Once again the work of the students of the Fashion Majors at Altos de Chavón have been honored with an invitation to show their designs at the prestigious Dominican Fashion Week, in Santo Domingo (October 2015). That important invitation trumps having a show this year at Casa de Campo- too costly to do both.
So it was decided that the new Davidoff artist in residence studio building would be pressed into service as the place to present an “appetizer”, a sampler fashion event, as a preview of the main dish to come in October.
And so on Friday May 22nd, together with the gallery exhibition of works from the Fine Arts/Illustration Communication Design majors, the fashion seniors, each, put a single garment (eventually they’ll be three pieces from each of the 26 graduates) on the improvised runway, a space cordoned off down the center of the architecturally stunning Davidoff studio (designed for Davidoff by Chavón School of Design graduate, architect Adolfo Despradel).
The show was a smash hit, a de-Constructivism smorgasbord that truly whetted the appetite. Great takes on this retro look became futuristic, the proportions, drape, and finishing of the clothes was first-rate. Cooked-up by Julio Marcano, legendary Dominican fashion designer and graduate of both the Altos de Chavón School of Design and Parsons in New York. Julio was the fashion teacher for this last year, he and instructor Maritza Soto brought out the best in these fledgling designers.
The show’s theme, de-Constructivism, is a loose adaptation, more of a reference, to a Russian style of painting and design of the 1919. The Constructivist color scheme is traditionally red, white, black, and metallic. It’s most remembered for poster images, type and form.
The clothing in the Chavón show reflected the theme in silhouette’s angular, geometric, graphic, and jarring. That red, black, and white combination of color with form was apparent on the runway Friday when a batch of slim professional models showed off the class’ creations.
With the “de” part of de-Constructivism came was the seemingly falling apart quality of some of the pieces. There were panels of textile that hung asymmetrically and billowed in the breeze, in-side-out seams, unexpected fissures revealing flashes of skin, a show-stopping lattice of metallic ribbons, all paid tribute to the artist movement idea behind the show.
More than 100 spectators lined the runway for the activity that continued in the gallery for wine and a chance look at the video and poster art of Communication Design graduates and the cutting edge thesis work of what may be one of the most diverse shows of fine art in the schools history.
The senior show is ephemeral at the Chavón gallery, it stays hung here for only two or three days and then it’s headed for a gala opening at Chavón’s Santo Domingo facility on June 10th to be on view for the whole month of June.
Even though the fashion show displayed a mere one third of what will be in Dominican Moda in October, it drew wild applause and sighs of admiration from the public. Everyone was dazzled by the professionalism and polish. A thesis show to be remembered.
Missed the show? Enjoy our video of Estilo 2015 by the Altos de Chavón School of Design:
The following collection of photos were taken during ESTILO 2015 presented by the Fashion Design’s graduates of the Altos de Chavón School of Design on Friday May 22nd:
Article contributed by Stephen Kaplan
Rector of the Altos de Chavón School of Art and Design