Category Archives: Student Life

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

Train rides home…

Hi everyone! how was your first day back? I know mine was cut short and I had a very long commute home. On the way home though on the slow moving train I had a lot of down time.

Something about beginning your twenties and beginning a new chapter in your life becomes a little sentimental. You all know what I’m talking about everyone goes through the motions. You thought you had a plan and now you don’t know if your making the right decisions or your experiencing things that are incredibly more difficult then usual. You suddenly have ten years ahead of you that are jam packed with major life changing events. But its hard knowing what you want these next ten years to be like, but you often can’t settle with just simply not knowing. As you continue on through your next life stages you will start to realize things about life that will make your journey easier .

#1. You will Fail at something more than once, even the things you love.

At some point you will screw up your life like crazy, like really mess it up to a point you didn’t know was even possible. It will happen more then once in your lifetime too trust me. You are going to want to give up, you are going to want to be alone, or be with friends. But KEEP GOING I promise you it is worth it. This past semester I had one of those royal screw ups , not because I wanted to but because of life changing events that kept happening to me. I chose my emotions over the things I have worked so hard for, but I got through it and I am stronger then ever.

#2. How important is it to move away from home? Extremely

Lately I know a lot of friends that have been getting into it with there parents, whom all of which live at home and are in there twenties. Moving away will help this problem dissolve , it will make you realize what home actually means to you. You start to appreciate the little things and you the things that make you cringe go away. It helps you figure out who you are, how much you can take and how you will handle your life from this moment on.

#3. Debt? Your in college sweetie ( Haha)

Yes, everyone thinks they are in debt because they are in college. But are you making a mess of your credit score? do you have any money left in your account? If you have money to spare and your not in crazy debt take my advice. Travel, invest , learn something you always wanted to. I know for me I’d much rather live a life of debt if it was one I was proud of. If I did the things I always dreamed of, rather then be in debt and have no cool stories to tell. These experiences will change your life.

#5.What do you like? What don’t you like?

I know for me I landed my dream job , which I was working hard at everyday to realize it wasn’t what I wanted. Test things out before committing to it for life. You will try new food in your life, change your favorite drink or flowers a million and one times . This is what makes your twenties , you need to learn who you are , what you love and what you hate more then anything in this world. Let go of what others think and be you! You will realize nothing else matters if your not truly happy.

Lastly #6. Learn who is really there for you

Man did I have trouble over this past year with this. At this point in your life so much stuff changes you go to college, you graduate, move, different jobs, have kids (maybe) the normal things people do. Sometimes your friends from high school will not continue to follow you through the motions of life , and that is really hard to be ok with sometimes. But you will make so many new friends, join new circles and start networking. It’s kinda like that movie bridesmaids, yes we’ve all seen it , if you haven’t watch it you’ll love it. She gets all of her bridesmaids together some old and some new and they don’t clash. Her maid of honor feels like she’s changed because of the new people she’s around but that’s not the case she just found more things she enjoys. People will come and go through your life, just remember you can’t force anyone to stay nor would you want them to if you have to force them.

Being in college and a new stage of your life is difficult but don’t ever think your alone. Millions of people your age are feeling this way, most just don’t talk about it. Or they haven’t faced that one really bad screw up moment yet, once you do you’ll know what it feels like.

How is everyone feeling tonight on this snowy evening? Any new life changes?

Xoxo

Kailee

Notes From the 6 Train: Last Week Hustle

My besties & I.

My besties & I.

So I totally forgot to write about what I did while home! I just went straight to business! I think I’ve mentioned before how I like going home because you realize how much you’ve grow. This visit highlighted this so much for me! I welcomed back old friends into my life and realized that my parents don’t bother me like they did when I was younger (maturity much?). I also held my annual Ugly Christmas Sweater Queer Women Potluck. It’s always such a pleasure to reconnect with commune with people that you’ve established relationships with. As you can see, we know how to have a party (photo booth and all).

Just observe how merry we all look!

Just observe how merry we all look!

Going home fed my soul and now I feel replenished and energized to begin the semester and even begin thinking about plans for summer.

If you all didn’t know it, now is the time to apply for many summer internships/ scholarships. It’s the last week of break and is the last amount of idle time. For many, once the semester begins life becomes a worldwhind.

