Category Archives: Fun On Campus

Blush Magazine – Spring Issue

For all of you that may or may not know, I am a part of Blush Magazine, the beauty and fashion magazine here at FIT as the Senior Photo Editor.  Our brand new Spring issue comes out this week on newsstands here at FIT.  Be sure to pick up a copy before they are gone!  Everyone on the Blush Magazine team works really hard to put out a really strong and beautiful issue.  We are completely student run from the articles to the photo shoots to the layout and more.  If you want to join Blush Magazine, we meet on Tuesday’s (not every week) in B736 during common hour.  We are having a meeting tomorrow, 3/24 for planning for our summer issue!  If you miss this meeting, email blush_magazine@fitnyc.edu to find out information for our future meetings.  Below is a sneak preview of our fashion editorial shoot for this spring issue!

Notes From the 6 Train: LNAP!

Bi-semesterly (is that a word) the FIT Writing Center offers additional help during LNAP! What is LNAP may you ask? Well, it stands for Late Night Against Procrastination. It’s when the Writing Center keeps its doors open until midnight and is offered during midterms and final week. It’s this upcoming Monday, March 23rd!

It’s the perfect time to get the ball rolling on all your midterms projects and papers. There will be pizza (yay!, because who has time to prepare a course meal during midterms) and more than the average number of tutors to assist you with your work. Even if you just want to get out of your room for a bit and hang out in the writing center that’s perfectly fine too!

Midterms and finals are usually high stress times but they don’t have to be! There are resources and people who want to assist you in your success!

And when you have a little guidance, it can really make a huge difference. Unfortunately, I won’t be there this time, but come through! There will be plenty of eager tutors waiting to help.

Discovering a Major: Jewelry Design

by Ashley Yakaboski as told to Emily Bennett

Ashley Yakaboski

Ashley Yakaboski

                  When it came time for me to decide on a major and to start looking into colleges, I was one of those people who really wasn’t sure where they wanted to go, or what they wanted to do. Being a creative spirit, and someone who grew up playing with beads and making jewelry throughout high school, the decision to enter into the Jewelry Design program came from my mother. I had always known about FIT, but when my mother informed me about the program I thought this must be a sign. I had never known that such a program existed, so when my mom said, “Ashley, you love making jewelry and working with your hands, why don’t you just apply and see what happens?” I started thinking about it seriously. Since being a part of the Jewelry Design program here at FIT, my love for design has only become more passionate. For me, jewelry is something that is always on my mind.

Looking into different schools I found that this was the only program that was appropriate for what I wanted to learn. Other schools have metal smithing, but FIT has everything from designing to actually making jewelry. For someone who never had much talent in drawing and painting before, my admissions process was a bit difficult, but rewarding. My first task was to write three different essays, one asked why I wanted to go into the jewelry program, and I had to prepare a portfolio. Taking an art portfolio class my senior year in high school was where I spent my time working on drawings and designs that I would submit. I also included pictures of different bead works I made at home. Coming to FIT to show my portfolio was intimidating, but in the end the chairman has positive things to say.

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Jewelry Design is a major where you either fall in love with the program, or you fall apart. The teachers are so knowledgeable, passionate, and patient that you can’t help but be inspired by them. Jewelry Design is a small, close-knit program where you learn everything you need to know about making jewelry, from designs, technical drawings, soldering, wax carving and so forth. In Jewelry Design the main goal is to understand the process of jewelry and all the different aspects of it, so that way you can discover exactly what part of design you enjoy.

