They say that in times of economic hardship, fashion trends skew toward nostalgia and tradition. If that's true, then yesterday's Miami International University of Art & Design showcase of student work, presented at the Moore Building as part of Funkshion, is a sign of national recovery.
Some designers went all-out wacky with their pieces, incorporating chainmail, plastics, and other unconventional materials in the clothing they sent down the runway. And even the more mainstream designs, ones that drew on trends from the 1950s, ball gowns, and even middle America, had a modern edge. We didn't love everything we saw yesterday, but we can say this: None of it was boring.
Here's a rundown of our favorite looks.
Just in time for St. Patty's Day, Vera Silva's green goddess dress managed to be flowy, sexy, and strangely cult-inspired all at once.
Talk about an attention-getter. The train of Ana Lauren Garcia's dress moved brilliantly behind her model, and the chameleon-like fabric changed from pink to blue as it flowed. (Remember the end of Disney's Sleeping Beauty, when the fairies keep changing the color of her dress? Anyone? Well, it was like that.)
Another goddess-worthy gown from Brenda Relayze, with delicate tulle peeking through shimmering gold fabric.
Volume, anyone? William Morgan's gown plays on flower petals without being too sweet.
We're not sure if we genuinely adore this dress by Wendy Leandro, or if we're just really excited for Game of Thrones to return next month. Daenerys would wear this in a heartbeat.
We've gotta apologize for this rear shot of McArthur Guerrier's red tulle explosion. We were so dazzled when it came down the runway that we forgot we were holding a camera.
Karenn Lopez's sheer aqua design is fit for a genie in a bottle, and it's rubbing us the right way. (Zing!)
In the post-apocalyptic South Florida of the future, members of the Miami Resistance Army are still gonna want to wear bright, colorful uniforms. Michael Alexander gets it.
Bridget Eugene's capelet: All the drama of a traditional cape, all the sheer, skin-baring design you want in tropical humidity.
The spiral lace of Susan Molina's design put us in mind of our grandma's crocheted doilies, but in a good way...
...and then her model removed the top layer, revealing a very un-granny interior.
Remember when we said some designers gave the '50s a modern edge? Somebody call Katy Perry; Luis Fernando Segovia's got her next red carpet look ready.
Simple, elegant, tropical cocktail dress perfection, courtesy of Valeria Amaral.
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Why don't we hate this dress? By all rights, we should; it is a tribal suspension gown. But there's a feminine edge and elegant flow to Melanie Figueroa Nieves' design that has us charmed. It's uncanny.