The New York School of Design put on their first exclusive presentation for New York Fashion Week. The Spring/Summer 2018 collections by various designers were inspired by the natural surroundings and cultural upbringings of the students.
TLC, the hip-hop girl band from the ‘90s, met Mad Max, a futuristic dystopian film from the late ‘70s, in Sentell Avalos-McDonald’s Spring/Summer 2018 designs. Unsatisfied with his performance on Project Runway this season, Avalos-McDonald wanted to be bold and experiment with color, which was unusual for his brand, ZOKOMIS. He created standout pieces, inspired by the ‘90s mantra-crazy and ugly-turned-fashion trends. It was all about personal expression and letting out one’s fun, wild side. His fabrics featured neon yellow, bright orange and silver with mesh accents. The looks were comprised of separates for mixing and matching. Even the makeup was vibrant, using watercolor techniques and gold leaf to add more originality to the line.
The back of an exotic green bird struck Vonnell Gibson as inspiration her feather gown. Gibson is originally from the Bahamas and wanted her first international fashion piece to reflect herself. She grew up taking nature walks in the tropics where animal sightings are common, and her favorite color has always been green. She calls her style “soft edgy girl,” but for evening wear she decided to for an elegant and refined approach. Gold sparkles and hidden leather leaves were her subtle edgy additions. Turquoise accents on all of the feathers was a design choice influenced by the coloring of the eye-catching bird she was inspired by.
Prashansa Mohan broke tradition to combine her birthplace New Delphi with Western design. Her ensembles were made of embroidered fabric imported from India, and one outfit modeled a train after traditional Lehengas. The jumpsuit and spike embellished purse were inspired by modern American fashion. Mohan highlighted her love of gold and silver tones. In India, gold and silver jewelry decorates women and is admired as a symbol of beauty.
Mina Zhou’s collection was inspired by West Lake in her hometown, Hangzhou. Greens and blues represented the lotus flowers that float along the lake. Zhou added unconventional flouncing sleeves and lace trim with leaf etchings to a traditional green Hangzhou dress. Earrings were made of shells and models’ hair is twisted up to reflect the ripples of the water. A black ensemble portrayed the backdrop of the lake after the sun sets. It was an avant-garde piece with sheer fabric that can either hang from the shorts or be buttoned to the top piece.
Golden orange and whimsical mauves shimmered in Larglinda Ilazi’s collection. These colors which are not generally noticed in nature were the most special to her. The designer’s line created a scene. Two birds, one with feathers and the other with capes for wings, were perched next to a golden orange tree. The tree symbolized strength and wisdom, grounding the other two gowns. Jewels were strung along the straps and flowers emerged from the fabric, making models appear like nymphs. The collection seemed appropriate for a magical evening during the warm seasons.
Email Ella Freudenberger at [email protected]