Since Jewelry Design is only an Associates program, they cram many different classes into your schedule. My first semester the main classes were Basic Sculpture, Drawing, Beginning Soldering Techniques, Piercing and Sawing, Wax Carving, Mechanical Drafting, Intro to Jewelry Design, and lastly Tools, Equipment and Processes. After learning all the basics you are then submerged in other classes such as Casting, White Metal Model, Jewelry Design Two, and eventually you pick between studio classes and jewelry design for your third and fourth semester. (Studio classes only involve the techniques of physically creating jewelry, and jewelry design only involves designing and rendering)

Design I created for my final portfolio

Design I created for my final portfolio

I have taken so many inspirational classes and each teacher has given me so much, but one of my favorites was Jewelry Casting with Rebekah Laskin. I never knew there are so many options when it comes to casting. Although I made a lot of mistakes in this class, those mistakes further helped me understand the process. In this class we took part in cuttlefish casting, where you pour hot metal into a cuttlefish bone, and the bone becomes the design. We also had a project where we were supposed to take a found object and get a mold and casting of it, then our found object would then be made into metal and jewelry. I had lace casted and made a pretty pair of earrings and ring.

From the casting class

From the casting class

Jewelry Design here at FIT prepares us to either work in studios, where we make jewelry, or we can work for companies that need designers to design and render different pieces that can be manufactured by the company. My ultimate goal would be to have my own home studio where I can design and make jewelry, depending on my inspiration.

Since graduating from Jewelry Design, I am now in a completely different major at FIT called Production Management, where we learn about the mass production or garments and all the steps of making a garment, from the tools, stitches, seam, construction, fabrics and so forth all in order to make the garment in the most efficient way. Although Jewelry Design is completely different from Production Management, and although I miss Jewelry Design tremendously, I have discovered that I have different areas of interest, but I also have learned that I further see myself working in the jewelry industry.

FIT Tigers Tennis Team!

FIT Tigers Tennis Team!

While in Jewelry Design the least amount of classes I took in a semester was 10 and my most was 12, so the idea of having an internship during that time is unimaginable. In Production Management I am eligible for an internship my senior year, so until then I am focusing on school and side projects. Even so, I am a very busy bee and time management is my ultimate strength in life. I was involved with the FIT women’s tennis team for two years, I am a student designer for the Style Shop, I was involved in the FIT Skyliners Acapella group for two semesters, I am involved with the production management club, I am a Resident Assistant and mentor, I am a Student Ambassador and I still have time for side projects that make me happy. In all honesty it sounds like a lot and that it would be hard to maintain extracurriculars, but that is the beauty of time management and calendars! Furthermore, when faced with a homework assignment it is always my priority to get it done right away in order to enjoy my free time with these extracurriculars, which make me less stressed.

Since starting FIT I have learned so much about myself and my future, but I think the most influential thing I learned was that everyone has different styles and techniques and each one is unique to who they are. Each project, assignment, and talk with a teacher is something that we shouldn’t take for granted because in those moments we learn about ourselves and about what we like in our major. If you don’t take that seriously, then how will you ever know if you are learning and ultimately how will you know where you see yourself going in life?


To learn more about the Jewelry Design major click here!

–Emily–

Notes From The 6 Train: Uncovering Programs To Get To School (EOP Program)

With Junior Day having just past, I want to write about programs that you may not have even known about at FIT!

I interviewed my friend Nicholas about he joined the EOP program, what he gained from it and what he continues to gain from the program. First, I shall start with what the EOP stands for, it means the Educational Opportunity Program, a program offered to New York residents for additionally support when needed.

Colleges know that life is tricky sometimes, They understand that maybe you lived in particularly stressful environment, or went through a plethora of family problems while in high school, so your GPA isn’t the highest. However, if the school still sees you as an asset they want to aid you in your success. EOP is the support system ensure your success before and throughout the duration of the college experience.

Nicholas said that the highlights of his experience as an EOP student are as follows:

-potential for additional financial aid (who doesn’t want that?)

-the summer program before beginning the official semesters (that apparently have super interesting courses & give you a chance to experience different majors if you’re still deciding)
having the unwavering guidance of your specific EOP counselor that helps throughout your college career)

-access to other helpful programs throughout the schoolyear

-meet other EOP scholars, and create a strong support system before starting school (which is a luxury, I must tell ya)
not only meeting other EOP scholars, but also meeting students outside outside of your major.

