Student Designers Dazzle With Spring Showcase
April 13-16, 2007
By Ashley Rousseau
Photos provided by A.I. Miami International University
Miami’s Fashion Week is the epitome of glamour, or at least that’s what one would assume. But driving up to the Wynwood Pavilion on April 14th during midday, you would get a very different picture. Located in a semi-questionable part of town in a borderline-dilapidated building, you’re left with no choice but to ask, “Am I in the right place?” The question subsides as I notice the fashion forward attendees gliding toward the red-carpeted entrance and the banner adorning the building that clearly proclaims MFW.
Inside, piercing bright lights bounce off the strikingly white surroundings. It hits me like an unexpected blow to the head: this place is fabulous. I take my seat and await the beginning of A.I. Miami International University’s fashion show.
I was half expecting to come eye to eye with cut and paste craft projects put together by students with the drive but not yet the know-how. However, I was more than pleasantly surprised by the result of the show, which greeted onlookers with an array of looks and fashions that will be forging the industry a new proverbial pair of shoes.
Representative of the various aspects of the industry, the show presented looks consisting of every category: haute couture, avant-garde, the everyday and the expected and quintessential evening wear garments. With over 80 student designers, A.I. Miami produced a show that put them at the top of my list of designers to watch. Of the garments produced by those visionaries, there were three looks I was willing to do some jail time for.
Gabriel Guzman’s two-piece blue satin ensemble consisted of a fitted halter dress bedecked by two pockets at the waist and a matching hooded bolero that set the stage for the highlight of the dress, a jaw dropping open back softened by the addition of a bow midway.
Equally vying for my attention and theoretical spot in my closet was an outfit created by Nicole Velasco. Comprised of a black and white striped bodice and an empire waist, this outfit was complemented by a white bubble skirt and surely left a lasting impression on the audience.
Menswear had very little competition among its contenders, totaling only five outfits. Regardless, Paula Beltran’s design won me over with the kind of attention to detail that is normally emphasized on women’s clothing. Black and white vertical striped pants were paired with a black dress shirt with rouged sleeves and a white stripe strewn over the button inlay.
The show proved that things aren’t always as they appear to be. A dilapidated building can house a pristine, modern interior, and green student designers can create clothing rivaling the masters.