SCAD brings back its fashion show this year with an exciting weekend of events.
The weekend includes a jewelry trunk show, Static Showcase at the Gutstein Gallery, a conversation with the SCAD Etoile honoree Phillip Lim, and an inventive runway show at the Hive.
We spoke with Michael Fink, Dean of the School of Fashion, and Darren Apolonio, a BFA fashion student, about the weekend.
Tell me more about SCAD Fashion and what attendees can expect.
Fink: This year’s SCAD Fashion show is filled with color, color and more color. Students are celebrating their many-layered design concepts with a veneer of hope regarding their future in our rapidly changing world. Our students are using their designs to engage viewers in a dialogue regarding sustainability, politics, global warming and, most importantly, diversity. You’ll see menswear, women’s wear, and gender-fluid collections as well as accessories and jewelry designed by SCAD students.
Why is it important for students to be able to attend this fashion show?
Fink: This is the culmination of our jury-selected senior and graduate students’ final design thesis. For students in the fashion show, it’s an amazing opportunity to share their work to the world. For our current juniors, they’ll see how high the design bar will be for them to top next year!
The SCAD fashion shows also demonstrate how our SCAD students constantly collaborate together within the School of Fashion and other departments. Having students from many of SCAD’s top-ranked programs able to experience their peers’ work is so important for ongoing inspiration and creative knowledge. Sharing our students collections within the community gives a fantastic insight to where fashion is heading. Our students are inventing the future.
Tell me more about the students who will be presenting their work.
Fink: You’ll see collections that address social issues of inclusivity and civil rights. Collections that celebrate being comfortable about being who you are with no excuses. Glam rock, red carpet, survival gear, bike messengers—there are so many diverse and innovative designs.
Can you speak on your collection and the inspiration behind it?
Apolonio: My collection is a huge ode and a celebration of the quintessential rockstar persona. I gravitate towards huge, unapologetic and flamboyant personalities and I wanted to capture that essence into clothing, literally embodying that “in your face” attitude.
On a personal note, it’s my love letter to my heroes: the drag queens. the kitschy art kids, all the unapologetically campy and absurdly colorful people I met growing up over the years in all the corners of the world I’ve lived in. This is theirs as much as it is mine.
What was your process for creating this collection?
Apolonio: I’d like to think I have a specific and strong aesthetic that resonates beyond the realm of fashion. I come from a multimedia arts background before I pursued fashion, and I’ve always exercised this style of mine: graphic, aggressive, and humorous. So I knew right off the bat that I would be playing with my strengths.
Conceptualizing everything was an interesting process. I knew that whatever I do, it’s going to be extra, but I wanted it to make sense; I wanted the joke to land. So I had to research subcultures and people and find the right references to create this glitzy rock n’ roll world where everyone’s invited.
Executing everything was another thing. I was never the best at technicalities and I don’t pretend to be, so there was a lot of trial and error. My methodology was that even if there are issues here and there, I try to circle back to my references and make those mistakes polished and purposeful. I mean, my base material is punk—it’s supposed to be hodge-podge.
Tell me about what it’s like to show this collection.
Apolonio: I was just in Atlanta over the weekend where I first showcased my collection and it was strange and weird to see everything come together, in the best way possible. This collection was a year in the making. I’ve memorized those garments inside and out and I know how many studs, crystals and sequins there are, so much so that I’ve never really had a moment to look at it outside of myself.
More importantly, I never really got to appreciate the bigger picture. I grew up too much of a wild card that I had to lave home. You could just imagine how exciting it was when this kid finds out he’s made something cool out of his extra-ness and he’s showing it to people halfway around the world.