I’ve already applied for the Time Inc. summer internship (wish me luck guys!) which is 10 paid week internship with one of the various Time Inc. brands (ranging from Essence to InStyle to Fortune and a bunch of other well known brands.)

Now is the perfect time to begin scouring the FIT internship bank before you begin drowning in schoolwork and tests.I’ve begun looking up other opportunities I want to apply for and scribbling application deadlines into my calendar. You want your opportunity to pass you by! Gotta stay sharp!

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

Notes From The 6 Train Student Spotlight: Liz Pulos

During finals week last year, I had a chance to sit down with Elizabeth Pulos, a soon to be international trade & marketing major (and politics minor) who is officially finished with FIT in just a few weeks. This, of course, will be after her Peru. She’s participating in the International Trade & Marketing Department practicum in Peru, the class necessary to complete all degree credits. Before she set off on her journey to foreign countries she talked to me about the incredible things (my words, not hers) she participated in/ accomplished while a student here at FIT.

look how Fancy Liz looks!

look how Fancy Liz looks!

Here’s a very brief list:
– Winner of three International Trade & Marketing Scholarships: Ralph Lauren, New Times & PVH (which she encourages all ITM majors to apply for, this money helped pay for her trip to Peru)

-Writer and participant of the newly formed Brooklyn Fashion & Design Accelerator which is “The Brooklyn Fashion + Design Accelerator is a hub for ethical fashion and design where designers transform their ideas into successful businesses”

Check it out here: http://bkaccelerator.com/can-fashion-hunting-apps-help-sustainable-designers/

– President of the Corporate Social & Responsibility Club for the past several semesters where she organized/ facilitated incredible events open to the FIT community such as: having the Alliance advisor Ian Spaulding and VF Corporation Supply Chain VP Tom Nelson came to speak on campus or bringing in Chelsea Cooper (a FIT grad), founder of the CSR Club and Associate Manager of Men’s Denim Development at Ralph Lauren.

– Contributor of a chapter in an upcoming college textbook (how cool is that?!

We did not plan to wear matching bottoms! Just have great synergy. :)

The CSR club this semester, we didn’t plan to wear matching bottoms! Just have great synergy. :)

All of this, not to mention volunteering at the Best Friends Pet Adoption Agency, maintaining a 4.0, playing in a band, working in the film and movie industry, working on her own social compliance small business and being a generally kind and intelligent human. I had the pleasure to get to know Liz on a more personal level during the past semester. During the fall we were in the International Business Law class and served together on the board of the Corporate Social Responsibility Club. And I know that she will continue after graduation. Congrats Liz Pulos!

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

How to engineer a light fixture

Hello everyone !

So in fourth semester interior design studio we are asked to make a light fixture , that’s right a real working light fixture . You have to wire it , make an actual blue print of it , and sketch other ways it can be turned into a different light fixtures . This light will then be placed in your restaurant that you will be designing . You will pick a movie and then base your lighting fixture off that movie .

My movie was Julie and Julia , most of you may know it . It’s a classic ,one of my favorites . I was so excited when I recieved it I worked harder on it then any other project I have had in the program. After many sketches and ideas that got passed on , I finally got it !

Overall I spent around 200.00 dollars , there was no limit on what could be used or how much you could spend or not spend . But for mine I went all out .

IMG_0307First I went to home depot, I knew I wanted a perforated metal but I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to find one. This was actually one long strip of metal that my dad bent for me into this oval and drilled holes in.

Next  we used metal tubing to hide wires and also keep the oval steady so it would be able to hold its own weight ( this fixture weighs almost 80 pounds) .

IMG_0312Next in the holes that were created we drilled into spoons I found at a thrift store. True silver spoons, I didn’t realize how hard this would be until I actually did it. There are over 100 spoons of all variations and ages. Serving spoons, dessert spoons, soup spoons, you name it it has it.

IMG_0317I wish I could post the video but I am not great at editing things yet and its to long. But the inner LED is a flexible band with changing colors. I put this on the inside edge of the metal and ran the wire through the top to look like it was apart of the hanging feature.

