For Progress "Art of Design"
15 W 28th Street
September 6, 2007
Photographed by Katherin Wermke
Art For Progress
is a non-profit collaboration of artists in New
York with creative input that stretches from Barcelona
to Beijing. This is a new breed of designers who
are not afraid to push the envelope beyond the scripted
shows of Bryant Park that rely heavily on expensive
fabrics, look-a-like models, and forgettable color
palettes. Of course, there is nothing wrong with
the gold standard of fashion, but it certainly is
provocative to shake things up and see what happens
when talented creatives are given true freedom.
The result? Well, it’s Art For Progress.
There was a definite buzz in the
air, as all of the pieces by designers Selma Karaca
and Lu Kun were edgy and inventive. Karaca showed
first, and this Turkey native focused intently on
details. Everything in the collection from the pleating
to the elaborate stitching was done by hand, and
the garments draped beautifully over the models.
The long gowns in the collection reflected movement
as they practically danced down the runway. In the
industry, Karaca is commonly referred to as a purist,
and her designs reflect the soul of a true artist.
Lu Kun is the first couture designer
based in Shanghai, China, and his creations spoke
to the upcoming Beijing Summer Olympics. Kun paid
homage to his homeland by draping his models in
the red and gold colors of the Chinese flag. The
result was striking and made a bold statement. All
of his designs had a casual, yet sophisticated feel.
The focus was clearly on the cut of the garments,
and the floor length silk chiffon jacket and short
hoodie were magnificent.
Art For Progress clearly has found
design stars in Lu Kun and Selma Karaca. The fashion
world waits to see what directions these worldly
designers will take us in next season.
Sandy Grant of MMN's "Fashion
Fever" & New York Cool's Jamie Sharpe