There were 15 graduate students from the School of Fashion at the Academy of Art University chosen to showcase their collection at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York City. Among them was Emmanuelle Ciara Jones, a native from Memphis, Tennesse and whom will receive her M.F.A in Fashion Design this year. Jones’ thesis collection was chosen to kick off the premiere on a frigid but romantic night of February 14th at The Theatre in Lincoln Center. The inspiration behind Jones’ collection comes from the artist Jean-Michel Basquiat whose artwork depicted “suggestive dichotomies such as wealth versus poverty, integration versus segregation, and inner versus outer experience”. Also, hip-hop street culture and music and African textiles and voodoo made part of the creation process with the help of a textile designer.
Jones’ collaborated with the talent of Ghazaleh Khalifeh, a Textile Design major also at the Academy of Art University. Khalifeh is from Marin County in California and has interned for Diane von Furstenberg and won the prestigious $25,000 Geoffrey Beene Design Scholarship Award in 2008. Khalifeh’s achievements don’t stop there, in 2009 she won a scholarship to study at the L’Ecole de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne in France.
The collection consisted of printed linen trench coats, jackets, and shirt dresses with printed cotton or linen pants. The color palette consisted of black, a damp neon green, a vintage beige and orange and high, medium, and low values of red. The colors were printed and scattered around the fabric like brushstrokes. The top and bottoms were of occasionally of complementary colors. There was room for the model to move around so the silhouettes played true to form without exhausting the figure, and the African influence definitely exuded by finishing up the looks with black or red berets.