DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.
DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

RISD’s Annual Runway Show Highlights the
Top Work of Emerging Apparel Designers on Saturday, May 21

Providence, RI — After months of conceptual development, experimentation and meticulous construction, Rhode Island School of Design [RISD] students will debut their final garments on the runway at COLLECTION 2011. The Apparel Design department’s popular fashion show will take place at 7:00pm on Saturday, May 21 at Veterans Memorial Auditorium, Avenue of the Arts [between Francis + Park streets]. The evening show is preceded by a 2:00pm preview also open to the public.

The annual event offers an exciting opportunity for more than 50 talented young designers to showcase their one-of-a-kind creations to an enthusiastic audience, during a fun and fast-paced evening of entertainment that offers a sneak peak at the tastemakers and trendsetters of the future. Attendees have a first-hand look at many of the portfolio pieces that will earn graduates positions at top fashion houses around the world.

The designs shown in each year’s Collection are juried by a panel of guest critics – professional designers who carefully review and discuss the work, give students critical feedback and select the best garments for the runway show. The rigorous selection process for the more than 150 pieces shown in COLLECTION 2011 is an important part of students’ preparation to enter the competitive industry. This year the jury includes the talented Tommy Hilfiger; Nicole Miller [RISD ‘73]; Robert Geller [RISD ‘01]; Karen Young [RISD ‘88]; Marcia Patmos [RISD ‘91]; and Tina Lutz.

Among the projects presented in COLLECTION 2011 are evening wear collections designed by seniors, in addition to their thesis collections – unified bodies of work that showcase professional-grade conceptual and technical skills. 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 have constructed garments out of a wide variety of recycled materials other than fabric, including packing peanuts and plastic bags, Gulf oil spill memoriam made from found plastic materials and broken taxidermy duck, and a wire dress made of piano and violin strings and sheet music.

Traditionally, the main project for Apparel seniors during fall semester has been to design and construct a coat. In collaboration with the RISD Museum, this year Apparel seniors have instead designed collections inspired by the Cocktail Culture exhibit at the Museum, open April 15-July 31, 2011.

By previewing selections from the exhibit with Joanne Ingersoll, Curator of Costumes & Textiles, the students were introduced to design icons, concepts and social rituals that evolved from the 1930s through the 80s in American Cocktail design, and were challenged to define and design collections for the cocktail culture of today and tomorrow. Based on the diverse needs of today’s social networkers, each designer chose a concept destination for their collection, each offering a unique view of today’s social network. The RISD Museum is such a rich source of inspiration for RISD students and this exhibit presented a wonderful opportunity for the academic department and the Museum to collaborate, and for the work to naturally extend to COLLECTION 2011.

“COLLECTION is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the achievements of our student designers and get a glimpse into their individual design processes,” said Catherine Andreozzi, head of the Apparel Design Department. “For seniors, This moment showcases their personal journey as emerging designers and represents the culmination of their development and education at RISD.”

One-of-a-kind selections from the runway show and other pieces by RISD’s Apparel Design students are offered for sale to the public on Sunday, May 22 at 12pm in the RISD Auditorium lobby, Canal Walkway at Market Square, Providence [corner of South Main Street and College streets].

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], Sally Lapointe [RISD ’06], Robert Geller [RISD ‘01],Nicole Romano [RISD ’00], Ani Alvarez-Calderon [RISD ’92], Laura Poretzky [RISD ’00] of Abaete’ and Marcia Patmos [RISD ’91], have all started independent labels, while others, such as Hilary Gaul [RISD ’90] Vice President Womens Design for Polo Ralph Lauren, Aaron Dickson Millhiser  [RISD ’02], designer at J.Crew; 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 2 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. http://www.risd.edu/collection/

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 21.  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 Jaime Marland at 401.427.6954 or jmarland@risd.edu.

DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.