A fashion force is not to be missed, and during the recent student show at the Art Institute of California-San Francisco, something exciting swept through. The student designers displayed intense individuality on the runway with a range of inspiration from “The Great Gatsby” to drag queens. Other students contributed their talents in marketing, graphics, video and the culinary arts, but the show’s creative vision came from the school’s new visiting professor and show producer, Michael Rosen.
If there is anyone who has lived multiple fashion lives, it’s Rosen. Celebrating his 60th birthday in October, Rosen has lived through some of the most exciting decades in London fashion, from punk in the ’70s to Britpop in the ’90s. He was a founding member of London Fashion Week in 1982 and later developed the fashion merchandising and marketing program at his alma mater, Central St. Martins College of Art and Design in London.
As an instructor at the college in the ’90s, his students included fashion luminaries Hussein Chalayan, Phoebe Philo, Giles Deacon, Katie Grand and the late Alexander McQueen. He attributes the creativity exploding from the school’s graduates to cross-collaboration among departments: “It was the mixing of these people from different areas, like linking to the sculpture department and the film department, which was roughly what we were doing in the ’70s when the punk thing happened.”