|GEN ART Styles 2006:
8th Annual International Runway Show
and Awards Competition "Sparkles"
By Athena Starr, photos by Stephanie Parker
Gen Art presented Gen Art Styles 2006, the 8th Annual International Runway Show and Awards Competition this past May at New York City's famous Hammerstein Ballroom. Dedicated to showcasing the best emerging talent in fashion in New York and Los Angeles, the competition featured 30 fashion designers chosen from over 800 entries, including 29 countries and 33 from the United States. Attended by a high profile audience, press, celebrities and potential consumers, President of GEN Art, Ian Gerard opened the show with vigor and appreciation for the participants and sponsors. Joined by Mary Gehlar, Gen Art Fashion Director, they introduced the show's emcee, actress Jessica Capshaw.
The competition's judges included designer Diane von Furstenberg, Nicole Miller, John Bartlett, Joseph Abboud, Michael Vollbracht (Bill Blass), Rebecca Taylor, Richard Lambertson (Lambertson/Truex), journalist/tv host Mary Alice Stephenson and Project Runway's Tim Gunn. This year the show featured a new immediate electronic voting system for the judging panel so each award category immediately followed its presentation with precision timing. The $35,000 total award winnings came from women's ready to wear, avant garde, evening wear and accessories. Five of the Motorola Design Vision Awards came with $5,000 grants and the Perrier Bubbling Under Award, inspired by "Sparkle", came with a $10,000 grant for the winner.
For a first time in the Gen Art competition's eight year history, one designer garnered two Motorola Design Vision Awards, earning Brazilian-born Bruno Grizzo (New York, NY) a $5,000 grant each for women's evening wear and for women's ready to wear. Other awards for excellence went to Tivi (Colorado, USA) for accessories, Nylo by Bryan Wang (New York, NY), for menswear, Yusuke Amatsu (New York, NY) for women's avant garde and Zoe Hong (San Francisco, CA) won a $10,000 grant for the Perrier Bubbling Under Award "Sparkle" award.