Remember I said this fixture weighs a lot? Well I carried this from Penn station to the 5th floor of the D building all by myself. I think the excitement of showing the critiques and my classmates gave me a little boost of adrenalin to carry it that far. ( In heels may I add)

In the end I got an A on my project, it was truly a project I put my heart and soul into and also something I couldn’t be more proud of in my career in the interior design program.

is there anything you are excited to do at FIT? Are you excited about the light fixture ?

Let’s talk about it

Discovering a Major: Art History and Museum Professions

by Stephanie Zlotnick as told to Emily Bennett

Steph Zlotnick

Steph Zlotnick

 

I am entering my sixth semester at FIT. I was originally Fashion Merchandising Management, which I got my AAS in, and then I switched into Art History and Museum Professions for my Bachelors of Science degree. I actually did not know that FIT had this major until the middle of my freshman year. I knew coming here that they had an art history minor, so I thought that I would want to do that, but when I found out there was a Bachelors major for it I  chose that instead since I fell in love with the classes.

I had to take some art history classes in FMM for my liberal arts requirements and I just fell in love with them. I realized pretty quickly that I didn’t want to stay in FMM for all four years, so when I found out that there was an Art History major, I decided to switch into it. I really like that it’s a combination of art history classes and business classes, teaching us the ins and outs of museums. I also like that the classes are more focused on writing, which is something I missed in my FMM classes. Art History and Museum Professions really teaches us both about art history in a variety of concentrations and how museums run. Many of our classes involve the history and purpose of museums as well as the administrative and business aspects of museum management.

Right now, I’m not completely sure what I want to do for my career in the end, but I really like the idea of doing special events or development in a museum. The degree is non-curatorial, but it prepares us for other departments within museums, like PR, development, education, special events, etc.

This past summer, I interned for ArtsWestchester, a small non-profit organization in White Plains, NY that runs programs and events to promote arts throughout Westchester County. I worked in the Development department as a Special Events/Fundraising intern, so I worked on planning an auction and gala to raise money for the organization.

It’s a difficult decision, but I think the most interesting classes I have taken are “Modern Art” and “History and Meaning of Museum”. I learned so much from them about art history in general as well as how much art and museums depend on culture and vice versa.

I think the most valuable thing I’ve learned at FIT is that it’s okay to not know exactly what you want right away. I came here thinking I would work in fashion, but when I didn’t love FMM as much as I thought I would, it was nice to know that I could switch my major to something I really wanted to learn more about, and it’s not wrong to want a change.

 


 

 Find out more about the Art History and Museum Professions major (BS) here!
–Emily–

Brendan’s Guide to Winter Break

As I sit here writing, it is currently “blizzard-ing” outside my window. Oh, January. You look so pretty…but then I’m forced to go outside and I remember how cold-hearted you are. The excitement and joy of December seems like a distant memory. The holidays never seem long enough. However, it is now a New Year. Another year to move forward with your goals and aspirations. Another year to check those boxes off on your bucket list. Another year to live your best life!

Winter break in college is like a double edged sword. You can use it to your advantage, or let it take advantage of you. This break is the perfect time to reboot after a hardworking semester. We all can’t wait to get home and not have projects, or finals to worry about! Its a great feeling.

My first year at FIT, I was new to the “6 weeks off at Christmas through January, instead of one week off like high school, to do whatever you want with no homework or responsibilities.” It was awesome to have that much time off from school, and to be home with my friends and family. That feeling never goes away, I just approach my winter break’s differently now than I did back then.

My first winter break I was basically a blob. My couch and I became even closer than we were before, molding to each others shapes. Netflix was a great friend for those few weeks. And yes, I have wonderful human friends as well. We would get together, get food, go to the local Target, because the options are quite limited in wintery upstate New York. By the time my break was over, I felt gross, out of shape, like I’d eaten two years worth of Christmas cookies. I hadn’t accomplished much on a small checklist I’d made at the beginning of break. I had done my fair share of relaxing, to the point of exhaustion, which lead to more relaxing! A never ending cycle!

But hey, it was my first time and I was learning. That is why I vowed then to make my winter breaks more productive and beneficial to ME. Maybe some people have no problem doing nothing, cozying up in their home and snacking on Xmas cookies. I have now learned that these few weeks are the perfect time to make a list, and get things done. Things you’ve been wanting to do all semester, but may have not had time for. 

