The Supima show is different than most of the New York Fashion Week runway presentations. Supima is a textile manufacturer, not a fashion brand. Specifically, the company looms a type of luxury cotton material that is especially well suited for Spring/Summer wear. Since 2008 they have sponsored an annual contest highlighting emerging designers who make significant use of their fabric. The NYFW runway show highlights the eight finalists and the contest winner is announced at the end of the show.

This year’s eight finalists are: Bradley Mounce and Carly Rosenbrook from the Fashion Institute of Technology; Sylvia Bukowski and Will Riddle from Kent State; Hannah Soukup and Morgan Selin from the Rhode Island School of Design; and Michelle Leal and Rachel Buske from the Savannah College of Art and Design. The winner receives an award of $10,000.

The show was interesting to watch as designs ranged from very the very wearable to the artistic but impractical. There certainly is no shortage of talent among the designers and I would fully expect major design houses to scoop up all eight if at all possible. The more popular looks were sleek-lined with occasional cutouts and ruffles. Less reasonable were the plastic-looking pink panels from the Fashion Institute of Technology’s Carly Rosenbrook, or the orchid-inspired designs of Hannah Soukoup, who is from the Rhode Island school.

In the end, however, wearable won out over the artistic with Morgan Selin from the Rhode Island School of Design received the $10,000. Her blue and silver designs were elegant, stylish, and a very creative use of the fabric, showing both knee-length and formal gowns. Fashion celebrity Rachel Zoe presented the award after apologizing for actually missing a majority of the show because she was stuck in that infamous New York traffic. I’ll be anxious to watch for Ms. Selin’s name to appear on a line somewhere in the next three or four years.

Additional information about the contest participants and their designs can found at Supima’s web site.

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