Next Level Upping: Three IFA Paris Debuts

To butcher paraphrase Leo Tolstoy, all art schools are alike, but global fashion academies are unique in particular ways. I would know. I teach at two: Academy of Art University in San Francisco & International Fashion Academy in Paris. In June, I attended the graduate showcase for IFA Class of 2019. Staged at the beautiful Maison des Métallos, BA Fashion Design collections ran the familiar fashion week gamut from underwhelming to over-the-top. Here are three new designers who intrigued me. Ok, it’s seven designers. I’m easily intrigued and overly enthusiastic about dreamers dreaming dreamy dreams.

Aman Roonie & Neha Jha

Two designers and an idea of twins might seem like a school-level exercise in inspiration. However, this was a graduation collection and Aman & Neha spun the twinning theme every which way to form a pretty convincing strand of fresh brand DNA. The detailing was soooh good, it made me wish I was the devil. You know, so I could be in them details. Follow @iamroonie_photography and @nehajhaofficial



Alma Mikelsone

I love a good mess. A collection based on fear of “not choosing the right life path early enough in our lives” was delightfully maximalist for this 40-year old who is this-close to figuring out what he wants to be when he grows up. I enjoyed the interplay of textures, colors, bold stitching, the layers of possibilities. Follow @alma_mi



Jana Blank

I mean this as an honest-to-fashion-gods compliment. This collection was, perhaps, the least “revolutionary” in its desire to impress. Yet, I feel patchwork is the secret to human survival. We do have the resources, capacity, whatnot to persevere or perish. In terms of fashion future(s), when 2/3 of fabrics end up in landfills as textile waste, designers who are into up-cycling get my enthusiastic fuck-yeah! Follow @janablank



BONUS: Abhiram Vakkalagadda and Yvonne Peter

Boys will be… who?! With toxic masculinity up for its long overdue cancellation, I am interested in alternative visions for menswear. These two looks from two different collections by two different designers gave fashion a non-binary lease on life. Follow @abhiparis_official and @iamyvonnepeter



To see the full show with all the fabulous 2019 grads (can you spot me in the audience or have I perfected my front row spyface?!) check IFA Paris Archives 

P.S. The cover image for this post comes from a striking glam-slam by Rafiga Hajili.

Designer & Model

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