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Annual Runway Show at RISD Highlights the

Top Work of Emerging Apparel Designers on Saturday, May 22


contact: Danielle Mancuso, 401.454.6334, or dmancuso@risd.edu 


Providence, RI — Innovative design concepts and expert technical skill will dominate the runway on Saturday, May 22 at 7:00pm as garments created by Rhode Island School of Design [RISD] students make their runway debut in COLLECTION 2010

The annual event showcases the best work of more than 50 talented young designers in RISD’s Apparel Design department, and features the thesis collections of graduating seniors. Attendees have a first-hand look at many of the portfolio pieces that will earn graduates positions at top fashion houses around the world. COLLECTION 2010 will take place at Veterans Memorial Auditorium, Avenue of the Arts (between Francis and Park streets) in Providence. The 7:00pm show is preceded by a 2:00pm preview open to the public.

The rigorous selection process for the more than 150 pieces shown in COLLECTION 2010 is an important part of students’ preparation to enter the competitive fashion industry. Months of conceptual development, experimentation, meticulous assembly and refinement, and precise fittings culminate in a series of critiques by a panel of established designers. Final selections for the runway show are also made by the jury, which this year includes Laura Poretzky of Abaete’; Michael Leva of J Jill; Deb Newhall, costume designer; Patrick Ervell, menswear designer; and RISD Professor Emerita Lorraine Howes.


Among the projects presented in COLLECTION 2010 are coat collections designed by seniors, in addition to their thesis collections. Juniors have a strong presence in the show with knitwear and jackets, and selected sophomores demonstrate the department’s focus on creative problem solving with the “Re-Innovatives” challenge – to construct a wearable piece out of recycled materials other than fabric. Students constructed garments out of a wide variety of materials including exposed film negatives, a combination of shoelaces and pantyhose, and zippers.

“COLLECTION is a wonderful opportunity get a glimpse into the design process and interact with the work of our student designers,” says Donna Gustavsen, head of the Apparel Design Department. “For seniors, their thesis collections are a personal statement representing the journey and learning they have tirelessly worked towards over the past four years.”

A popular part of COLLECTION is the opportunity for members of the public to purchase one-of-a-kind creations by these rising stars. Selections from the runway show and other pieces by RISD’s Apparel Design students are offered for sale on Sunday, May 23 at 12pm in the RISD Auditorium lobby (Canal Walkway at Market Square, Providence)

Graduating seniors are poised to join a group of prominent alumni in the apparel industry. Nicole Miller [RISD ’73], Sari Gueron [RISD ’97], Katie Gallagher [RISD ‘09], Nicole Romano [RISD ’00], Ani Alvarez-Calderon [RISD ’92], Laura Poretzky [RISD ’00] of Abaete’ and Marcia Patmos of Lutz and Patmos [RISD ’91], have all started independent labels, while others, such as Aaron Dickson [RISD ’02], designer at Vera Wang; Vanessa Pang [RISD ’95], design/product developer for Donna Karan International; and Lena Wells [RISD ’96], designer at Hussein Chalayan, are among the many alumni who have found success at top-notch design houses

RISD’s Apparel Design Department prepares students to meet the highest requirements of the fashion industry. Built on the philosophy that design and technical skills are mutually enhancing, the program is structured to take students through all aspects of apparel design and construction, from functional to experimental clothing. Technical classes proceed from basic to advanced drafting, draping, and construction, and incorporate the use of computers as a tool for designing and product visualization. RISD has offered programs in Costume, Clothing and Fashion since 1918, and established the Department of Apparel Design in 1952.

Tickets for COLLECTION 2010 are $62, $42 and $32 for downstairs seating; $42 for mezzanine seating; and $24 for balcony seating. The public may attend the 2pm preview/rehearsal show for $17 (advance purchase) or $22 (day of show). Tickets for the general public will be available beginning May 3 at the PPAC box office/ 401.421-ARTS or www.VMARI.com. Tickets available at the VMA box office day of the show. Proceeds benefit the RISD Scholarship Fund. For more information please call 401 454-6741

About Rhode Island School of Design

Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) has earned a worldwide reputation as the preeminent college of art and design in the United States. Today, with more than 26,000 alumni, RISD enrolls nearly 2,000 undergraduates and 400 graduate students from the U.S. and almost 50 countries, offering degree programs in the fine arts, architecture, design disciplines and art education. Academic programs include research and design initiatives, the exploration of art criticism and contemporary cultural concerns, as well as international exchange programs. Each year hundreds of prominent artists, designers, critics and cultural leaders visit RISD’s Providence campus. Among its many prized resources is The RISD Museum of Art, which houses a world-class collection of art objects from Ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome, and art of all periods from Asia, Europe and the Americas, as well as the latest in contemporary art. For more information, visit www.risd.edu or our.risd.edu.


Note to Editors

Broadcast media and photographers are invited to attend the 2pm preview event on May 22.  No flash photography will be allowed at the 7pm event.  If you wish to obtain images, attend the show, or speak with students and faculty members, contact Danielle Mancuso at 401.454.6334 or dmancuso@risd.edu.

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