After studying architecture at The Cooper Union, California native Julian Louie started to explore the relationship between architecture and fashion, and in the end, his fascination with the latter led to an internship with Francisco Costa of Calvin Klein. Costa chose Louie for the Italian Vogue/AWI-sponsored “Protégé Project.” For spring, Louie showed 15 looks in colors inspired by Tiepolo’s “Perseus and Andromeda” at The Frick Collection in New York. “It might be my favorite painting in the city,” he said. “It’s about all these odd neutrals combined with localized shots of saturated color.” The collection was scuba-meets-Baroque — think neoprene, plastic zippers and heavily encrusted beadwork — odd, but it worked well as his ode to Balenciaga’s spring 2003 collection. Louie played with colorblocking and proportion in a cocoon-shaped jacket paired with a fitted patchwork skirt. Some dresses had ruffled hems and tiered peplums, while others were intricately embellished with crystals. The attitude was whimsical and playful, but the execution of these girly looks was carefully considered. Louie is definitely a talent to watch.