As mentioned before, EOP is offered exclusively to NYC residents, but programs with similar missions are abundant across the country. If you think you are interested in applying for the EOP program I’ve included the link below.

All things Color, Love, & Fashion,
Ayanna L.

http://www.fitnyc.edu/2920.asp (For FIT)

http://www.suny.edu/student/faq/faq.cfm?faqname=EOPFAQ (For all state schools)

Pre-College Programs

If you just cannot wait to study at FIT, there are classes available to middle and high school students. The program is called Saturday Live (or Summer Live depending on what time of year it is). One of my friends, who is now at RISD, told me about the classes and I ended up taking  five different courses while I was in high school:

Manual Patternmaking and Sewing

Introduction to Fashion Design Industry

Creative Fabric Painting

Fashion Art for Fashion Designers

Fashion Art Portfolio

The classes would run from 9-12 and then 1-4 after lunch. I lived in Westchester so I did the morning Metronorth commute with all the parents who lived in my town. The classes were good for laying down the basics for the courses I would take when I got to college. They were fun and not very stressful, so we could take risks and not worry about failing. You do get graded in these courses, but the grades do not hold any college credit value and are therefore just meant to help you evaluate yourself.

While you certainly could never replace, say, the college level patternmaking couse with the one I took over the summer, the classes were a fantastic place to meet other fashion-focused kids my age, test the waters of various disciplines and evaluate my base skill levels.

I realized that I was set on going into fashion design in college, so I took classes specifically to improve my portfolio. Taking these classes certainly does not guarantee you will get into FIT, but actually working in the classrooms with real teachers from the college helps tremendously. I think it also gives a great sneak peak into what it would actually be like to go to FIT. My Fashion Art Portfolio teacher reviewed my portfolio before I sent it in with my application and then I ended up having her as my Fashion Art & Design professor second semester! She even recognized me on the first day of class. Now, they have even organized the classes into groups so you can see which to take in preparation for certain majors.

–Emily–

Girls (and Guys) Gotta Eat!

Although there are ample places to get food around FIT, we do have dining plans for anyone who wishes to have one. In fact, for anyone living in the Coed or Nagler residence halls, a dining plan is required (because those dorms do not have kitchens).

There are different types of meal plans offered. Each one includes a certain amount of declining balance money. This can be used for items that are not “meals” like candy bars, bottled drinks, Starbucks items, etc.  Meals include an entree, drink, side salad, fruit or cookies. The different plans include varying amounts of declining balance dollars and meals per week. (ex: 14 meals a week with $110 declining balance for the semester) However, money can always be added to the declining balance if you run out. Declining balance money carries over from Fall to Spring semesters, but not when a new academic year starts.

For more information on Dining Plans click here. And for FAQs click here.

The dining hall entrance

The dining hall entrance

There are several different places you can get food on your meal plan. First is the main dining hall in the Dubinsky Center. There is a grill station (you’ve got your standard hamburger selection, quesadillas, fish fillets, etc.), sandwich station, salad and soup bar, pizza, sushi and breakfast bar.

Breakfast cereals and coffee

Breakfast cereals and coffee

The Salad Bar

The Salad Bar

The dining hall

The dining hall

The dining hall itself is pretty basic, although FITSA and Student Life do hold different activities there throughout the week. Last week there was breakfast for dinner where scrambled eggs, hash browns, pancakes, etc. were given to students for free after 9pm. Also, a movie is screened every Wednesday night at 8 (save on those vastly over priced movie tickets and popcorn!)

FIT's Starbucks

FIT’s Starbucks

We also have a Starbucks on campus where, as I mentioned earlier, you can use your declining balance, which is nice because if you come during a break in class you don’t have to bring your wallet down, just your id.

FIT Express dining

FIT Express dining

"Grab and Go" salad and sandwich options

“Grab and Go” salad and sandwich options

There is also the “FIT Express Cafe” in the lobby of the Feldman building. You can’t have food made for you here, but there are “grab and go” options like sandwiches, salads, snacks, candy, coffee, fruit, bottled drinks, etc. I use this more than the main dining hall now because I don’t live on campus or have a dining plan, and almost all my classes are in the Feldman building. It is extremely convenient.

