The Art Institutes Spring Runway Show

During New York Fashion Week, I had the awesome pleasure of attending the runway show presented by my Alma Mater The Art Institutes. It was amazing to see 9 talented designers present their first collection on the runway. Before the show, I had the opportunity to interview designer Bianca Zidik, a BFA graduate from the Illinois Institute of Art, on her collection and inspiration.

The Interview

Me: Whats been your favorite experience at the Art Institutes?

Bianca: My favorite experience at the Illinois Institute of Art has been learning to pattern my own designs and draping them because now I am able to make anything I design. That was my main goal.

Me: So to create patters?

Bianca: Yes!

Me: That’s very cool because I imagine as a designer, you have an idea in your head and you go to the fabric store and nothing there is fitting your idea, you want to have the ability to create your own thing. Very exciting! So, the collection that we are going to see from you tonight- what inspired that collection?

Bianca: I named it my Carnaby Street Collection (of London) that’s actually where the groovy kids hung out during the 60’s and early 70’s.

Me: I love it!

Bianca: I went back in time and I stumbled upon Austin Powers and after i made my collection, I was thinking that it could actually be in an Austin Powers movie!

Me: Do you typically like the 60’s and 70’s designs?

Bianca: Yes! I love the fun and funky style; just having fun with fashion. Don’t be afraid of color!

Me: I read that one of your inspirations is Betsy Johnson, who I love. I can tell by your style that you are the next Betsy but in your own way. So tell me about what her design aesthetic means to you and how she inspires your.

Bianca: I love Betsy. She had actually inspired me at the age of 9, when I first asked for a sewing machine, because I saw her fun fashion and thought, “Wow! I want to do some print mixing and fun stuff too!” You don’t have to be matchy-matchy; print mix is really cool. So she inspired me to follow my heart and just have fin in fashion and designing.

Me: She always has a lot of fun! I always love her cartwheels at the end.

Bianca: Don’t expect that tonight from me!

Me: Now, print mixing is a thing and everybody is doing it, but you’re right, she has always been at the curve of the “wear bright colors”, “everything doesn’t have to go together” movement. So, tonight, what can expect to see from you and how many individual looks are you showing?

Bianca: I am showing 6 looks and you can expect to look twice at one look. Turn some heads with my collection.

Me: I’m excited!

Bianca: I have prints, but I also did some transformational reconstruction techniques with circles.

Me: Okay, tell us what that is: transformational reconstruction.

Bianca: That is like when you are patterning a garment on the dress form and you have darts and you can transform the dart into a curved C (circular). You don’t have to have a basic dart anymore. You will see with my collection., I don’t have any dart; everything is all curvy C. Nothing is basic. You are going to see a lot of pink and orange too.

Me: Yas! Love the bright colors. One last question- How does the process work for you and the other designers to be here tonight?

Bianca: I started designing this collection about 6 months ago and finished it within 3 months. Then I had the opportunity to be submitted as one of the two designers from my school. In total there were 60 of us across North America and now it’s been narrowed down to 9.

Me: What an awesome opportunity! I am so happy for you!

Bianca’s Collection

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In addition the Bianca, there were 8 other designers that presented collections.

Adrian Escoto (Graduate, AAS Fashion Design program, The Art Institute of New York City) – Denim patchwork sportswear that is equal part street and uptown and is quintessentially New York through and through.

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Melody Hernandez (Graduate, BFA Fashion Design program, 2016, The Art Institute of Vancouver)- Modern sportswear that is both easy and wearable, but elevated by unexpected mixes of fabrics, prints, & design details.

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Julissa Arrington  (Graduate, BFA Fashion Design program, 2015, The Art Institute of Dallas)- An avant-garde collection inspired by a journey of self-discovery through an unraveled mind.
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Devon Pezzano (Graduate, BS Fashion Design program, 2016, The Art Institute of Philadelphia) – Deceptively heavy silhouettes juxtaposed against light airy fabrics meant to evoke the concept of levitation.

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Mimmy Begazo (Graduate, BFA Fashion Design program, 2016, Miami International University of Art & Design) – A collection that explores the future and the technology used to help block radiation from our bodies.

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René Mejia (Fashion Design AAS student, The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale) – Eduardo Degas and his magnificent ballerina paintings inspired this collection of evening wear that is edgy and androgynous yet soft and feminine.

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Esther Ashiru (Graduate, BFA Fashion Design program, 2016, The Art Institute of Vancouver)- A castle in Dublin, Ireland inspired this collection of opulent evening wear that evokes feelings of couture.

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Maria D’Ocon (Fashion Design BFA Student, Miami International University of Art & Design)The cultural richness & diversity of Spanish art inspired this elegant bridal collection.

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