Tart Collections Presented by Academy of Art University

By Roderick Macabenta
Photography by Carl Simpson

On Thursday, November 29 a group of 11 Academy of Art University fashion students presented their first-ever student-produced fashion show in the beautiful atrium of their Polk Street campus. Using clothing from Northern California-based fashion label Tart Collections, the students repurposed and styled a fresh new look for the holiday collection. Co-founder of Tart Collections Dana Finegold praises the students’ hard work in presenting their label, “I’m just really impressed with the outcome. I think they did an amazing job. We’ve done our own fashion shows and this was definitely comparable to our own.”

Tart Collections is known for their sexy, comfortable, and wearable clothing – notably their sexy jersey dresses and modern knitwear – taking California-casual and injecting it with a well-needed dose of sex appeal. Finegold continues to spill about this holiday’s inspiration, which takes elements of resort wear from the South of France, “Sexy, beautiful, and comfortable have to be in it.” And this holiday season fell nothing short of delivering all three elements. Taking the runway at Academy of Art was a show-stopping parade of long, draped dresses, layered with equally fluid knit tops and capes, slim fit cigarette pants, and sheer tops sure to find places in any woman’s wardrobe.

Perhaps even more to the success of the show was the minimalism that seemed to be key in the styling of the clothing. Too often runways are over-the-top presentations of fashions where only one or two elements of a look can actually be worn. The styling team, Cici Liu and Michaela D’Artois, managed to coordinate looks that could be bought straight off the model and worn out of the venue. Longer skirt silhouettes paired with décolleté backlines gave a sophisticated look while maintaining a fresh and youthful energy in bold black and white graphic prints and mixed textures of leather and soft jersey knit. Meanwhile, sassy leather skirts and leggings paired with sexy and flirty tops offered appeal to the younger crowd at the show. In all, the clothing was presented in a way that ensured there was enough variety to please every single fashionista in the room.

Going above and beyond most student productions, the producers of the show also included gift bags on every chair. Inside of the gift bag was a Hi Ball energy drink and a cashmere blend infinity scarf from Tart Collections (retail $55). The visual feast on the runway and parting gift from the collection itself made for the perfect inspiration to start your own Tart wardrobe.

All in all, the 11 students that set out to produce this show did an absolutely wonderful job showcasing local fashion at its best. The runway left me craving for more not only from Tart Collections, but also from the stunning styling skills that put the show together. With the holidays slowly approaching, Tart Collections offers a wide variety of fashionable options for the office holiday party as well as ringing in the New Year dressed like a Hollywood starlet. So, what do you plan on wearing this holiday season?

Roderick Macabenta (A.K.A. Sardonic Style) is a San Francisco based wardrobe stylist and fashion show producer. His passion is truly for creating breathtaking and innovative imagery by marrying the things that inspire him creatively: music, art, theatre, dance, and (of course) fashion. He studied fashion merchandising and fashion styling at City College of San Francisco after taking a year of photography and colour theory classes at Academy of Art University. In his free time he enjoys being part of a hip hop and jazz dance company collaborating with local artists on promoting art and creativity in the Bay Area, and updating his personal blog and portfolio site (SardonicStyle.com).