If you are living off campus or in Alumni or Kaufman, a dining plan is not required. There are many grocery stores and food options along Seventh and Eighth Avenues, so no need to worry. I had a dining plan for my freshman year but did not get it after that. Personally, I used the declining balance a lot, but never used up all my meals each week. It really depends on each person and their preferred diet though.

–Emily–

Notes From the 6 Train: How to Survive the 12 Hour School-day

So I’m kind of a pro on this topic. Because I take 6 credits every semester, and only want to come to campus (at most 3 days a week, last semester it was 2) I usually end up having one day where I’m at campus for 12 hours, from 9 am to 9 pm. This is not my preferred schedule, but the class always seem to line up like this, so let me give you a play by play on how I survive, in case you ever find yourself in a similar position. This is particularly true for commuter students who have to travel long distances to come to campus.

1. First, and most importantly, I remind myself that I only come 2 or 3 days a week.

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2. Eat to win! I pack my lunch everyday, and it especially on these longs because going on and off campus to get food can be such a hassle, plus super expensive. You will need:
– A water bottle (gotta stay hydrated)
– A full lunch (full of protein, as you will need that energy to remain focused during your classes)
– Snacks! This one is pretty self explanatory.

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3. Use whatever time you’re not in class to your advantage. You won’t be in class during the entire time. I have 3 classes that are scheduled in 3 hour time blocks, but I have still about 3 hours in between to kill. During these breaks I get work done, get a massage or acupuncture at the health clinic (this does have to be scheduled in advanced though) or even take a free fitness to waken myself up (there are free classes at the gym at FIT.) Though, with this last option I obviously I don’t do a really sweat inducing workout. I would suggest yoga.

Other things you can doing your breaks:

– Work! On campus jobs or workstudy
– Take a nap. the commuter lounge was basically made for that

CCG-Countdown-to-grad-school-checklist

4. Handle all of your on campus errands.
– Running to financial aid/ bursar’s office
– Go to a club meeting/ events held during common hours
– Go to a tutoring center/ visit a teacher’s office hours

I know that a 12 hour day seems daunting, but when you get home after such a productive day you feel good! Luckily, my 12 hour day is Thursday, and I have no classes on Friday so I either start my weekend early and go out OR go home and enjoy the well deserved, blissful rest.

All things Color, Love, & Fashion,
Ayanna L.

Notes From The 6 Train: New Opportunities Alert!

I’m a tutor at the writing center now. Yay! It’s something I’ve thought about much in the past and finally applied this past semester. I will begin working at the beginning of February. I know we’ve discussed the tutor/writing centers before but I’ve done more research since being hired.

The FIT Writing Center holds monthly seminars that focuses on different elements to improve your writing (super exciting for someone whose a writing nerd such as I). The FIT Writing Center also participates in writing conferences that take place all over, last year they went to Disney World and the year before they went to Germany (and from what I hear it’s sponsored by FIT, that just means = free! But I have to do a bit more detective work about this.)

Also, it is a paid position on campus AND is more than minimum wage. And you’re only obligated to work 6 hours weekly (but you can work more if you want) and they are quite flexible about scheduling. So when thinking about a job, you might not need to look very far, maybe just over your shoulder or a few doors down!

All things Color, Love, & Fashion,
Ayanna L.

Student Ambassador Application!

Remember those awesome people that led your orientation group when you were a new student?  Those are FIT’s Student Ambassadors!  Student Ambassadors lead orientation, help with residential move-in, and events throughout the year.  The program is immensely rewarding and tons of fun!  The program itself is the equivalent of a large, wonderful family all breaking out into song…specifically Beyonce.  As a Student Ambassador you not only get FIT shirts/a jacket as your uniform (exclusive to the program), you also get paid but the experience is so rewarding, I would do be a part of the program even if it was volunteers only!  Being a Student Ambassador has truly been life changing and has made my experience at FIT incredible!