SO, if you feel like your break could have been a bit better, I’ve come up with a short list of tips for you to follow. 

1. Indulge in the Holidays

By no means am I saying to not fully relax and soak up the holiday season. Please do!! By that point in our year, we need the family parties, delicious meals and holiday movies on ABC family. Embrace your time with your friends and family who you may not see throughout the year. Give them hugs and tell them you love them! Give back, do something kind, spread the holiday spirit! EAT LIKE YOU’VE NEVER EATEN BEFORE!

2. Set Realistic New Year’s Resolutions

Once the holidays are over, it’s easy to slip into “Post Holiday Depression,” as I like to call it. The hype is over, the Christmas tree is plopped at the end of your driveway. After New Years, write a list of some things you really hope to do within the upcoming year. Big picture resolutions like “WIN THE LOTTERY,” may be a little unrealistic. Think of personal goals you’d like to attain. Say something kind to someone every day, Read more books, Go to a concert. I find that smaller, positive goals are easier to check off my list! That way, when you look back next year you’ll see how much you’ve accomplished. The energy you enter into the New Year with is a great indicator of how your year could turn out. This year I want to take more Bikram Yoga classes and eat healthier foods! I can do that :)

3. Find Enjoyable Hobbies

If you live where it snows, you know some days seem longer and more mundane than others. Its too cold to be outside, or the roads are too icy to drive on. Looks like your spending the day at home! This is where hobbies come in handy! I re-learned how to knit this winter, and have been really enjoying doing that. I’m working on some belated Christmas gifts. I also have been pecking away at the “Books I want to Read” list. (Is it obvious that I like to create lists?) Find what passes your time without feeling like you’re just passing time. Make sense?

4. Get a Job

If you’re like me (or most kids my age I know) you’re a typical “broke college student.” I’ve had a job since I was 15, even throughout college. Personally, I enjoy to work for my money. It feels so much better spending it when you know how hard you worked ;) I understand some may not be home long enough to find, apply, and get a job. Luckily, I have a job that I can come back to whenever I’m home, at a local bistro. Since I’m home for a few weeks, it’s the perfect time to build my bank account back up before the next semester. I don’t have much time for a job in the city anymore, with school and interning. If you have the option to work a few shifts while you’re home, do it! It keeps you busy AND gives you some spending money!

5. Review Your Upcoming Semester

We’ve all had that nightmare where you walk into school (usually in your underwear) and don’t know where any of your classes are, you’re completely unprepared, and everyones pointing and laughing at you. Let’s not make that nightmare reality, shall we? MyFIT has many ways for you to learn about your classes before actually sitting down at your desk. I like to screenshot my schedule on my phone, so that when the first day comes, I have a visual. It’s a big help for locating room numbers, because I never remember! I also enjoy looking at who’s going to be in my class. It’s always comforting to know you have a friend in class on your first day. Log onto MyFIT, click the Student tab, scroll down to “My Courses,” click “Click here to enter,” click on your course title, then click “Members” under Personal Tools. It shows you a full class list! It helps to subdue any nerves and get you excited for the upcoming Spring semester!

Everyone is different. Everyone approaches things differently, even our college winter breaks. Long story LONG, do what makes you happy and makes you feel good during this time! For me,  enjoy feeling like I’ve accomplished things over break. I hope that some of these tips are helpful to you! Please enjoy the rest of your winter breaks, and HAPPY BELATED NEW YEAR!

xx,

Brendan

Final project

IMG_0197                                     ( That’s my professor Peter along with my classmates )

Hey everyone! Finals are finally over , along with final projects! This semester was my last semester as an interior design student. That’s right, I am switching majors! I couldn’t be more excited to join the international trade and marketing major. But before all the new fun begins I had to finish my final fourth semester interior design project.

Fourth semester one of your projects will be designing a light fixture which you will then have to use in a restaurant you design. The light fixture for my project was based off Julie and Julia the movie. ( which you can see along with directions on how to make it in my next blog post ”  How to engineer a light fixture” .

So for restaurant I was assigned Texas BBQ which includes sloppy ribs , cowboy boots and all things big and Texas haha. So I decided to put a little spin on it and design a higher end bbq restaurant.

