I have defended Buffalo as being a fashion-forward city. With the advent of new local fashion media like Auxiliary Magazine and being the cross-point between Toronto and New York City, Buffalo is bound to generate fashion buzz.
Some refuse to give credit where credit is due, but there is no denying the students from SUNY Buffalo State College are talented, stylish and fashion forward.
This year I dragged four of my best friends to the Pierce Arrow Building to see the sold out Technology: Progression/Obsession Runway 3.0, a Buffalo State College fashion show. To say the show was stellar would be a great understatement. While some of the fashions we undeniably beautiful, it was the production itself which was innate and unforgettable.
Buffalo State Fashion Technology alumna, Erin Habes ’03, directed Runway 3.0. Her expertise was obvious. After several years of high-profile work in New York City’s fashion industry, Habes was asked to return to the college as an adjunct faculty member. Her production and direction of the Runway series has launched Buffalo State onto the high-fashion radar.
It felt legit walking into the high-rise warehouse; flashing lights, white chairs, trendy music and a lengthy runway. To me what made this event so exciting was that it was run by young, fresh and optimistic students. Their hard work and passion was evident in everything that went into the show. Even more impressive was knowing that each item of clothing was couture and made by hand. I could not help but think about the time these students must have spent on each line, the tireless frustrations, the breaking moments, seeing it all unfold and then watching it strut down the runway.
Some of the most notable trends included transitional pieces. Stalking down the runway, models would tear-away an oversized dress pocket to reveal it doubled as handbag. Collars molded down into cinched waist skirt or flipped up into deep hood. Everyone was anxious to see what the next piece of clothing would become.
Meyer won the $500 Wearable Art Award sponsored by Elaine Polvinen. According to the Runway 3.0 blog, Meyer said that her primary creative inspiration for the Technology: Obsession Progression Runway show was, “the construction and destruction of technologically advanced structures through the ages.”
Hinterbichler, winner of the $1000 Nancy Belfer Senior Collection Award, created a line the channeled grace and femininity. The clothes were elegant, slimming and innovative.
“I incorporated wire into certain seam-lines of my garments so that they can be morphed into a different look,” Hiterbichler explained in her program profile.
Each student provided an incredible course of work, as did the local designers and alumni. It is refreshing to see that artists in Buffalo can be so provocative and successful in the fashion industry. I look forward to the next show! Hats off to all the fierce Buffalo State College fashion students and faculty who made Runway 3.0 such a success.
Images courtesy of Elaine Polvinen
Lead Image: Senior Fashion/Fibers student Basia Poletowski modeling her own
design. Photo taken by Bruce Fox.
Inset One: Images from the Diane Meyer collection
Inset Two: Sketch of Tess Hinterbichler‘s line