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Design Runway Show presented by Pasadena's Art Center

April 15, 2011 |  8:08 am

No one could call the Los Angeles fashion scene monolithic. But with the dominance of Hollywood costume design and New York reigning as the nation’s fashion capital, it’s easy to overlook innovative design happening right in our own backyard.

Sophia2-2On Friday night the Pasadena's Art Center College of Design presents Design Runway, a showcase 0f cutting-edge apparel and accessories stitched together by local design students.

The second inaugural free show is open to the public and it marks a shift for the Art Center. Traditionally, the design school does not teach courses in apparel design. According to instructor Justine Limpus Parish, a fashion designer and illustrator, the Design Runway Show is exciting because it represents the Art Center’s first foray into building an apparel design program.

But don’t expect a traditional fashion show.

“Really what makes it so interesting is the various foundations that these students come from,” Limpus Parish says.

Students from backgrounds in environmental design, product design, illustration, graphic design and motion graphics have collaborated to create an eclectic performance. The show flows from dramatic evening wear to Art Deco-inspired menswear to heavy metal motorcycle fashion. In keeping with the Art Center’s multimedia roots, a film accompanies each collection.

“Each one of them has a strong vision,” Limpus Parish says. She explains that one student, Deja Morlan, drew inspiration from an art installation piece by Erick Swenson, while student Minh Nguyen played with his background in environmental design.

Jesse Genet, a product design student, is featuring a collection of wool suits and silk blouses inspired by bodysuits worn by the strongmen of 1920s France. She's found that working with students of other discplines has taken her out of her general routine and into a new direction of design.

“Art Center traditionally has no fashion design training. I think they are finding with this show that they can explore fashion without encroaching on being a traditional design school,” Genet says.

Pasadena’s Art Center College of Design presents the Design Runway Show from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday at Hillside Campus, Ahmanson Auditorium 1700 Lida St., Pasadena.

-- Sophia Kercher

Photo: Film still by M & B Studio featuring Art Center College of Design student Jesse Genet's designs inspired by the 1920s strongmen of France.