On Saturday, June 23rd, The Academy of Couture Art held their annual graduation fashion show and gala, entitled Le Reve, in the Sofitel Grand Ballroom in Beverly Hills. The black tie evening consisted of a formal dinner and runway show all benefitting The Children of War Foundation, an organization focused on providing the children and disabled citizens of Afghanistan with education, nutritious food, and life skills. Attendees for the evening included actress Estella Warren from Planet of the Apes, actor and US National Tae Kwon Do team member Anton Kasabov, singer Samantha Mumba, fashion designer Louis Verdad, Miss Southern California Fehbe Meza, Elizabeth Matthews of the LACMA Costume Council, Paul Mitchell’s John Paul deJoria, Her Royal Highness Princess Theodora of Greece and Denmark and the founders of The Academy of Couture Art, Thierry and Sonia Ete. The evening was hosted by actress and avid fashion follower, Rachel Bailit. The runway show celebrated student design achievements starting with the Academy’s teen couture program featuring designs by Rachel Cohen, Mari Goldberg, Kilina Peltereau-Villeneuve and Michaela Purwin. Following the teens were designs from their Associate degree graduates and their Bachelor of Arts program graduates.
While The Academy of Couture Art boasts quite a prestigious pedigree, they are a young school at about six years old which hosted their first fashion show in 2010. Founded by Sonia and Thierry Été, the school provides training in haute couture technique and design, a process unique to the school and not readily offered outside of European fashion schools. At ACA, students are closely instructed in the art of pattern making, embellishment, and design with an emphasis on constructing one of a kind pieces. Admissions director for the school, Michelle Myers, explains what makes ACA stand out from other fashion schools, “for us, we’re very interested in uniqueness. Where alot of fashion schools will generally say give us your portfolio and give us sketches. For us, it’s a little bit more free. We’re interested to get all of the elements of who is this person because uniqueness is something we can’t teach. What they want to acheive is something we can’t teach. We’re looking to see if their goals are something we’re preparing for or not. It is heavy on that kind of creative focus.”
The final collection of the evening was the Grace Kelly Collection. These pieces were created as part of the Academy’s global program and shown at the 2012 Monaco Charity Film Festival. Designed under the guidance of Sonia Ete, students Katherine Enyart, Maxfield Freiermuth, Ciara Green, Sarah Kim, Rachel Nourmand, Margaret Roberts, Mariana Romero Tejeda, Raquel Van Daalen Wetters and Angela Wu worked to create this sophisticated collection full of royal inspiration.
Next up for these 2012 ACA graduates is entering the job field. When asked, BA students Maxfield, Sarah and Mariana all had slightly different career goals; Maxfield would like to “work more in lifestyle like Polo Ralph Lauren where it’s the whole picture and not just the garmet” while Mariana would like to design for bridal collections and Sarah wants to be a stylist. However, it was probably Maxfield who summed it up best, “I think we’re all just hoping for a job in this economy!” With such detailed and passionate training behind them, hopefully these ACA graduates will have all doors open to them.
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©2012 The Los Angeles Fashion