If you are interested in becoming a Student Ambassador (current Freshman-Juniors only) for the 2015-2016 school year here is the link to the Student Ambassador page/application: http://www.fitnyc.edu/3158.asp.  Applications are due Friday, February 23rd at 5pm!  Hope to see you soon!

Ashley

Influencers at FIT – Valerie Steele

Here at FIT we have a vast resource at our fingertips: the Museum at FIT (located below the Gladys Marcus library). In addition to the numerous exhibitions held every year, students also have access to the study collection where garments, accessories and textiles can be seen up close.  Valerie Steele is the curator of the Museum, a prolific fashion academic, and the editor of the journal Fashion Theory. I sat down with Ms. Steele to discuss her impressive history as well as the museum’s past and future:

Credit: Aaron Cobbett

Credit: Aaron Cobbett

This interview has been edited and condensed for publication


Since this interview is for the Admissions Blog, I wanted to ask you a little about your own education. What did you find most helpful about your university education?

Hmm…well, I’ve never been asked that before. I guess that the most important thing I learned, both as an undergraduate at Dartmouth and a graduate student at Yale, was how to do research–learning how to use primary research. I know when I used to teach in the graduate school here at FIT, that was something I pounded into the students, the difference between primary and secondary research. That was something I thought was especially important.

You said that while getting your PhD the study of fashion was really vilified. Being here in New York, which is one of the “big four” fashion capitals, and also being here at FIT one of the best design schools, it may seem like this has passed, but do you think there has actually been change outside of this bubble?

Well, I think fashion is much more accepted as a field of serious study. There are many more people around the world working on articles, books and exhibitions about fashion. On the other hand, there are still very few places that offer a doctorate in fashion studies. It is still very much an interdisciplinary field. So, if you want to go ahead and study fashion you still have to think, “Will I be in an art history department or history or cultural studies? Where can I find someplace to study that?”

And you never studied museum-ology or museum theory, so was it difficult to transition from academic writing to more creatively focused exhibitions?

It’s interesting you should ask that. My doctorate is in Modern European Cultural and Intellectual History, but I did every single class, except one, and my dissertation in the history of fashion. When I started teaching in the graduate school at FIT, it was in what was then the Museum Studies Costume and Textiles Department, now it is called Fashion and Textiles Studies: History, Theory and Museum Practice. So I was teaching fashion history, but within the framework of a museum studies program. Obviously it was exciting and new to actually be putting on exhibitions here. That was a big thrill. It is not that different from the kind of research you do for putting together a big article or a book. In fact, all my big exhibitions here are accompanied by a book as well, so it is the same kind of research procedure.

In that same vein, who do you see as the audience of the Museum at FIT, and how do you pique their interests?

Well, our audiences are multiple. Obviously the FIT community is one of our core audiences, and then people in fashion and design-related fields are another. A third is just the museum-going public, and that is very much an international public. So, we try to do shows that represent original research, but that are also accessible to people at all levels of sophistication. A lot of the FIT community or designers who come to shows really know a lot about fashion history and design so you have to give them more, extra in-depth things. But you also want to be accessible to people who walk in off the street. They might be anyone from a six-year-old to a grandma who might not know very much about fashion, but you have to intrigue them as well. That is the idea to try and present it in a way which is visually stimulating and exciting so that whether they know anything about the topic or if they bother to read anything, they can still get something out of the show.

I actually have noticed a lot of children when I am in the museum, and I am amazed they are not only interested, but they comment on stuff!

Oh they will! Absolutely! A colleague of mine brought her two-year-old son to the corset show, and she said he just sat down on the floor and gazed up at this Vivenne Westwood corset-dress. She thought it was wonderful, she said, “oh there he is fantasizing about the eternal feminine.”

What do you think the hardest part about developing a show is? Is it picking the topic or is it finding people to work with or…?

