FIDM Graduates Leetal Platt and Erica Williams, both 2015 DEBUT Graduates, and 2012 Alumna Kelly Cercone showcased their Geek Couture fashion designs at the Her Universe Fashion Show 2015 at San Diego Comic-Con. 


Leetal's dress, "Usagi's Transformation," (pictured above) was inspired by Sailor Moon. "I gravitated specifically to the art and themes that appear when the character Usagi goes though the transform to become Sailor Moon," she explains. "I made a nude illusion gown and tacked 40 yards of pink ribbon on the bodice. For the skirt half, I sewed on 2,000 feathers over five days as a throwback to the seasons where wings would appear during her change or her costume started to gain wings." Leetal, whose dress won the competition, created a second look and a runway "transformation" by creating two inner linings to the dress that were pulled out and wrapped around the waist, containing the dress, and a tailored, upscale version of the sailor suit shirt.

"On the runway, my model Chloe Dysktra pulled two tabs to let the skirt fall and unfold, creating a short to long reveal," she explains. "Both my model and I were shaking because we feared something might go wrong, but we rehearsed for hours, and it went off without a hitch. We were just so happy we pulled off the look itself, that the win was just an unexpected topper to the night." Leetal's prize is to design a collection with Her Universe to be sold in Hot Topic stores next year. 


Erica's design (above) was inspired by Daenerys Targaryen from Game of Thrones. "I am a dedicated fan to both the book and TV series, and I chose Daenerys as my main source of inspiration for this Geek Couture design, focusing on her rise from the flames and into the Mother of Dragons," she explains. "I decided to feature a strong feminine silhouette emerging from a train of flame-like chiffon, a dress fit "for a Khaleesi."

There is nothing I love more than bringing an idea to life and watching it walk down a runway, and this show in particular has a special place in my heart," adds Erica, who has degrees in Fashion Design and Theatre Costume Design from FIDM. "The HerUniverse Fashion Show gave me the chance to combine both of my degrees into a single design. Geek chic is definitely paving its way into the fashion world, and I am elated to be a part of it." 


It was Kelly's first time showing with Her Universe and attending San Diego Comic-Con so she was happy to see fellow FIDM Grads. "We chatted a bit online, before the event, but met for the first time during rehearsal," she explains. "It was really great; backstage we reminisced about our favorite instructors and DEBUT. All of our looks were so unique that it was a very non-competitive environment." Kelly's design, The Joker, was the Judge's Choice Winner which means that she will also work with Hot Topic on a future collection. 


Featured Story

FIDM Grads Showed Their Geek Couture Designs at the Her Universe Fashion Show at Comic-Con

FIDM Graduates Leetal Platt and Erica Williams, both 2015 DEBUT Graduates, and 2012 Alumna Kelly Cercone showcased their Geek Couture fashion designs at the Her Universe Fashion Show 2015 at...

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Versace Couture Fall 2015

Chiffon gowns, painted velvet, and fur! Couture Week has hit Paris with a whirlwind of decadence. Versace enchanted with bohemian frayed pastel chiffon gowns and delicate flower crowns that were equal parts Midsummer Night's Dream and Coachella. The free-spirit of 70’s festival wear was updated with dainty strips of chain mail and skin revealing corset like cut-outs.  The collection was inspired by the natural beauty of the forest and 26,000 orchids lay underneath the glass runway while a flower sculpted Medusa hung overhead as the show gatekeeper.With myth in mind, it looked like fairies had taken over the runway. And without any hems to weight them down their flowy gowns, they were ready to fly away. With straight hems mostly done away with , the hand-painted, floral velvet and chiffon dresses unraveled at the ends with feathery frays. Patent leather go-go boots provided an edge to the tattered hems. Beaty enthusiasts took notes from Pat McGrath’s use of shimmery green eyeshadow, glossy pink lips and glowing skin.

Schiaperelli couture

Schiaperelli’s designer Bertrand Guyon made his couture debut with expertly tailored brocade suits, flowing gowns, and a touch of surrealism. Although Guyon just recently took the helm at the French fashion house after creative director Marco Zanini left in January, he has proved that the revival of the brand is in expert hands. While silhouettes remained straightforward and classic, Guyon provided pizzaz with bright bursts of color and patchwork fur coats. Esoteric symbols of an all-seeing eye, stars and arrow-speared hearts on sparkling appliqués appeared on a black velvet dress, trousers and suits and shimmered with playful meaning. Now, after Guyons has shown his couture charm, the fashion world has its glittering eye on him. 

