Gina Guo wins latest Supima Design Competition in New York
Guo, a graduate of Drexel University in Philadelphia, won with a bravura display of cutting, exuberant printing and jaunty sense of proportion.
All told, the joint runway show was an impressive display of young talent, where the key themes were avant-garde naturalism, graphic printing and elaborate cutting that referenced multiple historical eras.
“I’m so shocked but so thankful to Supima for giving me this chance. It felt unreal but now feels very real,” said Gina Guo, whose collection was entitled 'White Skeleton'.
Inspired by her concern for the disappearance of coral reefs due to bleaching, Gina’s looks riffed on giant ocean waves, hefty breakers and pebble beaches.
Gina joined Linh La, Academy of Art University; Illene Martoseno, Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising; Ishwari Vijh, Fashion Institute of Technology; Shuxian Kong, Kent State University; Andrew Kwon, Parsons School of Design; Isabel Hajian, Rhode Island School of Design and Yoohyeon Kim, Savannah College of Art and Design, in the final.
The emphasis was very much on evening, with lots of diaphanous and hyper-plissé robes. Each finalist showed five looks made of five forms of Supima – denim, twill, shirting, knit and velveteen.
The finalists were all chosen in late spring from eight prestigious American fashion schools, or fashion departments of major universities.
Each finalist was initially given swatches of Supima, before being flown up to New York in mid July to be properly introduced to the actual Supima fabrics. Each of them was then given multiple yards of five types of Supima.
“We partner with the leading American design schools, as they nurture, train and prepare designers for the future of our fashion industry, which is why we partner with them in this program,” said Buxton Midyette, the Supima vice president, who was the brainchild behind this award.
The award, now in its 12th edition, is organized with a unique format. A noted jury of industry professionals chooses the winner in a blind test, where the five looks are shown with a mini mood board the day before, a different format from the other major international awards like ANDAM, Woolmark or LVMH.
The format is designed to avoid jurors instinctively preferring candidates from more historically famous design schools.
Supima has also been active in Europe; supporting the Festival of Hyères, the Continent’s most famous student award.
While in Paris, Supima will show ideas by five winners from this spring’s Hyères on September during the Paris runway season. Along with the Hyères winners, to be staged inside a suitable destination for any American in Paris -- the Hotel de Talleyrand named after the greatest French diplomat ever to visit the United States.
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