Couture Fashion Week founder and producer Andres Aquino received the “Style Fashion Leader & Inspiration Award” from SUNY Westchester Community College. In a special ceremony and reception held at the elegant La Panetiere restaurant in Rye, NY, the award was presented by Professor Phyllis Fein, Curriculum Chair Fashion Merchandising on April 16, 2010.
Over the last few years Mr. Aquino has developed a dynamic relationship with SUNY WCC. Each season many of the college’s fashion merchandising students volunteer at Couture Fashion Week sharpening their skills with hands-on experience at the prestigious fashion event with activities ranging from assisting designers backstage to technical and front-of-house assignments.
SUNY Westchester Community College is celebrating the 10th anniversary of its fashion program and is introducing The Fashion Technology & Production Degree. During summer 2010 SUNY WCC fashion students will be taking part in a special study abroad collaboration with the Scuola Leonardo Da Vinci in Milan.
“It is indeed an honor to receive this special award,” said Andres Aquino. “The experience of working with Professor Fein and the enthusiastic and energetic fashion students has been a very positive one for Couture Fashion Week. We look forward to continuing our partnership with this great fashion merchandising school, and wish the program much continued success as it grows.”
In addition his role as producer of Couture Fashion Week, Andres Aquino is also an accomplished fashion designer. He has presented his designs at fashion events worldwide, including Romania, India, Dubai, and the Dominican Republic as well as Palm Beach and New York City, and his fashion accomplishments have been covered by press around the globe.
Upcoming shows by Mr. Aquino include a gala couture fashion show in St. Croix, US Virgin Islands in May 2010 as part of a literacy fundraiser, and a new collection to be featured at Couture Fashion Week at 8:00 p.m. on September 11, 2010 at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City.
More about Andres Aquino
New York-based fashion show producer and designer Andres Aquino continues to build his international brand worldwide. His recent fashion show at Dubai Fashion Week was a well-received dramatic experience for a market is that heavily inclined to more conservative and traditional fashion collections and presentation styles.
Held on April 3, 2010 in the Godolphin Ballroom of the luxurious Jumeirah Emirates Towers, Mr. Aquino’s fashion show at Dubai Fashion Week featured his trademark theatrical elements enhancing the stunning ensembles shown on the runway. The show opened with a performance by Italian singer/dancer Cecilia Herrera Frioni wearing a tropical dress by Andres Aquino, and continued with vignettes and tableaux of models showcasing a range of gowns in different colors and styles. Artistic hair styles were beautifully executed by the Juice team and the creative makeup was done by the L’Oreal team. The overall style of the fashion designs was sophisticated, elegant and bright. Many gowns were enhanced by custom made oversized necklaces by Toronto-based jewelry designer Lek Nasuwan of Siam Gallery.
“My theater background played a lot into my designs”, notes Mr. Aquino. “I think women are dramatic in the way they walk, speak, and express themselves. I create clothes for many different types of women because every woman is different. No two women are the same, so the clothing should reflect their personality, like a character on stage.”
Andres Aquino’s worldwide fashion journey has seen him showing his collections in New York, Palm Beach, the Dominican Republic, Romania, Mexico, India, Dubai and soon in St. Croix in the US Virgin Islands. In each destination he leaves an impression of fashion as fun and entertaining by incorporating theatrical elements, dance, songs and drama into his runway shows. “I am flattered to see that other designers are starting to copy some of my stage presentation formula,” says Mr. Aquino. “It certainly makes fashion shows more exciting.” Andres Aquino is also the founder and producer of Couture Fashion Week.
“Aquino did his bit to inject a bit of drama and theatrics onto the catwalk. Kicking off with a live rendition of a love song, the models strutted down in a string of vintage gowns made in satin and lace and pleated dresses…Models who doubled up as celebrities trying to ward off paparazzi and women who shrugged off their suitors added much-needed drama… The accessories — the chunky pearls and metallic chokers (by Lek Nasuwan) — added a zany touch.” — Gulf News by Manjusha Radhakrishnan, staff reporter; April 5, 2010.
“Andres Aquino, based in New York, is a tireless fashion industry producer and designer. He has been featured in numerous magazines, newspapers and TV channels worldwide including Fashion TV, Collezioni, Book Moda and Moda Style International. His artistic endeavors have taken him from theater directing and writing to fashion design, whilst his designs have graced Couture Fashion Week runways for several years. The object of his Autumn/Winter 2010 collection is to bring out the inner divinity in every woman.” — SheClick.com; April 08, 2010
In a TV interview with Arabian Business, Mr. Aquino noted that he is known as the “Collaborator” because he welcomes other creative artists to his platform to share their creativity. The interview can be seen on line at http://www.arabianbusiness.com/585505-dubai-fashion-week-video-latest
“Beautiful colors and exquisite pleating, added detail and drama to this New York-based designer’s collection. I fell head over heels for this gown, which I call the “Layer Cake Dress.” — DubaisItGirl.com
The Harvard Salient
An Attractive Economic “Model”
February 24, 2009 by admin
High fashion is a sign of hope in our failing economy
By Amelia G. Mango
Someone needs to take Timothy Geithner dress shopping.
