runway.”

Mara is making last-minute adjustments in preparation for Collection 2015, this Saturday’s fun runway show at the Providence Performing Arts Center. Each spring Apparel Design majors share their one-of-a-kind creations with members of the general public eager to see a juried selection of the best work by up-and-coming fashion designers. In addition to sophomore print pieces, jurors select great examples of wearable garments made from recycled materials other than fabric, tailoring and knitwear projects produced by juniors and selections from the unified bodies of work designed and made by seniors. This year seniors are also excited to have the opportunity to show their final thesis collections to industry insiders at RISD Backstudio 2015, a special exhibition in New York City on May 18.

Collection is an exciting event that provides an opportunity for the community to get a glimpse of the design process of our talented students,” notes Apparel Design Department Head Meg DeCubellis 83 AP. “For seniors the show is a highlight of their personal journey as emerging designers.”

Last Saturday the group of jurors that has been working with students since last fall – all professionals in the field who are committed to mentoring the next generation of design talent – gave students constructive criticism on their final designs and offered warm words of encouragement before selecting the best-executed garments for the runway show.

Those who attend the popular event tomorrow can expect to be dazzled by a medley of interesting new looks. Last weekend jurors raved about Goblin Market, a collection of eye-catching womenswear by Stephen Smith 15 AP. Appearing silky to the touch, the collection of dresses, skirts and shirts is made from lightweight fabrics painted with streaks of brilliant pinks, purples and blues. “The designer has such a strong, cohesive vision,” Howes noted at the critique. “Everything fits together effortlessly.”

Inspired by the intersection of science and fashion, Chaz Aracil 15 AP will be showing Spectral Cell, a striking collection featuring furry coats, tailored pants and neoprene jackets. In developing his thesis collection, he experimented with making digitally printed silks and silicon-cast panels.

“Being a part of Collection is always a thrilling experience,” Aracil says. “To me the runway is the place where dreams and work ethic converge to make a magical reality. We’re all eagerly awaiting that extraordinary moment.”

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