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COLLECTION 2012: RISD’s Annual Runway Show Highlights the Top Work of Emerging Apparel Designers


Rhode Island Convention Center to Host Collection on Thursday, May 17 and Friday, May 18

Providence, RI — After months of conceptual development, experimentation and meticulous construction, Rhode Island School of Design [RISD] students will debut their final garments on the runway at COLLECTION 2012. The Apparel Design department’s popular fashion show will take place at 8:00pm with a preview show on Thursday, May 17 and main show on Friday, May18at Rhode Island Convention Center, One Sabin Street, Providence RI.

The annual event offers an exciting opportunity for more than 50 talented young designers to showcase their one-of-a-kind creations to an enthusiastic audience, during a fun and fast-paced evening of entertainment that offers a sneak peak at the tastemakers and trendsetters of the future. Attendees have a first-hand look at many of the portfolio pieces that will earn graduates positions at top fashion houses around the world.

The designs shown in each year’s Collection are juried by a panel of guest critics – professional designers who carefully review and discuss the work, give students critical feedback and select the best garments for the runway show. The rigorous selection process for the more than 150pieces shown in COLLECTION 2012 is an important part of students’ preparation to enter the competitive industry. This year the jury includes the talented Hilary Gaul [RISD ‘90], creative director for apparel, C. Wonder;Gary Graham of Gary Graham Collection; Aaron Millhiser [RISD ‘02], senior designer/women’s wovens, J.Crew; Loraine Howes professor emerita and Tommy Hilfiger founder, Tommy Hilfiger.

Among the projects presented in COLLECTION 2012 are concepts in color collections designed by seniors, in addition to their degree project collection – unified bodies of work that showcase professional-grade conceptual and technical skills. Juniors have a strong presence in the show with knitwear and the cut and sew costume collaboration with Merce Cunningham and Brown University. Selected sophomores show pieces from a textile and apparel department’s print collaboration project and demonstrate the department’s focus on creative problem solving with the “Re-Innovatives” challenge –to construct a wearable piece out of recycled materials other than fabric. Students have constructed garments out of a wide variety of recycled materials other than fabric.

“COLLECTION showcases the impressive work of our student designers and provides a look into their individual design processes,” said Catherine Andreozzi, head of the Apparel Design Department. “It is an exciting evening and for seniors it marks the culmination of their development and education at RISD.”

One-of-a-kind selections from the runway show and other pieces by RISD’s Apparel Design students are offered for sale to the public on Sunday, May 20 at 12pm - 4pm in the RISD Auditorium lobby, Canal Walkway at Market Square, Providence [corner of South Main Street and College streets]. Select garments from Collection 2012 will be available Saturday, May 19 10am - 7pm and Sunday, May 20 11am - 5pm at Clad in Women's Clothing Boutique, 497 Angell Street, [Wayland Square] Providence, RI.

Graduating seniors are poised to join a group of prominent alumni in the apparel industry. Nicole Miller [RISD ’73], Sari Gueron [RISD ’97], Sally Lapointe [RISD ’06], Robert Geller [RISD ‘01], Nicole Romano [RISD ’00], Ani Alvarez-Calderon [RISD ’92], Laura Poretzky [RISD ’00] of Abaete’ and Marcia Patmos [RISD ’91], have all started independent labels, while others, such as Vanessa Pang [RISD ’95], design/product developer for Donna Karan International; and Lena Wells [RISD ’96], designer at Hussein Chalayan, are among the many alumni who have found success at top-notch design houses.

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 product visualization. RISD has offered programs in Costume, Clothing and Fashion since 1918, and established the Department of Apparel Design in 1952.

Tickets for COLLECTION 2012 are $42 and $62. For the preview/rehearsal show on May 17 tickets are $17 in advance and $22 day of. Tickets for the general public will be available beginning May 2 at the Dunkin Donuts Center box office. Tickets are available on site at the RI Convention Center in advance of the show on May 17 and May 18 only. 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 an international reputation as the leading college of art and design in the United States. Approximately 2,400 students from around the world study at RISD, pursuing full-time bachelor’s or master’s degree programs in a choice of 19 studio majors. RISD is known for its phenomenal faculty of artists and designers, the breadth of its specialized facilities and its hands-on, studio-based approach to learning – one in which critical thinking informs making works by hand. Required courses in the liberal arts provide an essential complement to studio work, enabling graduates to become critical and informed individuals eager to engage with the world. Through the accomplishments of its 26,000 alumni, the college champions the vital role artists and designers play in satisfying the global demand for innovation. Founded in 1877, RISD (pronounced “RIZ-dee”) and the RISD Museum of Art help make Providence, RI among the most culturally active and creative cities in the region. For more information, visit

Note to Editors

Broadcast media and photographers are invited to attend the 8 pm preview event on May 17.  No flash photography will be allowed on May 18 at the main event.  If you wish to obtain images, attend the show, or speak with students and faculty members, contact Danielle Mancuso at 401 454.6334 or


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RISD has a long history of offering Saturday and after-school classes for children and teens, as this photo from c. 1910 confirms.