I went to Parsons today, where I had the privilege of viewing the capsule collections of the finalists for the Designer of the Year award, which will be announced Wednesday evening at the Parsons Fashion Benefit. The presentations today lasted over 3 hours and it was worth every minute (plus, it was nice to be sitting in a fashion show instead of sitting on a piano bench for a change). I was damn impressed. These talented fashion students spent months on their creations, and their inspiration and attention to their art clearly shined through both their pieces and their oral presentations. We are extremely excited to collaborate with Parsons for a top-secret event that will take place this Fall.
I got some decent snaps (as decent as is humanly possible with my old digital), but my camera ran out of battery for Michelle Copelman’s presentation, one of my favorites this afternoon! But maybe we’ll see her stocked at Barney’s soon!
Some collections had themes in common; for instance, Julia Blum, Robert Fitzsimmons, and Shawn Reddy spoke of having the independent, confident woman in mind when designing their collections. Blum drew inspiration for her lingerie line, Ardor, from a novel she had read where women were portrayed as powerful. Fitzsimmons’ collection referenced the sport of wrestling and he mentioned having read Maureen Dowd’s book “Are Men Necessary?” and found the idea fascinating, while Shawn Reddy mentioned that he grew up with very active women and has always been attracted to young women in suits.
The idea of being enclosed or covered was shared in Anna Zurick’s and Bessie Afnaim’s collections, but in completely different ways: Zurick took the idea of feeling trapped and based her collection on “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly,” a memoir by late French Elle editor Jean-Dominique Bauby while he had locked-in syndrome (completely written by blinking his eyes), while Afnaim talked about feeling safe and protected. Both collections looked extremely comfortable, with Zurick’s super padded designs and Afnaim’s soft, washed fabrics, and Rachel Cohen’s line was made to feel comfortable as well, not to mention easy to wear. Like her peers, Cohen also mentioned her wearer as a confident women (seems no one cares to have vulnerable women wearing their clothes!)
Although there are some similarities in inspiration and themes, these students’s collections were definitely completely different from one another. Take a look…