USC Fashion Week 2013 has come and gone, but it sure was good while it lasted!On Tuesday I went to 701 Whaley for the start of USC Fashion Week and the second annual student designer competition. The competition is a great way to showcase the student talent at USC. The judges (Otis Taylor from The State paper, Amy Flurry former editor at Lucky, and LV Granger from Circa 1332) had a hard choice to make.
Amber by Harbor Flag was a preppy, nautical inspired collection. Taylor Diggs showed big, beautiful jewelry. Paul Williams won the competition with his vintage inspired menswear. Michael Cottingham’s collection was inspired by spring flowers and his great grandmother. Made by Mother by Molly McNutt featured cool upcycled urban streetwear. Last year’s winner, Jessica Argoe, showed a cute, young, and fresh collection.
Pause… can we talk about how one of the judges asked one of the designers of color if he was influenced by hip hop, when he stated several times in the program and on stage that he was influenced by his faith, his pastor, the people in his life, and menswear from the 1700s-early 1900s? Don’t even get me started… Moving on.
Wednesday night I went to hear Amy Flurry, one of the judges from Tuesday night and author of Recipe for Press, speak at the Columbia Museum of Art. Listening to her speak on her freelance journalism past, her book, and her paper craft company Paper-Cut-Project really inspired me. I am really trying hard not to sound cliche, but I took note of the things she said and even spoke with her afterwards. She was really nice and signed my book; which I can’t wait to read. Sometimes you need to hear that special voice to give you a creative push when you feel that you have been stuck in a rut. Hopefully this book will continue to inspire me like her words did Wednesday night.
Thursday night was the finale, and the biggest show of them all. This is the show where some of Columbia’s finest retailers show their new spring goodies. This year was a little different from the last because they let Wednesday night’s student designer competition winner show first before the boutiques. This was a great opportunity for Paul Williams to show off his menswear collection to a packed house. The order of the boutiques was M Boutique, Just the Thing, Brittons, LaRoque, Bohemian, and Van Jean. Just the Thing and Brittons showed the perfect mix of Southern preppy style. LaRoque really shocked me. While I usually love her look, I was really impressed by the new, modern style she showed that night. They were fresher than anything I had ever seen her do. Then M Boutique and Bohemian dressed the models in youthful, hip designs that reminded me of pictures from Coachella. I really enjoyed my week with USC Fashion Board. They always put on a great show. Usually their shows are more professionally done than the professional shows I see, and that is saying something for college kids.