COLLECTION 2015: RISD's Annual Runway Show Highlights the Top Work of Emerging Apparel Designers

March 18, 2015

After months of conceptual development, experimentation and meticulous construction, garments designed by Rhode Island School of Design [RISD] students will make their runway debut at COLLECTION 2015. The Apparel Design department’s popular fashion show will take place on Saturday, May 9 with shows at 2:00PM and 7:00PM at theProvidence Performing Arts Center [220 Weybosset Street, Providence, RI].

The fun and fast-paced evening offers an exciting opportunity for more than 60 talented young designers to showcase their one-of-a-kind creations to an enthusiastic audience eager for a sneak peak at the tastemakers and trendsetters of the future. Attendees are given 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 pieces shown in COLLECTION 2015 is an important part of students’ preparation to enter the competitive fashion industry. This year the jury includes Neil Gilks,senior projects manager, Council of Fashion Designers of America [CFDA]; Derek Lam, designer and owner of Derek Lam; Simon Spurr designer and owner of Simon Spurr; and Anne Slowey, Fashion News Director at ELLE.

Among the works presented in COLLECTION 2015 are selections from seniors’ year-long thesis collections – unified bodies of work that showcase professional-grade conceptual and technical skills. There are also pieces from juniors’ men’s and women’s tailored jacket looks and cut/sew knitwear project. In addition, work is presented from sophomores’ projects that use prints from Nicole Miller [RISD Apparel ‘73], as well as from the Re-Innovativeschallenge to construct a wearable piece using recycled materials other than fabric.

“COLLECTION is an exciting event that provides the opportunity for the community to get a glimpse into the design process of our talented students,” notes Associate Professor Meg DeCubellis [RISD ‘83], head of the Apparel Design department. “For seniors, this moment is a highlight of their personal journey as emerging designers.”

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 10 12:00PM at RISD’s Apparel Design building, 189 Canal Street, Providence.

In addition to COLLECTION, seniors’ work will be showcased in New York City on Monday, May 18 at RISD Backstudio 2015. The industry event will offer a window into the innovative approach and process RISD students and alumni bring to their creative practices.

Graduating seniors are poised to join a group of prominent alumni in the apparel industry. Nicole Miller [RISD ’73], Sari Gueron [RISD ’97], Katie Gallagher [RISD ’09], Sally Lapointe [RISD ’06], Robert Geller [RISD ’01], Nicole Romano [RISD ’00], Ani Alvarez-Calderon [RISD ’92], Laura Poretzky [RISD ’00] Tess Giberson [RISD ’96], Tae Ashida [RISD ’87],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.

COLLECTION 2015 tickets start at $20 for the 2:00PM show and $35 for the 7:00PM show. Tickets for the general public will be available beginning March 12 at the Providence Performing Arts Center box office and online at Proceeds benefit the RISD Scholarship Fund. For more information please call 401.454.6180 or

Note to editors

Broadcast media and photographers are invited to attend the 2:00PM show. No flash photography will be allowed at the 7:00PM show. If you wish to obtain images, attend the show or speak with students and faculty members, please contact Danielle Mancuso at 401.454.6334 or