Chanel couture

Kristen Stewart, Julianne Moore, and Lara Stone stood around a roulette table ready to place their bets. This dreamy scene was concocted by none other than Chanel's Karl Lagerfeld, who transformed the Grand Palais into a fully functioning casino. While antique slot machines lined the walls and gaming tables stood at the center of the runway, Chanel provided a more restrained vision of excess.  Wide shouldered boxy suit jackets, shirt suits and glittery dresses showed a reverence for 1930’s, but the garments themselves held an ironic twist. Some of the collection had been created using a computer printer. Lagerfeld must have had futuristic visions in mind; the uniformly made-up models made quite a beauty statement with asymmetrical bobbed hair pieces that sat high on the hairline for a slightly alien effect. The dramatic cut was made strange with triangular patches of the models’ real hair poking out under the stiff crease of the all brunette wigs. Brows were made full and eyes left natural against deeply blushed cheek bones (circa 1983) and full rosy lips. White nails with black tips also spoke to the graphic 80’s aesthetic. Kendall Jenner closed out the show in a white bridal suit with slim trousers double breasted coat  and a translucent shawl that trailed behind her.


This week, Fendi may make have made the fur fly, but first it took over an entire show. The fashion house’s first couture show, an exclusively fur “haute fourrure” collection celebrates Karl Langerfeld’s 50 years of designing furs and ready-to-wear and is the second couture show the designer has shown in Paris this  summer. Never mind the summer heat- models suited up in fur zippered jockey jackets, fringed fur ponchos, fur capes and coats in rarities like sable, white sable and lynx. 

“Fur is Fendi, Fendi is fur” Lagerfeld stated in 2013, and the masterwork is obvious. Patchwork Technicolor dream coats of shaggy fur showcased Fendi’s experimental side. A few of the zip-up jacket even had a sets of fuzzy eyes, for a cheeky the muppets-go-luxury look. The fashion houses’s fur bag charms, that range from multi-colored pom-poms to miniature Furby-esque creatures, have long been a hit for those who want a puff of couture for around $300-500 a pop.  While many designers and consumers choose animal friendly products over the real thing 73 percent of this year’s 436 shows in New York, Paris, Milan and London included fur as reported by Saga Furs, the Finnish auction house. The prevalence of fur on the runways and lower price tags, especially on accessories, attracted younger consumers (ages 19-29), according to Forbes Magazine.  Langerfeld defended his use of fur after PETA’s condemning remarks.         

"Fur has always been a hot-button issue in fashion, and now more than ever because the consumer has the ability to research and decide for themselves where they want to stand,” Robert Burke, a NY luxury consultant, told The New York Times.


While haute couture finishes off its week in Paris, geek couture has taken over the streets of San Diego for ComicCon.  Last year, Ashley Eckstein, founder of Her Universe, a fan-girl apparel company, organized the first contest of ComicCon’s extremely talented costume makers. This year, the Her Universe fashion show and design competition will return to the convention on July 9 at the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Diego. While the designs are out-there  ( where else can you find fully clawed Wolverine inspired evening wear? ), the show rules require that pieces are not costumes but ready-to-wear. Out of 25 chosen contestants, two winners will be selected to design a collection for Hot Topic. Last year’s winners created an adorable, Marvel-based line inspired by butt-kicking characters like the Black Widow. Get your geek on and check out this year’s highlights.

LA Times evolution-swimsuit-

How did we get from wool bathing costumes to the string bikini? Dive into the L.A Times’ incredible history of the swimsuit!  The bathing suit has come a long from Australian swimmer’ film star Annette Kellerman’s 1907 arrest for indecent explore after donning a one-piece bathing suit in public to plus sized model Ashley Graham featured in this year’s Sports Illustrated  swimsuit edition. FIDM Museum Curator Kevin Jones helped tell the suits’ story.


Summer is no time to hide yourself away in a dark movie theater. Instead, wait until it gets dark and watch your favorite films under the stars at one of LA’s outdoor film screenings


Featured Story

Links We Love: Paris Couture Week, Comic Con's 'Geek Couture' & More

Chiffon gowns, painted velvet, and fur! Couture Week has hit Paris with a whirlwind of decadence. Versace enchanted with bohemian frayed pastel chiffon gowns and delicate flower crowns that were...

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Last week, the FIDM Museum hosted the opening of "The Inspired Eye: The Donald and Joan Damask Design Collection," which is on view through Saturday, December 19, 2015. The exhibition honors the Damask's generous donation of their broad design collection to the museum and celebrates an inspirational range of artists throughout the 20th century and beyond. 


Donald Damask, Barbara Bundy, Joan Beer Damask, Christina Johnson

The free-to-the-public exhibition features over 100 items including works by Cecil Beaton, fashion designs by Christian Dior and Pierre Balmain, and vintage fashion pieces from Vivienne Westwood and Prada. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 


Photos by Alex J. Berliner/ABImages

Featured Story

The Inspired Eye: The Donald and Joan Damask Design Collection at the FIDM Museum

Last week, the FIDM Museum hosted the opening of "The Inspired Eye: The Donald and Joan Damask Design Collection," which is on view through Saturday, December 19, 2015. The exhibition...

