Liquid Runway debuts up-and-coming designers
Published Thursday, 14-May-2009 in issue 1116
The Art Institute of California-San Diego will host its first fashion show on May 30 at the Hard Rock Hotel. Titled “Liquid Runway,” the show will feature more than 100 garments by the school’s young designers. Among the judges will be out-designer Jerell Scott, runner up of “Project Runway’s Season Five.”
Jeremy Butts and Kendra Smith are two designers who will be showing their collection. For each, it is the first show – but by no means the last.
Butts, 32, decided to pursue a career in fashion after numerous years in retail clothing sales at Issey Miyake, Gucci and Nordstrom. His tenure at Issey Miyake was what inspired him to design because the textiles were so innovative compared to American and European labels. Butts wanted to bring the romance of innovative and technical designs to luxurious European fabrics without compromise. His collection was born from juxtaposing silk shantung and calf-skin leather – one very delicate; the other sturdy; both soft and luxurious.
“I design for me,” says Butts, who will be showing four pieces from his men’s collection. “I love clothes, and so I design with myself in mind. What would I wear with it? How would I wear it? Where would I wear it?”
Butts, who is openly gay, says his sexuality allows him more flexibility.
“It allows me to be a little more playful with my designs,” Butts says. “I can push the boundaries of androgyny in my pieces.”
Butts is a first-year student at the Art Institute and has managed to pull his four garments together from sketch to runway in just five months, something even Project Runway’s Scott must admire.
Kendra Smith’s collection is inspired by swimsuit silhouettes from the 1950s modernized with ocean themes, unusual textures, and shiny fabrics. She chose an entirely black-and-white color palette to veer away from the prints and brights one typically finds in swimsuits and swim cover-ups. The collection embodies the classic, sophisticated and refined look of Chanel, one of her favorite designers. But today’s economic reality also affected Smith’s collection.
“I know that when there are economic hard times, we move to more modest fabrics,” Smith says.
Like Butts, Smith sees herself as her main design target, and modesty goes beyond choice of fabrics.
“I design what I would buy,” says Smith, 32. “I design for my age group, which may be a little older than a lot of the other designers’. And, my collection is a little less revealing, more modest lines.”
Smith is a graduate of the Art Institute of California and is thrilled to be showing with her alma mater.
ALL THE INFO
What: Liquid Runway fashion show
Who: The Art Institute of California San Diego
When: Saturday, May 30
Where: Hard Rock Hotel in Downtown
Web site: www.ailiquidrunway.com