Rhode Island School Of Design Returns To New York Fashion Week: Collection 18 Presents Best Of Class

Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) returns to New York Fashion Week (NYFW) with Collection 18, its third annual fashion show, featuring work by recent graduates of the Apparel Design department. The runway show, sponsored in part by Tommy Hilfiger, will take place at Spring Studios on September 12 at 8 pm, offering an exclusive look at emerging talent entering the fashion world.

“This extraordinary assemblage demonstrates RISD Apparel's leadership in bringing fresh and daring work to the fashion forefront,” said Rosanne Somerson, President Rhode Island School of Design. “The designers use materials, structure, ingenuity and all of the senses to produce dynamic new experiential collections.”

“We are thrilled that RISD apparel returns to New York Fashion Week for the third year to celebrate our students’ exceptional work and to share it with industry leaders, editors and stylists. The various collections explore and question many social and political themes, and the idea of ‘transformation’ in relation to duality, really stood out as an active motivation through the various bodies of work,” notes RISD Apparel Design Department Head Lisa Z. Morgan. “Bringing our recent graduates to New York Fashion Week is a tremendous opportunity to see them evolve as they explore and delve into how and why the dressing of the human body becomes such a potent means of communication, reaction and provocation.”

RISD Class of 2018 graduates showcasing work on the runway are selected by a diverse panel of professionals who mentor the students over the course of the school year and, ultimately, determine which garments make it to the runway. This year’s jury includes Laurie Brewer, Associate Curator, Costumes & Textiles, RISD Museum of Art; Gill Linton, CEO and editor-in-chief of Byronesque; William Exaros, director of Visual Merchandising, US Multi-Brand Retail, Chanel; and Neil Gilks, associate dean of Fashion, Fashion Design, Parsons The New School.

Fourteen aspiring designers—Avery Albert, Persephone Bennett, Ying Bonny Cai, Fernando Flaquer, Xiaoyan Jiang, Erica Kim, William Lathrop, Yufei Liu, Maya Ortiz, Lou Rodgers, Matthew Streepy, Michaela Wong Xing Yi, Rachel Wong and Zehua Crystal Wu—were tasked with creating their own unified bodies of original work throughout their senior year at RISD. Their individual collections examine many opposing forces: the repulsive to the exquisite, the discarded to the coveted, the unappealing to the delicious, the invisible to the empowered, the traditional to the bizarre and equilibrium to disharmony.

RISD’s Apparel Design department is founded on a rigorous approach to traditional making and craftsmanship that is thoroughly embedded in creative practice. Students are encouraged to freely explore how and why dressing the human body is such a potent form of communication and activation. Built on the philosophy that creativity, vision and technical skill are mutually enhancing, the program is structured to take students through all aspects of apparel design and construction—from functional clothing to experimental work—preparing them to become independent designers, innovators or creative professionals for established brands. RISD has offered programs in Costume, Clothing and Fashion since 1918 and established the Apparel Design department in 1952.

About Rhode Island School of Design
The mission of RISD (pronounced “RIZ-dee”), through its college and museum, is to educate students and the public in the creation and appreciation of works of art and design, to discover and transmit knowledge and to make lasting contributions to a global society through critical thinking, scholarship and innovation. Our immersive model of art and design education emphasizes robust liberal arts studies and conceptually driven studio-based learning in full-time bachelor's and master's degree programs across 19 majors. RISD's exceptional faculty foster student growth and development in extensive specialized facilities, enabling students to become confident, cross-disciplinary thinkers and nimble problem-solvers ready to confront the complexities of global practice in the 21st century. More than 27,000 alumni worldwide testify to the impact of a RISD education, exemplifying the vital role artists and designers play in defining global innovation. Founded in 1877, RISD and the RISD Museum help make Providence, RI among the most culturally active and creative cities in the region. For more information, visit risd.edu and our.risd.edu.