We kick this week off in preparation for the fabulous New York Fashion Week that will be held February 13th to 20th, 2009 at Bryant Park in New York City.You can feel the excitement in the air, even in these hard times, as the industry’s heavy hitters, worldwide, prepare to descend on New York for a week of brilliant fashion shows, partying it up with celebrities, and of course negotiating and closing on some million dollar business deals.
One show that has consistently delivered in terms of brilliance and remains one of our favorite at LADYBRILLE.com is The Academy of Art University, San Francisco [Academy of Art]. A main staple, now, at New York Fashion Week, the Academy of Art’s show usually opens each season to a capacity filled ‘Main Tent,’ the biggest venue at Bryant Park which seats a 1,000, not including those standing.
The Academy of Art remains the only school, worldwide, with the privilege of showing at the prestigious and exclusive New York Fashion Week. LADYBRILLE.com sat with Heather Howard and Cat Janky for a brief chat about their collections. The two worked together and are two of the eight Academy of Art design students that will be showing at New York Fashion Week Fall ’09.
Cat’s figurative and sometimes-macabre prints are based on photographs of Native American life in the 1800s. She has created a modern play on traditional silkscreen prints of stripes, checks and polka dots. Cat is from Omaha Nebraska and this is her first time showing at New York fashion Week.
Heather, for her sustainable collection, drew on her upbringing in Portland, Orgeon, where hiking, backing, sciences and arts were important to her family. Early environmentalists John Muir and Theodore Roosevelt Inspired her.
LADYBRILLE.com: You must be excited going to New York!
Cat Janky: [Giggles] I am! [Giggles and laughs] It is really exciting and I tell everyone about it.
Heather Howard: I am excited. We are excited!
LADYBRILLE.com: Cat what was your major at the Academy?
Cat Janky: Oh, Textile Designs.
LADYBRILLE.com: So you are actually specialized in that?
Cat Janky: Yes.
LADYBRILLE.com: How long have you [all] been working on the collection and how hard was the work?
Cat Janky: The selection process was though my Fashion director. Heather and I got placed together because of our styles. We started in May of last year. I went to do an internship and I was working full time at Abercrombie & Fitch but then I had to come home on the weekends and do this [design textile].
LADYBRILLE.com: Oh Whoa!
Cat Janky: [Giggles]
LADYBRILLE.com: Tell us a bit about what have you created?
Cat Janky: The inspiration comes from photographs from the 1800s. I am really excited about it. It took me a little while to figure out what to do with it. So, I did research on my own and I found little things. [giggles again] I am really excited.
LADYBRILLE.com: Heather, what will make your collection stand out?
Heather Howard: The sustainability aspect to it. We used natural fibers, seashells . . . the eco-friendly way in which it was produced. For the silhouettes, we worked with our instructor to create YSL trapeze type silhouettes. There are lots of high colors, wide skirts . . .
LADYBRILLE.com: What are the colors you will be showing?
Cat Janky: Navy, black, brown, yellow beige, pink and purple.
LADYBRILLE.com: What direction do you want to go as a designer?
Cat Janky: There is still a lot to really figure out with what I do. It is not particularly green [chuckles] at the moment. I think there has to be a lot more development from the textile science side of things that makes more eco-friendly materials. But, it is definitely something I am interested in. That is the direction I would like to go.
Heather Howard: Sustainability is where I want to go because it feels right.
Founded in 2007, Ladybrille® Magazine is a California based pioneer digital publication demystifying the image of Africans in the west through contemporary African fashion and celebrating the brilliant woman in business and leadership, with an emphasis on the African woman in the diaspora. Our coverage includes stories on capital, access to markets, expertise, hiring and retention, sales, marketing, and promotions.