Lights, Camera, Fashion

Lights, Camera, Fashion

SCAD debuts cutting-edge collections at FASHION 2023

 Words by Paige Townley

When thinking of cutting-edge fashion and design, many may initially think Paris, Milan, or New York. But the South has a solid presence in the world of fashion and design thanks to the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). Built upon a sincere focus on all things creative, SCAD offers a wide range of graduate and undergraduate programs ranging across the creative spectrum, and in particular, one of the most elite fashion programs in the world. Last month, the university hosted a hotly anticipated showcase that showed off the extraordinary talent of its fashion seniors and graduate students, SCAD FASHION 2023. 

“Contemporary American fashion lives right here in the great state of Georgia, where our new class of elite SCAD grads emerge every spring, ready to conquer the world,” says SCAD President and Founder Paula Wallace.

Hosted in Atlanta, SCAD FASHION 2023 brought together fashion enthusiasts from across the globe to experience a live runway show featuring more than 55 designers sharing more than 175 designs that illustrate the future of fashion. Quite a few of the participating graduating seniors are from the South, who exquisitely demonstrated that standout fashion can come from anywhere. 


Daniel Phillips: From College Station, Texas, Daniel exhibited a collection inspired by his motorcycle racing upbringing, which was one of just a small number of things he felt he had in common with his family. Utilizing that history and background, he incorporated some new leather but mainly old leather racing suits into his designs.


Bennett Moses: A graduating senior from Orlando, Florida, Bennett created a collection “based around the very essence of what being human meant.” To illustrate that, he was inspired to translate the idea of DNA, RNA, and chromosomes into colorful, playful garments. “The person I am today is because of my time at SCAD, it has taught me so many lessons about not only myself, but how to create, and how to push myself in my designs,” explains Bennett. “My professors pushed me to create in ways that I didn’t know I could. My senior professor Andrew Fionda played a huge role in encouraging me and that led me to create the collection that was seen on the runway at SCAD FASHION. I was pushed this year to make a strong, autobiographical collection that I stand behind and is truly representative of my individuality and artistic vision.”


 Berrett Winters: A student from Raleigh, North Carolina, Berrett’s collection was a nod to the family that raised him. Berrett blended a variety of European cultures into his designs, creating an intriguing juxtaposition of history.


Megan Smith: From Orlando, Florida, Megan focused on the metaphor of a wound wrapped up in a bandage, utilizing the idea to represent emotion and how humans attempt to protect themselves. Her collection included simplistic but tailored black garments. “My time at SCAD has definitely been a journey of self-discovery,” says Megan. “Through SCAD, I was exposed to so many different mediums which has influenced my artistry and approach to fashion design more than anything. I continued on that journey while working on this senior collection through trying to understand those pieces of myself that held me back from reaching my full potential. I’m especially thankful to my professors who pushed me to reach this version of myself that I didn’t even realize existed until now.” 


Alberto Perkinson: A student from Key Biscayne, Florida, explored the feelings of loss and love in his collection, telling a story of a women as she navigated losing her love. With each piece of the collection, Alberto told this complete story. “SCAD's fashion program nurtured my passion for storytelling and creating immersive worlds for my characters with my senior fashion collection,” adds Alberto. “I discovered the power of personal connection in resonating with an audience, and I found catharsis in expressing emotions through fully realized garments that embody these concepts.” 


Torrion Reed: From Rock Hill, South Carolina, created a high-end streetwear collection focused specifically on sustainability and denim. As part of the collection, Torrion created avant-garde looks utilizing recycled denim, such as repurposing jeans into silhouettes.


“I have been deeply impressed by the craft, artistry, and sheer hard work that our graduating students have brought to their final collections,” shares Dean of the SCAD School of Fashion Dirk Standen. “This new generation of designers look less to outside influences than to their own histories, experiences, and identities. Out of that comes clothes rich with emotional resonance. I can’t wait to see these creative talents tell their individual stories on a global stage.”


Header image: SCAD FASHION 2023 runway show at the university's Atlanta location. Individual images from top to bottom: designer Daniel Phillips (College Station, TX), designer Bennett Moses (Orlando, FL), designer Barrett Winters (Raleigh, NC), designer Megan Smith (Orlando, FL), designer Alberto Perkinson (Key Biscayne, FL), and designer Torrion Reed (Rock Hill, SC). Images courtesy of SCAD.