Oh, I don’t know if there is a “hardest” part. I think one of the challenges is actually getting your hands on the things you want to put in the show. You’ll do all kinds of research, and you’ll think, “Okay I want this dress, I want this dress…” but then you have to find out who owns that? And will they lend it to me? And how much will it cost to borrow it, how can I raise the money to borrow it? Et cetera, et cetera.

Well, that leads me into my next question. The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute collection is the only one, at least in New York, that can even compare to the one at the Museum at FIT. So what is your relationship with them, do you borrow and lend a lot for shows?

We do borrow and lend with them. I wouldn’t say a lot, but every few shows they will borrow something from us or we will borrow from them. Two pieces in the dance exhibition are from the Met, and we’re lending I think four pieces to their China exhibition which will open in the Spring.

So it is only a few pieces then. I guess you both have such huge collections neither of you need to borrow anything.

Well, it is interesting, we will borrow back and forth for a few key pieces, and both of us have a pretty good idea of what is in the other collection. We also borrow and lend from the Museum of the City of New York, which also has a fantastic collection. Most of the older things, for example, if there is a 19th century thing, we will try and borrow from them. We also loaned to their Stephen Burrows show a year ago.

Oh yes, I saw that show and I have to admit I was a little surprised. I didn’t think the Museum of the City of New York had that much fashion, but I guess they do.

Oh, they do! They have a really wonderful fashion collection.

Is there one specific exhibit that sticks out in your mind as being particularly exciting or difficult or just interesting for you?

Well, a couple. I loved working on Gothic: Dark Glamour. That was the first time we did a really immersive mise-en- scène with a graveyard, a laboratory, and a ruined castle and things. That was great fun, and I think good preparation for upcoming shows like our fairy tale show, which we will do in 2016 that will similarly have dramatic mise-en-scènes. And then, of course, A Queer History of Fashion won us a lot of prizes, particularly for the work that we did both in reaching out to the LGBT community and doing media online. I think that was also good preparation for remembering to focus on diversity themes in all of our shows and also remembering to emphasize media media media! It is a great way to reach out to people. Even if they cannot come in the door of the exhibition, they can still get information and images online.

Who writes for Fashion Theory, which is your journal?

It is mostly curators and professors and graduate students.

So is it mostly people you have met? Or do people apply?

No, no it is a peer-reviewed journal which means that people send things in, and then I have to find one or two experts in their field who will peer review it and say whether or not it is good enough to go in, or absolutely not, or can it go in only if they make x, y, z changes. It is much more prestigious and important for scholars to be published in a peer-reviewed journal than just a regular magazine.

I just wanted to introduce the readers to the Couture Council, because I think a lot of people don’t even know that it exists. And to be honest, I don’ t know that much about it because there isn’t that much information available.

Yes, the Couture Council is a friends group, which many museums have. It is a membership group; members pay $1,000 a year and young members under 35 pay $350 a year. They can come to various events, and the money–their membership fees along with the awards luncheon–help fund exhibitions, public programs and acquisitions for the museum. We get some money from corporations and foundations, but the Couture Council is nice because it is reliable. No matter what our show is about, whether it is a kooky one that we can’t get any corporate sponsors to fund, or it is controversial in some way, we know the Couture Council is there to help support all our exhibitions and all our public programs.

Lastly, is there anything you would like to do professionally that you haven’t had the chance to do yet?

Well, of course, if you had your own television show, you could reach a bigger audience. I do a lot of [appearances on] TV shows, but I think there is a lot more that could be done. Now, of course, television is becoming a bit outdated, so you really have to think in terms of the world-wide web. We have a new department specifically focusing on media and new initiatives. Many of the videos shown in the lobby are on the YouTube page. On YouTube there’s a little of this and a little of that. Each of the fashion exhibitions has its own website and we’re increasingly doing videos for those.

Yes, I have used the exhibition websites for information for some class projects. They are done really beautifully. Well, thank you so much for sitting down with me. It was a pleasure talking to you!

Of course, with pleasure! Thank you, it was nice talking to you!

–Emily–