Kent State University Fashion Graduate Portfolio Show

From a record number of 129 fashion design graduates this year, 24 students from Kent State University’s Fashion School made their way to NYC, together with 20 merchandising students, all fresh from the previous weekend’s graduation ceremony. Their destination: the school’s Manhattan campus where an open house was scheduled to introduce the students and their portfolios to members of the industry. Next stop: employment for a talent pool that offered everything from activewear to custom bridal…

Kent State University Fashion Graduate Portfolio Show

Cross-fit fanatic, Maddie Jordan whose interests have resided in both costume design and athleisure, committed wholeheartedly to the latter to present a portfolio of technical attire attuned to the needs of the athletic, unisex, goal-oriented consumer, or as she puts it: “design for the daily grind.”

Kent State University Fashion Graduate Portfolio Show

Austin Bruening’s collection, “Wag’s De-lite”––the name of his grandparents’ houseboat–– brings bondage elements to the tranquil shores of Lake Erie, while Ian Satkowski dived into the utilitarian philosophies of Danish architect Jørn Utson for a gentle, airy collection featuring shirting and organza, eschewing buttons or zippers in favor of ties and drape.

Kent State University Fashion Graduate Portfolio Show

Kristina Rhen’s thesis collection “The Recalcitrant” explores the work of Pablo Picasso and the controversy surrounding his work “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon,” playing off Picasso’s subversion of societal norms by altering the stereotypes of femininity that are seen in both historical and present-day women’s fashion, like the corset and contemporary shapewear.

Kent State University Fashion Graduate Portfolio Show

“Best in show” awardee and knit specialist, Alannah Lizun, has been selected to represent the school in this year’s Supima competition so will be returning to Kent State for the summer to sew her submission collection in preparation for its New York Fashion Week September runway. In her thesis collection she knitted unusual “yarns” including mylar balloons bought in a dollar store, shower curtains, swimsuit bias strips, interspersed with panels of home-made sequins cut from old patternmaking blocks.

Kent State University Fashion Graduate Portfolio Show

While several students were leaving the event to go apartment-hunting in Harlem, their eyes already fixed on NYC, and others contemplated a masters program in a top London school, wedding and eveningwear designer Eoanna Ragias prefers to check out opportunities in the Midwest, and Kate Schmidt gears up for her Masters program at University of Colorado, her ultimate goal to enter academia and teach the designers of the future.

Kent State University Fashion Graduate Portfolio Show

Work featured from Alyssa Patrick, Madeline Jordan, Austin Bruening, Ian Satkowski, Kristina Rhen, Alannah Lizun, Eoanna Ragias.

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: FashionUnited