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FIDM Grad Cap 2

Whether you're a student at FIDM looking for mortar board inspiration for the 2015 graduation ceremony or a current #FIDM Student just looking to kill time, these 16 creative graduation caps, designed by FIDM Graduates throughout the years, are a must-see.

1) The cap whose owner carried FIDM in their heart...and on their head. 


13036j 2013 Graduation_DSC_3330


2) The cap that reminded us to paint our future bright! 

    13036j 2013 Graduation_DSC_3339


3) The caps that were twinning. 


  13036j 2013 Graduation_DSC_3436


4) The cap that reassured us there were no limits to style and wisdom. 

    13036j 2013 Graduation_DSC_3444


5) The cap filled with faith & hope. 

    13036j 2013 Graduation_DSC_3896


6) The appreciative cap. 

    13036j 2013 Graduation_DSC_3473


7) The metaphoric cap. 

    13036j 2013 Graduation_DSC_3529


8) That cap that made all FIDM Students & Alumni chuckle at first sight. 

    13036j 2013 Graduation_DSC_4046


9) The ambitious cap. 

    13036j 2013 Graduation_DSC_3672


10) The cap that measured up to our expectations. 

    13036j 2013 Graduation_IMG_1787


11) The cap that reminded us to stop and smell the FIDM Graduation roses. 

    13036j 2013 Graduation_DSC_4310


12) The cap that made us want to grab our ears and head to Disney World. 

    13036j 2013 Graduation_DSC_3859


13) The reflective cap.

    13036j 2013 Graduation_DSC_3827


14) Cap's got your tongue? 

    13036j 2013 Graduation_DSC_3828 


15) The UP-lifting cap. 

    13036j 2013 Graduation_DSC_3843 


  16) The cap whose owner is living the life she truly wanted after FIDM. 

    13036j 2013 Graduation_DSC_3588

Written by: Kayla Coleman 

Featured Story

16 FIDM Graduation Caps That Will Make You Want To Laugh, Smile, and Create

Whether you're a student at FIDM looking for mortar board inspiration for the 2015 graduation ceremony or a current #FIDM Student just looking to kill time, these 16 creative graduation...

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Get to know  FIDM Social Media Ambassador  Brianna Joseph, a Merchandise Marketing  Student  at our San Francisco campus. Follow Brianna on Twitter @BriannaFIDM and stay updated with her experience as a current FIDM Student.

Q&A with Brianna:

Hometown: Turlock, CA

Describe your style: My style is "Kawaii", funky, edgy, and out of the box.

Currently listening to: Lana Del Rey, Mariana & The Diamonds, Candy Hearts, I Prevail, and The Animal In Me

Favorite Brands: Hot Topic (of course), Betsey Johnson, Material Girl, Adorkable Apparel, The Moon Cult, & Nikki Lipstick.

An icon who inspires you: Traci Hines; she is an actress, singer, famous within the cosplay community, and has her own line, Adorkable Apparel.

Favorite place to eat in SF: Japantown is my favorite place to eat out. There are so many great choices for food! (I have a sushi addiction).

Dream Job: To make it to Hot Topic corporate, do something in marketing or anything else creative. Perhaps even work my way up to CEO... who knows?

Best Advice for FIDM Students: Always do the best that you can do. Love and be passionate at what you do.

Your FIDM experience in three words: Crazy, stressful and rewarding. 

You know you went to FIDM when: When I was a Fashion Design major... having to carry rolls of muslin and a giant toolbox on BART during rush hour. Fun times.

More about Brianna: 

I’m currently a Merchandise Marketing major who switched over from Fashion Design. I’m a Sales Associate at Hot Topic and I absolutely love my job. I live in Fremont, CA in the east bay but I grew up in Turlock, CA in the central valley a.k.a. “cow country.” Growing up in the central valley I never quite fit in; my outfits, and style were always over-the-top and fun. I seemed to always be ahead of the current fashion trends in high school. That’s why when I found out about FIDM, I knew it was where I belonged. I am creative and a total nerd. With that being said, I’m a cosplayer. I enjoy making costumes for myself, and a dressing up at cosplays as different characters like the Little Mermaid (Ariel is my alter ego), Rose Tyler from Doctor Who, and Sailor Moon. As you can see, a lot of my inspiration comes from Disney, Anime, and other pop culture references. I do cosplay photo shoots with my amazing photographer and cousin, Alicia Martinez. I’m trying to establish myself in the cosplay community so I can build a brand of my own. This is who I am. I’m over the top, outgoing, a total nerd, but hey that’s me. Brianna. 

