I leave one week from today for the big city – woohoo! It’s been over a YEAR, and I am way overdue. I absolutely cannot wait! As invitations continue to roll in last minute, one of the shows I’m most looking forward to attending is the Academy of Art University (in San Francisco).
It’s one of the largest accredited private art and design schools in the U.S. with over 12,000 students – 2,000 of those fashion students (who, yes, have the opportunity of a lifetime to show at New York Fashion Week). This year, the show is on Friday, February 13 at 8 PM at the Tent at Bryant Park, and I’ll have exclusive backstage access before the show. Don’t worry about missing a thing!
There will be one menswear and five womenswear collections in fashion design, textile design and knitwear design. I had the huge privilege of chatting with Scott McFarland (knitwear with yarn donated from Blue Sky Alpacas) this afternoon . He’s even from my home state – woot!
IHH: How did living in Arkansas shape your career path?
SM: [It’s] a bit complicated. In fact, I’m still discovering ways that my early experiences are influencing my work. I was exposed to the contrasts of rural life and city life. I believe that these experiences and my experiments with sculpture continue to influence my creativity.
IHH: What made you decide to give up sculpting for knitwear?
SM: Unexpectedly, I fell into it. I was working on my MFA in sculpture and experiencing a bit of ‘burn-out’ with it. In the program we are allowed two electives, so I decided to take my first elective as far from sculpture as possible. Taking an elective in fashion made sense to me because the sculptures I was making at the time were basically metal and cellophane dresses. Knitwear was appealing because it is a three-dimensional form. I loved knitting and changed majors at the end of that semester. It is one of the best decisions I have ever made.
IHH: Name a few of your favorite labels and who you’re most looking forward to seeing at NYFW.
SM: Alexander McQueen and John Galliano are two of my favorites. I’m excited about showing during NY Fashion Week, but I’ve been so busy preparing my collection and putting on the finishing touches that I haven’t thought much about seeing other collections and am just looking forward to taking it all in!
IHH: (Ok, I had to ask.) Are you a fan of Project Runway, and would you ever consider going on the show?
SM: I’m not really interested in reality TV. If given the opportunity to participate, I would probably decline. (whew, ok, got that out of my system!)
IHH: How long have you been working on this collection, and what do you plan to do as soon as the show is over?
SM: The initial inspiration and development of the collection began about nine months ago. After the show I will visit some friends on the East Coast – and begin my job search.
Somehow, I don’t think it will be too tough. We can’t wait to see your collection next week! Best of luck, and break a needle! (oh, I shouldn’t say that, should I?)