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Annual Runway Show at RISD Highlights the Top Work of Emerging Designers on Saturday, May 16
PROVIDENCE, RI — Creativity, talent and innovation will dominate the runway on Saturday, May 16 at 7:00pm as garments created by Rhode Island School of Design [RISD] students make their runway debut in COLLECTION 2009. The annual event showcases the best work of more than 50 up-and-coming young designers in RISD’s Apparel Design department, and features the thesis collections of graduating seniors. Attendees have a first hand look at many of the portfolio pieces that will earn graduates positions at top fashion houses around the world. COLLECTION 2009 will take place at Veterans Memorial Auditorium, Avenue of the Arts (between Francis and Park streets) in Providence. The 7:00pm show is preceded by a 2:00 pm dress rehearsal open to the public.
The rigorous selection process for the more than 150 pieces shown in COLLECTION 2009 is an important part of students’ preparation to enter the highly competitive fashion industry. Months of conceptual development, experimentation, meticulous assembly and precise fittings culminate in a series of critiques – an intense process of review, discussion and recommendations for refinement led by a panel of established designers. Final selections for the runway show are also made by the jury, which this year includes Kathy Rose a performance artist; Daniel Silver and Steven Cox of Duckie Brown; Flora Gill of OHNE TITEL; and RISD Professor Emerita Lorraine Howes, former head of Apparel Design.
Among the many projects presented in COLLECTION 2009 are coats designed by seniors, in addition to their thesis collections. Juniors have a strong presence in COLLECTION 2009 with knitwear and tailored jackets. While selected sophomores demonstrate the apparel department’s focus on creative problem solving with the “Innovatives” challenge – to construct a wearable piece out of anything other than fabric. Epoxy, velvet box liners, fusible plastic beads, gold buckles and extension cords are just a few of the unusual alternative materials used this year.
A short film presents a behind-the-scenes look at the inspirations that give meaning to the work. “Giving seniors the opportunity to provide a look into their design process enables a deeper connection with the audience,” says Donna Gustavsen, head of the Apparel Design Department. “For all students, pieces shown in COLLECTION represent the process each designer has tirelessly worked towards.” Attendees have a diverse experience as seniors present their collection choreographed with visuals, music and words that complement the look and feel of the garments.
Many of the young student designers’ pieces reflect the experience of their recent internships in leading fashion houses; all seniors are given the opportunity to complete a professional internship, and many have worked for multiple prestigious design studios.
Rebecca Libman’s time interning in New York with Lutz & Patmos reinforced her strong interest in machine knitted apparel. Marcia Patmos, of Lutz & Patmos, is a 1991 graduate of the RISD apparel program. Roksanda Ilincic’s signature modern twist on the romantic and feminine feel of the past proved to be a inspiring internship in London for Peggy Sue Deaven and her use of creative shapes and forms. Blanche Consorti’s time interning in Paris with Chloe was a valuable experience that influenced her use of vibrant colors and playful silhouettes Among others, seniors completed internships with Alexander McQueen, Boudicca, Nanette Lepore, Narcisco Rodriguez, Ralph Lauren and Vera Wang.
A popular part of COLLECTION is the opportunity for members of the public to purchase one-of-a-kind creations by these rising stars. Selections from the runway show and other pieces by RISD’s Apparel Design students are offered for sale on Sunday, May 17 at 12pm in the RISD Auditorium lobby (Canal Walkway at Market Square, Providence).
Graduating seniors are poised to join a group of highly accomplished alumni making names for themselves in the apparel industry. Nicole Miller [RISD ’73], Sari Gueron [RISD ’97], Nicole Romano [RISD ’00], Ana Alvarez-Calderon [RISD ’92], Laura Poretzky [RISD ’00] of Abaete and Nicole Murray [RISD ’92] of NM70 have all started independent labels, while others, such as Aaron Dickson [RISD ’02], designer at Vera Wang; Vanessa Pang [RISD ’95], design/product developer for Donna Karan International; and Lena Wells [RISD ’96], designer at Alexander McQueen, are
among the many alumni who have found success at top-notch design houses. Graduates also pursue successful careers in related fields, such as Greg Foley [RISD ’91], creative director/design director at V magazine and VMan, and Elizabeth Sulcer, fashion editor at Black Book.
RISD’s Apparel Design Department prepares students to meet the highest requirements of the fashion industry. Built on the philosophy that design and technical skills are mutually enhancing, the program is structured to take students through all aspects of apparel design and construction, from functional to experimental clothing. Technical classes proceed from basic to advanced drafting, draping, and construction, and incorporate the use of computers as a tool for designing and rendering apparel. RISD has offered programs in Costume, Clothing and Fashion since 1918, and established the Department of Apparel Design in 1952.
Tickets for COLLECTION 2009 are $60, $40 and $30 for downstairs seating; $40 for mezzanine seating; and $22 for balcony seating. The public may attend the 2pm preview/rehearsal show for $17 (advance purchase) or $20 (day of show). Tickets for the general public will be available beginning April 27 at the PPAC box office/ 401.421-ARTS or www.VMARI.com. Tickets available at the VMA box office day of the show. Proceeds benefit the RISD Scholarship Fund. For more information please call 401 454-6741.
About Rhode Island School of Design
Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) has earned a worldwide reputation as the preeminent art and design college in the country. Today, with more than 22,000 alumni, the college enrolls roughly 2,000 undergraduates and 400 graduate students from the United States and almost 50 countries, offering degree programs in the fine arts, architecture, and design disciplines, and art and design education. Academic programs include research and design initiatives, the exploration of art criticism and contemporary cultural concerns, as well as international exchange programs. Each year, RISD hosts prominent and accomplished artists, critics, and authors to its campus. Included within the college is The RISD Museum of Art, which houses a world-class collection of art objects from Ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome and art of all periods from Asia, Europe and the Americas, as well as the latest in contemporary art. For more information go to www.risd.edu.
Note to Editors
Select images from work to be shown in COLLECTION 2008 are available at http://intranet.risd.edu/ngallery/albums/135.aspx. Broadcast media and photographers are invited to attend the 2pm preview event on May 17. No flash photography will be allowed at the 7pm event. If you wish to obtain images, attend the show, or wish to arrange to speak with students and faculty members, contact Jaime Marland at 401.427.6954 or firstname.lastname@example.org.