Posted in Fashion by Virgil Sparks on March 23, 2009

I know it’s been awhile, but after spending a full Spring-break in 157, I felt it was time to update you on the progress. This week, we’re chillin’ with the affectionately curious, Yu Qi Tan.

After a brief stint at the University of Iowa where she was taking her LA’s in the pursuit of a BA in Business, the Singapore native changed her mind to come to SF to pursue her love of art in a more diverse, multi-cultural city.

“I’ve always liked fabrics, texture and different shapes. I had considered using my studying career on textile design, but in the end it was my love of fabric discovery that drew me to design.”

Her use of neoprene in her up coming collection should definitely vouch for that. When questioned about her Senior collection inspiration she responds in one word, “Wrapping.”

Can you be more specific?photo-701

“I started on my journey with the Geoffrey Beene project, when I started my quest for using non-fabrics as fabrics. I then explored the idea of straight lines mixed with curves. From there, through the toiling process I played with the ideas of textures and prints, mostly because I was just using the fabrics under the tables. Many of the garments came about more by accident than previous thought. The idea of different colored facings and contrast colors began when I just ran out of my original self fabric and Rob threw me a scrap and said to work with it. Afterwards we thought that it was nice, and introduced the idea further into my collection.”

Her brightly diverse choice of colors and prints will definitely leave the viewer questioning the combination. Which is what it is intended to do, “Who said what colors should go with others? Who made those rules?”

No one I know.

So let’s wish her luck as she continues to discover and question the limits of fashion. Thank god somebody is.

Over and out.

❤ VS



Posted in Fashion by Virgil Sparks on February 8, 2009

For our next installment of 157, we’re going to be chillin’ with the lovely Dee Larsen in between our interpretive dance moments. One of the Bay Area’s very own, Ms. Larsen was handpicked by Madame Stevens fresh out of high-school to attend the ‘Cademy, and started her learning process in the Fine Arts Department.

“Originally I felt that saying I was a “Fashion Major” sounded a little pretentious, but the University doesn’t offer Fine Arts as a double major, and since I’ve always wanted to do this from the time I was making outfits for my Barbie’s, I just had to get over the fact that I might sound like a douche when someone asked what I do.”

When beginning her Senior Collection she thought that it should represent her tastes, personality and aesthetic. That it should be the epitome of her as a designer and the things she loved. She started with her all familiar post apocalyptic vibe and from there was drawn to movies that were similar from her past; specifically Mad Max and Waterworld.

“I have this dream of slaughtering all the lambs in California.”


This is why her collection, which is filled with zippers, thoughtful draping, and made almost entirely out of pigs and lambs skins is as amazing as it is. Her dark, muted color palette with a punch of a surprising color, (I’ll keep it a surprise,) achieves all of her goals.”

When asked about her road since the beginning of last semester she stares me down and says:

“It’s been intense. Intense but gratifying. With the long hours and hard work it’s difficult to keep focused after looking at your mock-ups being cut up and written all over and made out of these shitty fabrics. But in the end, after you see them made from the real fabrics that you’ve had to hunt for and spend hundreds, and on occasion thousands of dollars on, it’s worth every second and penny.”

She’ll continue this road over the upcoming weeks, in the hope of making it through that final cut. While we all know she’s going to make it, we shall send her back to work with our thoughts and prayers.

❤ VS

“Si se puede!”


Posted in News by Virgil Sparks on February 4, 2009


With less than 10 weeks to the much anticipated AAU Graduate Spring Fashion Show, I’ve decided that every few days or so I’ll profile one of our rising stars competing for a spot in the grand line-up. As well as shedding light on some of the new things that will be happening at this years show; (i.e. my own involvement, along with 5 other design students, to be the first undergraduates to ever participate in the Fashion/Jewelry Collaboration).

So stay tuned for all the news, haps and juicy gossip from the infamous room #157.

❤ VS