- Jackie Mallon |
While the rest of the world zeroed in on soccer’s finalists for the World Cup, the CFDA held a two day event coinciding with New York Fashion Week Men’s to showcase the best of 2018’s graduate fashion designers. Fashion Futures Graduate Showcase presented the work of 53 top-of-the-crop students personally selected by the CFDA in partnership with the New York City Economic Development Corporation. Emerging from 8 of the nation’s top schools the graduates exhibited their portfolios along with looks from their final collections at Industria Studios in Manhattan. The schools represented were Parsons School of Design, Pratt Institute, Fashion Institute of Technology, Rhode Island School of Design, Savannah College of Art and Design, Kent State University, Academy of Art University, and California College of the Arts. The purpose of the event was to provide industry exposure for the most exciting new designers, keeping the talent pipeline flowing into the fashion capital’s garment industry. The group was then further whittled and the following 4 designers were chosen to participate in a presentation on the morning of the final day of New York Fashion Week Men’s.
Zhouyi Li from San Francisco’s Academy of Art University likens designing clothes to building a home right on one’s body and the angular protrusions in rich terracotta leather emerging from the black tailoring recall the modular components of our favorite Restoration Hardware sofa. A chip off the old block, her father worked in the construction business and so buildings and sculptures are her go-to source of inspiration.
Peng Ye of Parsons School of Design says she is interested in minimalism but her interpretation eschews the idea of simplicity the word is typically imbued with in favor of sleek randomness and what she describes as a “concentration of enriched process.”
Pratt’s Taliah Leslie draws from the festivals and rituals of her multicultural background to experiment with textiles in dynamic colors combinations and create clothes that demonstrate strength and inclusivity.
Parsons graduate Britt Luttio’s collection, a blend of gentle drape and deconstructed tailoring, is fueled by her love of art and dressmaking. Dealing with topics of identity and femininity in a predominantly black palette with shots of red, merging shine with opaque, the psyche of the contemporary woman is revealed in the myriad possibilities of shape and cut.
Fashion editor Jackie Mallon is also an educator and author of Silk for the Feed Dogs, a novel set in the international fashion industry.
Photos by FashionUnited.com