Connect with Brianna:

Twitter @BriannaFIDM 

More about FIDM Social Ambassadors:

The FIDM Social Ambassador program is a team of FIDM Students who blog, tweet, vlog, photograph, and discuss their first-hand FIDM experience on social media. To apply to be a member of the FIDM Social Ambassador program, click here.

Student Life

Meet FIDM Social Ambassador Brianna Joseph

Get to know  FIDM Social Media Ambassador  Brianna Joseph, a Merchandise Marketing  Student  at our San Francisco campus. Follow Brianna on Twitter @BriannaFIDM and stay updated with her experience as...

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Serge lutens copy


Nostalgia for the analog is informing future technology, as designers and artists look for ways to move away from the web, and virtual design translates into real-world design. The old (turntables, forties style radios) meets the new (streamlined, more sustainable), especially with a twist of eighties retro thrown in. A hybrid has emerged blending the best of both worlds-the online and offline.  Digital breaks out into physical space in pixelated patterns, digitally warped shapes, and a ‘screen filtered’ look. The impact on art and design is felt in images and objects that have a flattened sensibility. Colors are saturated, and materials juxtaposed, like layering effects in design software.  The body is manipulated in elongated and oversized shapes, but body-conscious as well, in angular and slim sculptural forms. Tech and retail giants are answering the consumers’ call for more sustainable and renewable products. They are making the pledge to switch to renewable energy such as solar power, and creating furniture and other products that can be disassembled, recycled, and reused.


The digital world a la 1980s is influencing a return to power dressing, but this time around shapes are softer and more relaxed. Armani classics are being re-worked, and Serge Luten’s power glamor photography is revisited. Strong lines and bold colors are juxtaposed with delicate florals. The softer side of punk shows up in the New Romantic genre, an edgy prettiness reminiscent of new wave bands of the eighties. Colors are bright and saturated and pop like Pop Art.

A gender neutral sensibility continues in the oversized zoot suit, caged, sculpted, and cutaway looks. A glossiness abounds, with glamor and sex appeal taking center stage in ‘wet look’ reflective, glossed, patent, and sensual finishes. Japanese-inspired magazine editorials of the eighties welcome a mix-match of subcultures. Clashing, hallucinogenic animal prints, stacked arm bangles, and cinched waists recall ‘pretty punk’ girl bands. Solid and sheer strapping brings the body in focus in sporty designs, sometimes with graphic prints. Leathers are seeing graphic metallic printed surfaces.   


A street attitude in blazers and cropped, tapered trousers covered in graphic checks or an updated preppy look in artist palette brights keeps ‘young’ tailoring fun.  Traditional men’s tailoring is given a lift in graphic prints and textures, or blocked panels of differing patterns. A relaxed fit is still going strong, in the classic city overcoat, and tailored track pants with contrast side seam stripes. Printed shirts, in novelty or abstract patterns inspired by the 1980’s lends a nostalgic, retro feel. Optical graphic stripes paired with an edgy urban sports-casualwear feel is a reminder of street art inspirations.  A smart bohemian mood rendered in a warm, tonal palette embraces hand-crafted oversized intarsia knits, subtle textures in jacquard and chambray, and pull-on pajama shirts. Layers, such as hooded bomber jackets with detachable hoods and lining bring another dimension to design. Graphic camo all-over prints might be seen in mechanics or military style coveralls, or quilted down jackets. Artisan flair is a key component in sophisticated, textural fabrics. Casual and carefree is the attitude, while a modern fit and a nod to the past brings in double-breasted overcoats, corduroy suits, and tapered trousers.

Rory macarthur


A products’ complete life cycle from manufacture to disposal—the cradle-to-cradle concept—is becoming more important in the design industry. Renewable energy sources, implemented by big-box stores and furniture manufacturers, is helping to reduce the carbon footprint. Companies are producing biodegradable plastics for kitchen systems, strollers, and accessories. Office chairs are recyclable, compostable, and renewable and can be disassembled, reused, or recycled.

“Athleisure” living is incorporating athletic accessories like weights and bicycles into home décor, becoming a status symbol. The digital world inspires overlays of holographic and grid designs used in products and spaces. Gaming, 3D modelling software, and lighting accentuates interiors in an eighties new wave boldness. Graphic contrasts in brights and patterns pop on textiles and panels.  An ombre effect, or gradation of color is seen on glass, textiles, and panels. A high shine or sheen is evident in mirrored effects on furniture and product design. Colored lights outline and contour shapes, such as around an architectural indoor or outdoor detail. Lighting, as well is saturated in color for overall effect. Blitz blue and machine red are accented by electric magenta, jellybean green, and flash orange.  

The FIDM Library Style Report is by Cynthia Aaron.

The Latest Trends

From the FIDM Library: Summer 2015 Style Report

Overview: Nostalgia for the analog is informing future technology, as designers and artists look for ways to move away from the web, and virtual design translates into real-world design. The...

read more
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