Fashion is an industry where new points of view are celebrated. On the evening of Saturday, September 11th, fashion had 9 new reasons to celebrate when Albright College made its NYFW debut during the “9 Collections” Fashion Show. Every designer shown had two things in common – none had previously shown during NYFW before & all of them have graduated or are current students of the venerable fashion program based on the Albright College campus in Reading, PA.
Found in the collections of the 7 recent graduates & 2 current students shown on the Albright runway, was a wide range of collections ranging from “Rose”, a modern, graphic luxe swimwear collection by Josh Polk, to an equally at home by the sea contemporary collection by Jess D’Alessio entitled “Tulú Resort Wear” inspired by the beaches of the Mexican Resort town of Tulum, & even a resort collection that would prove more at home on the streets than on the beach, “Whispering Wings”, by recent graduate Luisana Batista.
Several collections were more conceptual than not like “Versailles XVI” by Stephanie Vargas Hemmings who channeled the extravagance of French maximalist design & mixed it with her Puerto Rican cultural eye, as well as the architecture inspired collection by designer Mandy Boandl who cited modern “birds nest architecture” & the Eiffel Tower as her design touch points. Kaleb Murdock explored the minimal side of conceptual with his collection, entitled “Dissolved Girl” which sat at the crossroads of music, break-ups, & rust, of all things. Rounding out the conceptual section of the show was a recent graduate Ashley Hillegass, who named the growth of the Agricus Bisporus mushroom as her inspiration.
Albright College also has a very robust & celebrated Theatre Costume Design track as part of their Fashion Design Program which was highlighted through the collections of working theater costume designer Elizabeth “Liz’ Polley entitled “Homespun” as a nod to the collection’s root inspiration, and by current Albright student Amanda Castanon who was inspired to create her collection by the Renaissance & the costumes from the era.
Influencer & author, Caroline Vazzana, herself a graduate of the Albright College fashion program, said “I’m so excited I could come out tonight & support my alma mater, Albright College, on their very first New York Fashion Week show! I always love supporting emerging designers & am so happy to be here for these nine designers! The collections were so beautiful, & you could just feel the energy & excitement from everyone in the crowd as the models made their way down the runway! Congratulations to Albright College & to all of the incredibly talented designers, I can’t wait to see what each does next!”
About Albright College:
Albright College is a Liberal Arts based college located about 2 ½ hours from New York City in Reading, PA. The area has a long history as a manufacturing town for the fashion industry & given its proximity to both the New York City & Philadelphia, it serves as not only an idyllic place to study, but also boasts a strong alignment with the arts. Fashion Design, Fashion Merchandising, & Costume Design thrive at the school, but have long been existing under the radar & in the shadow of their more well-known competitors. This show will give the media & public alike the opportunity to see the breadth of talent that have graduated, or will graduate soon, from the program & see that the school is a formidable option for fashion students to consider & for fashion companies to be aware. There’s a new game in town & Albright College has come to play in a serious way.
Stephanie Vargas Hemmings