Not that he should, under any circumstances, be wearing a dress, because I don’t think he’d look very good in one. Even a beautiful dress has limits. Randy Moss could don a Badgley Mischka gown and Louboutins and still not pass for Beyonce. But if anyone among us needs reassurance that things will, in the end, be okay, Geither is that man.
The issue of a “flat world” has been addressed ad nauseum by economists and political scientists alike for nearly a decade now, generally in terms of lofty goals like “international cooperation” or “economic optimization.” But if any of us frivolous folk were looking for a less weighty manifestation of the trend, we need look no further than the collections shown under the auspices of Andres Aquino during February’s Fashion Week events in New York City.
Designers showing alongside Aquino at the Waldorf Astoria hotel’s Starlight Room included the Cairo-based Soucha, Dany Atrache, of Lebanon, Australian Linda Ellis, and Dominican Jorge Diep. With such an international array of talent, it was only fitting that the crowd was equally as colorful and multilingual. Would that WTO delegates in Doha had been so appreciative of cultural differences.
Aquino, himself a native of the Dominican Republic, is something of a renaissance man in the fashion industry, a professional photographer and show organizer as well as a designer. Broad creative portfolio aside, Aquino’s strengths as a networker and visionary wouldn’t be out of place in policy circles. Come to think of it, I hereby endorse any future Galliano-Aquino gubernatorial attempt.
Aqunio turned global inspiration into artistic masterpieces in his latest fall collection. His runway show in New York included his interpretations of national costumes–the benefits of globalization, indeed! The distinctly different creative works were drawn together by a common thread (if you’ll pardon the pun) of superior craftsmanship and attention to fine details of dress. Whether flamenco-style tiered gowns in shades of lilac, African-influenced textiles accented with Kenyan beaded jewelry, or Japanese silk dresses topped by stylized chopstick hair accessories, Aquino’s willingness to incorporate the most beautiful and exotic aspects of a culture into his designs lends his work unparalleled artistic merit.
It says something about the resilient and enduring nature of the art of fashion that in the midst of Ponzi schemes, scandals and foundering car companies, designers the world over convened, as tradition dictates, in New York to exhibit their works. Never mind volatile markets and shrinking liquidity; these men and women have simply chosen not to participate in the global financial crisis. I suppose when one’s price point is set by dresses that take hundreds of man hours to create, the day-to-day fluctuations of the stock market are something of a nonissue.
Undoubtedly, someone, somewhere, is complaining that while chief executives scramble to keep their companies afloat, the fashion world conducts business as usual. This isn’t entirely the case—those with an eye for marketing strategy will note the decided turn toward the “investment” aspect of couture purchases. Perhaps this carries some weight for a woman trying to decide whether to spend $14,000 on a dress. Perhaps not. Were I in the position to be making that type of purchase in the first place, I can’t imagine I’d be simultaneously struggling to pay off my subprime mortgage. I’m willing to bet I’m not the first to point out the importance of the fashion industry, and not just in economic terms.
The demise of haute couture fashion houses is understandably not a top concern among economics heavyweights these days. Professor Mankiw does not, to my knowledge, spend much of his lecture time discussing the macro- and micro-economic implications of fluctuations in Louis Vuitton’s market share vis-à-vis that of Prada. In an entire semester of Economics 1400, Larry Summers never once mentioned the value-added labor that turns fine silk and Murano glass beads into a Dior gown. I don’t suggest this is altogether a bad thing, nor do I present it as the sole reason why Geithner’s closet is (most likely) devoid of made-to-order ballgowns. Few people can appreciate the beauty of both a Laffer curve and Lanvin.
As anyone who has been even marginally attentive to the news knows, our financial institutions are between a rock and a hard place, and if mainstream professional opinion on the subject is to be believed, there’s no light at the end of the tunnel just yet. What people need is not more bad news. They need the freedom to dream, the inspiration that only art—including the art of high fashion—can provide. We need fashion as a mode of expression as much as we need tax policy reform and alternative energy. Maybe even more so. Didn’t we just elect a president on the basis of a policy-devoid platform of “hope and change?” I give Obama credit for getting it so right without even trying. If we want hope for the future, what better way to get it than by changing–out of last year’s tired styles, and into this year’s globally inspired Andres Aquino styles.