May 7, 2011

As many schools come to the end of the academic year, final projects often go on display for the pubic to see, especially at art schools. This is particularly true for the school where I attended my fashion merchandising class and whose fashion design school is top notch. In fact, the Academy of Arts fashion design students are the only students in the nation who get to show their designs at New York fashion week (huge deal in the fashion world), so it seemed fit that I go see their final fashion show right here in San Francisco. I thought this would be the perfect chance to reunite with my friends from AAU after our class ended a couple weeks ago, but it turned out none of them were available that day. Then I thought my mom would be the perfect person to take with me because we share similar tastes in clothing and she would be the ideal mate to critique the outfits with as they came down the runway. But this idea was quickly shot down due to the fact that this day was my parent’s anniversary. So it looked like I would be, once again, going on a WISE adventure alone.
When the day came I wanted to make sure I dressed to impress, which meant sifting through my closet in order to find the most up-to-date and stylish outfit I could. This hour long process turned out to be much harder than I thought. But then there is that moment, when you are staring at a huge pile of clothing and saying “I’ve got absolutely nothing to wear!” that, right then, an image of that perfect outfit comes into your mind and you go running to you closet to get out that one perfect item that you totally forgot about (ok, so maybe I’m the only one that has these moments). This is precisely what happened that morning, but good thing it did because I felt confident for the rest of the day knowing I loved the outfit I had on.
Of course these adorable outfits are completely useless when attempting to brave the cold and winds of San Francisco. However, I did not learn this lesson until I had to stand in line outside the event braving the conditions for half an hour. In order to take my mind of the weather I took to listening to those around me conversations. In front of me a young fashion student detailed the creation of her latest dress to a friend. She used a plethora of words describing the stitching and pleats of this dress that I could not even begin to comprehend. Even though I didn’t quite grasp the entirety of her description I enjoyed hearing her talk so indepthly about what it actually takes to create just one item of clothing. This made me think about the designers I was about to see. They had been working all year on what was about to pass across my eyes in less than a minute. Then there was the guy behind me who had great aspirations as an animator or movie script writer. He told his friend of the Alice in Wonderland esque animated movie he’s been working on all year. Beginning with how he originally came up with the idea for the script and then going through each and every step of the animation process. After ten minutes of listening I thought about turning around and asking him where his movie would be showing because it sounded absolutely fabulous. But I never got the chance because all of a sudden they started seating people for the show and I was whisked away into the large tent and seated only 4 rows back from the runaway (the seat was amazing!). Before I knew it, the lights dimmed, the music was turned up, and a model was standing front and center on the runway. As each model walked down the runway, every body in the building leaned forward to try to get the best look they could and see the detail of the outfit. Although there were some designers that I thought were rather lackluster with their earth tones and ‘seen it before’ designs, others stood out in a spectacular way. With a colorful palette and captivating layers of material, a collaboration between Brittany Burggraff, a fashion design student, and Wendy Tam, a textile design student, was no doubt my favorite. Here are a couple of images from their show:

As the show came to a close and I exited the building I expected to have some monumental moment in which I came to some kind of realization lending to my growth as a young woman, but this never happened. I got on a bus, then on Bart, and then I was home and none of it seemed out of the ordinary for me. I think that reaction really shows how much I’ve grown over this whole experience. Going somewhere on my own and doing something alone is no longer a special thing, I feel completely comfortable by myself but no longer in the “I’m so excited I’m doing this on my own” way but instead like a young woman who is accustom to experiencing the world on her own.

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