PhilaU Fashion Show Showcases Best Student Designs, Celebrates Legacy of Designer Patrick Kelly

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Emily Ray and Katherine Voigt’s collaborative collection, “Collide,” won the Fashion Industries Association Best of Show Award.

The Verizon Philadelphia University Celebration of Innovation’s extraordinary weekend of festivities concluded with the Annual Fashion Show on Sunday, April 27 at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts.

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Kirsten Skillman’s Downton Abbey-inspired collection won the Frank Agostino Eveningwear Award for Excellence in Design.

The annual Fashion Show showcased the best of the year’s fabulous, colorful and creative student fashion designs. Talented student designers displayed everything from hand-dyed chambray dresses to Dr. Seuss-inspired garments to a vibrant 10-piece collaborative collection that won best of show.

Philadelphia University posthumously awarded celebrated designer Patrick Kelly with the Legend of Design Award at the event. As a tribute to the late designer, the runway show started with six original student designs inspired by Kelly’s work and messages of love and tolerance.

In 1988, Kelly became the first American and first black designer voted into the prestigious French fashion industry association Chambre Syndicale du Prêt-à-Porter des Couturiers et des Créateurs de Mode. Kelly, who passed away in January 1990 from complications of AIDS, was known for his bright and bold creations that often pushed racial and cultural boundaries.

Mellisa Ristine’s menswear collection won the Coates Brothers Clothing Award for Eco-Fashion.

Kelly’s longtime former partner Björn Amelan accepted the award on his behalf and told aspiring designers to “remember that the most important thing for you is where you came from, how you express who you are and your imagination combined with your skill.”

In honoring Kelly, PhilaU collaborated with the Philadelphia Museum of Art, which opened its new exhibition, “Patrick Kelly: Runway of Love,” the same day as the Fashion Show.  The exhibit, the first major retrospective of Kelly’s work, will be on display through Nov. 30, 2014. For more information, visit www.philamuseum.org/exhibitions/799.html.

NBC10’s Bill Henley and Jillian Mele served, respectively, as Fashion Show emcee and commentator. The enthusiastic audience, who often cheered for their favorite designs, included students, family members, faculty, staff, alumni, apparel and fashion industry executives and honorees. The Fashion Show was produced by members of PhilaU’s Fashion Industries Association.

Student winners at the 2014 Annual Fashion Show included:

COATES BROTHERS CLOTHING AWARD
Eco-Fashion: Mellisa Ristine

DESTINATION MATERNITY AWARD
Excellence in Sportswear Design: Emily Ray

FASHION DESIGN FACULTY AWARD
Excellence in Design: Jenna Hanson

FASHION INDUSTRIES ASSOCIATION AWARDS
Best of Show: Emily Ray and Katherine Voigt
Best Senior Collection: Gabriela Canosa
Best Senior Collection Honorable Mention: Sophie Hume

FRANK AGOSTINO AWARD
Eveningwear Award for Excellence in Design: Kirsten Skillman

N.A.M.S.B. FOUNDATION AWARD INC.
Joseph Klein Award for Excellence in Menswear Design: Kayla Hayward

NICHOLAS LOUIS PALUMBO AWARD
Outstanding Junior Design: Kristen Heun

THE CARSON KRESSLEY AWARD
Most Ready for Retail: Rhode Annie Paulemont

THE NEXUS LEARNING AWARD
A Collaborative Design: Hilary Moldovan and Philip Rivera

The Annual Fashion Show was presented by PVH Corp. In addition to the Celebration of Innovation title sponsor Verizon, other sponsors included Unifi, Federal-Mogul, Macy’s, McGinn Security, The Toll Foundation, United Health Services, Fox Rothschild, Creative Communication Associates, TD Bank, Spectrum, Parkhurst Dining Services, Independence Blue Cross, ECBM, Iron Stone Strategic Capital Partners, Global Advisory Services, Comcast, NBC10, Telemundo and AstenJohnson.

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