It was nearly time for the mail to arrive and the arrival time of the mailman was more than anticipated. Once those doors opened to the atrium of my building, I was just around the bend spying on the mailman with a set of binoculars. Finally, the mail had arrived and that little golden box with my number on it had the golden ticket inside. And a Willa Wonka chocolate bar was not the magical golden ticket I was waiting for, but the AAU fashion show was my golden ticket! Not only was that crisp envelope holding two tickets inside for little ol’ me, but BCBGMAXAZRIA was part of le menu as well!
The Academy of Art University and BCBGMAXAZRIA were tying the knot for one evening in San Francisco and one doesn’t mean walking the aisle…but the runway! The Palace of Fine Arts was the setting for this premiered event and I was just one cab ride away from jumping on the next plane. And that’s exactly what I did! I snatched up a couple of BCBG cargo goods, in my closet, packed up my little roll away suitcase and off I was to The Palace of Fine Arts in SF!
AAU’s graduate fashion design program decided to give those tired feet and scissors a rest for, French designers, Lubov and Max Azria and gave them a little dose of SF. And might I say, AAU definitely made the medicine go down, with no frowns and second rounds. AAU had primped and trimmed the Palace of Fine Arts with bistro bar tables, student portfolio showcases, bottle service and caterers galore. And might I mention, the catwalk wasn’t even a mile away, nor was the intimate, catered VIP room, where Lubov and Max Azria had been hibernating before the AAU show. There might have been a fashion show going on for that evening, but AAU’s president, Elisa Stephens was awarding the Honorary Doctorate to Max and Lubov Azria as well. And a small chat with Lubov was one more thing added to the itinerary, so here goes.
There it was, right before my very own eyes, the private, not so secluded room, where Lubov and Max Azria were migrating before the show. It appeared as the gates of approval to sure bliss were opening and were creaking an opening for me to dash in. I finally grasped myself into the maze, but it wasn’t a maze at all, but only one door that was leading to the timeless minds of MAXAZRIA. It was somewhat like waiting on a meet and greet with Madonna, where I was nearly breaking a sweat and hoping no one would notice or off with my head it would be! Once I was seated and greeted, it was almost the moment until Lubov arrived and I couldn’t stop tapping my 6 ½’ heel, which seems impossible, but possible! And there she was! Not Queen Victoria, but I felt as if I was meeting with royalty, should I bow or commend her accomplishments…or should I even speak yet?
Lubov’s presence was not what I expected, but so genuine, carefree, welcoming and so tres tres chic! I wasn’t sure if I would be banished out of the room for wearing the wrong shade of lipstick or not sitting up straight, but when she gracefully stepped into the room, I felt more comfort. Once we met and I gathered my jumbled questions out of my planner, my nerves were rattling up my spine and I felt the whole building might have been experiencing one of SF’s infamous earthquakes. But Lubov made me feel at ease and discussed the timeless BCBG label and her love for the label and her love for Max Azria. The label had been established in 1989 and Lubov discussed her proposal from Max in 1991 and how the BCBG label was their destiny. The collections over the years had been inspired from past and present studies in their lives, such as Lubov’s studies as once a ballet artist. Lubov wanted to create collections/lines that women could afford and not send one to the dressing room in tears, because the price tag cost more than two times the rent of a two bedroom loft. And that’s what Max and Lubov did, they created effortless, affordable and genius creations for women that wanted a taste of elegance, style and class.
If I was able to go on and on about the brief discussion I had with Lubov and BCBG, I should get started on a journal. The backbone of this label are the designers themselves and their antidote for fashion was each other and the women that wear these luminous pieces. But now is the time to stop myself and discuss other engagements I had to attend to, such as the AAU fashion show. The runway wasn’t even 100 feet away and my seat was waiting for me and time for inspection was on the order. So off to my seat and en route to the runway I went and farewell to BCBGMAXAZRIA!
It was show time and the music struck each chill running down my spine and my telescopic vision was impaired by the distracting collections. One by one, the models marched down the runway and I was on the prowl for that one look that would make me slip out of my seat. From Kittiya Punprapun, Cindy Quach, Pipatchara Kaeojinda, Fay Xinzhou Liu, Cangyu Zhang and Ran Bi, one had really struck my fancy. When that first model strutted on the runway with those neutral, pale earth tone color palettes and simple modern knitwear twines, it was a given, I was in love . It appeared that these knitted ensembles could have been something swiped off the racks at MaxMara or maybe Helmut Lang…maybe even BCBG?! Not any of the three were these major fashion houses, but knitwear designer Emma Mengchen Yang.
It seems as if AAU should start their own fashion house label and give every major house a run for their money! The students were more then on point and were more than updated on their current trends. Theses students were maybe on the same wave length as 60’s movie, Barberella, or just knew what would hit future runways and tabloids. As I was tucked in my front row seat and watched model after model, I was for a moment in shock and confusion. But the confusion struck my senses, by the menswear and women swear, because I hadn’t seen this before and I wasn’t prepared for the culture shock and variety.
The midnight blue color palettes, metallic infused textiles, the Lucite shoulder trims on the men’s collections and the constructed wood ensembles for accessories was just a pause. Was this the new indie wave trend or the new future? Was America ready for AAU or was Europe ready? I simply did not know how to react at the moment, but now that I have had time to re-evaluate my thoughts and confusion, this was our future. Tabloids haven’t constructed their criticism yet on this launched event, but America wakeup! AAU is the only art school that is featured in Mercedes Fashion Benz Fashion Week and holds the key to our closets! It seems as if the students know more than what the runway can handle and might have to keep that runway in tact! Clothing racks and magazine covers, watch out, because AAU is already exploding and you simply aren’t ready! This is just a taste of what is in store and what the results will be after the opening spring show spotlights on May 22nd in SF. The show isn’t over and definitely not The End yet! Stay tuned for next credits and that‘s an order!
P.S. Much appreciated thanks to Randy Brooke of WireImage and the more than amazing, AAU’s Director of PR, Ian Mackintosh!