As music filled Trustees’ Theater and the first garment hit the runway, I knew SCAD’s 2012 Fashion Show would be a night to remember. More than ever before, this year’s stunning production was genuinely collaborative, owing much to partnerships across SCAD’s panoply of academic disciplines.
True to SCAD’s mission of providing exceptional educational experiences, the SCAD Fashion Show emulates the way industry works, with students encouraged to take complete ownership of their garments. Emily Dawn Long (B.F.A. fashion and fibers student, Atlanta, GA) used the technology lab at the SCAD jewelry and objects department to fabricate gold-plated zipper pulls for her reversible sportswear, inspired by the temperate climate at SCAD Lacoste. Annabel Armstrong (B.F.A. fashion student, Milton, MA) worked with the SCAD industrial design department to laser cut leather into lacy confections for her outerwear. And hand-painted gowns by Jillian Beck (B.F.A. fashion student, Overland Park, KS) bewitched the audience during the finale.
International fashion cognoscenti offered coveted networking opportunities for SCAD students. SCAD Style Lab mentors Maggie Norris, Raul Melgoza, William Calvert, and Stephen Burrows critiqued, guided, and inspired the work of SCAD fashion students, from concept through production. Legendary runway coach J. Alexander (aka Miss J) worked with student models to obtain maximal swagger. Sebastien Perrin, sound designer to the stars, collaborated in his rhapsodic labors with Stefano Campello (B.F.A. sound design student, Miami, FL). The undisputed king of runway photography, Dan Lecca, united with four SCAD alumni to capture the fleeting magic.
Other fashion luminaries visited the SCAD community to gain fresh inspiration. The university was touched by actual royalty when Princess Gloria von Thurn und Taxis of Germany alighted to witness the work of the future generation of sartorial game changers. Perhaps Harold Koda, curator in charge of the Met’s Costume Institute, was scouting innovative perspectives for his museum’s canonical exhibitions. And Robin Givhan, tastemaker and Pulitzer-Prize winning style critic, hosted a conversation between iconic SCAD supporter André Leon Talley and honored guest Ralph Rucci.
A singular figure in American couture, Ralph was in Savannah to receive the 2012 André Leon Talley Lifetime Achievement Award. When he accepted his award, I was delighted to hear him praise the warmth and unparalleled caliber of the SCAD community. After the Fashion Show, he used the opportunity to pay it forward, as awestruck SCAD students engaged in informative tête-à-têtes with the world-renowned designer in SCAD’s Magnolia Hall. Students from across SCAD’s academic programs can learn from Ralph’s deliberate details and ingenuity in design at the must-see exhibition, Looking Back to the Future: Ralph Rucci Evolved, on display at the SCAD Museum of Art until September.
From the wow-worthy set design by SCAD alumnus Andrew Ondrejcak (B.F.A. performing arts, 2002) to each flawless seam, stitch, and sashay, the evening was, triumphantly, SCAD magic.
I’m looking forward to next year already!