Parsons The New School For Design, Class of 2011
Every year, Parsons The New School for Design mounts a presentation of work by graduating BFA fashion-design students, and I try to make a point of attending: as I’ve said before, I love the thrill of discovery. But even in a roomful of talent, my eye is always drawn to the standout work of just a few young designers. This time, the first dress I noticed was literally hanging from the ceiling on wires (and a little difficult to see from that perspective), but a video loop showed it on a model, coming down the runway, above. The designer’s name is Sherman Hung, and the dress itself is super chic!
Sherman says he was inspired by the idea of “a sophisticated woman who embodies leadership and effortless elegance”–and I, for one, can see myself wearing his clothes. Apparently, the discerning buyers at Saks Fifth Avenue feel the same way: they included some of Sherman’s pieces in the flagship store’s tribute windows honoring this year’s Parsons graduates.
Along with Sherman Hung, another designer who made the cut for Saks Fifth Avenue’s windows is the very talented Katherine Kim. But whereas Sherman’s aesthetic is sharp and minimalist, Katherine’s pieces, above, are full of color, shape and volume. Her entire collection was based on a romantic (and ironic) image of the American Dream, circa 1950. I wouldn’t necessarily wear such colorful, retro styles myself, but the combination made them a rare, and refreshing, break from New York’s typical black and grey.
Last but not least, this long, white gown by Owen MacRorie truly caught my eye, and reminded me of designs by Alexander McQueen–one of my favorite designers. Its bodice is a marvel of construction: cotton rope and silk tulle were woven together over a padded dress form, in a technique inspired by Native American basket work. Owen says he came up with the idea after reading a Native American myth about a star transformed into a white hawk: he wanted the gown to be structured and ethereal. Obviously, he succeeded.
The entire experience was exciting and inspirational–these young students are the future of fashion. Bravo to all!