IMG_0148 (1)This was a screen shot from when I was working on it. My best advice to all incoming interior design students learn Photoshop, lumion, sketchup, all rendering programs as soon as you can . it will make your life so much easier! For this project I used sketchup. I feel that it is very easy to learn, I taught myself with the book ” google sketchup the missing manual” and  by just playing around endlessly. FIT does teach you programs as autocad and revit but not until your bachelors will you learn how to render in these programs and you need to know how by atleast third semester. Also photoshop is offered but not required to take.  The more programs you learn and add to your skill set can only help you not only at FIT but in the real world. Most interior designers aren’t using Revit completely yet and that’s a great skill to have to bring to a company.

Overall my restaurant came out pretty good for my second attempt at using sketchup. I used a lot of dark woods and creative ceiling solutions with all sustainable elements. NEVER FORGET THE CEILING OR THE LIGHTING ! most students do and that’s critical to show you truly understand the floor plan and overall design of the space.

The interior design program was challenging but worth every second of hard work. It has taught me things I know people in other design programs have no idea about. Maybe after my bachelors in marketing I will go back to interior design , only time will tell.

Goodbye FIT interior designers, I will miss you all so much you became my family, along with my  amazing professors ! But its time to start the new chapter of my life!

Xoxo

Kailee

IMG_0176

 

 

 

 

Discovering a Major: Fabric Styling

Despite the fact that the Fashion Design and the Fashion Merchandising Management programs are by far the largest here, FIT is not just a “fashion” school. We offer 29 undergraduate programs and 7 graduate programs. However, even after four years I was shocked, shocked, to find out that majors existed that I had never heard of (I’m looking at you Home Products Design). So, in an effort to bring to light the many other fantastic opportunities FIT offers, I am started a new segment called “Discovering a Major”.

Usually, I will have mini interviews with students from each major giving insight into what they actually do and learn, but for this first installment I think I will discuss my own rather unknown major: Fabric Styling.

This was a tabletop styling project we did this semester

This was a tabletop styling project we did this semester

Originally, I was a Fashion Design major and got my Associates Degree in that. However, towards the end of my second year I was getting frustrated and overwhelmed with the program. After many hours of crying on the phone with my mom questioning every possible path I could take, I decided to switch my major on the last possible day to apply for Fabric Styling.

Fabric Styling is a weird major, and no one really knows how to describe it. I say it’s a very broad field of study that mixes textile development, trend forecasting and actual styling. This variety is a big part of why I chose it. At 20 years old I really didn’t have a clear sign of exactly what I wanted to do with the rest of my life and choosing a less specific major was actually really freeing for me and re-ignited my creativity.

This was a fashion styling project we did with a real studio set up and model

This was a fashion styling project we did with a real studio set up and model

I am still not totally clear on where I want to be after I graduate (and yes, it is still extremely stressful), but i know I want to stay in the fashion world and travel around the world. Hopefully I will be able to find a job that allows me to do both. So far I have had internships with a small fashion designer, ELLE magazine, the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and an agency for stylists.

I was the first Fabric Styling student (along with one classmate) to have the chance to study abroad. Florence was amazing, although most of our classes were not exactly what students in New York were doing. I will say the program is not run perfectly, but there are lots of opportunities available if you take advantage of them.

This was a mood board for a lingerie design project

This was a mood board for a lingerie design project

I really enjoy the “Fabric Styling” and “Research Techniques” classes because although the projects have specific end goals, we are free to achieve them however we feel and it has allowed me to creatively stretch my presentation skills. My least favorite class so far has been  “Advertising and Promotion”. I just don’t think the advertising and marketing worlds are for me, although it was helpful to be introduced to the more business side of the industry.

We learn many different programs for developing textiles

We learn many different programs for developing textiles

My favorite part of the major is that it is only a Bachelor’s degree program so everyone comes from different academic backgrounds. Most people started in the Fashion Merchandising Management (although the department has been changing their policies and as of now is no longer accepting anyone from the business school unfortunately), but I have classmates that have studied Visual Presentation and Exhibition Design, Textile/Surface Design and even transferred from outside liberal arts colleges. It has been really helpful to not only see how they interpret the projects, but also hear their critiques and past experiences.

If you are interested in more examples of work I have done for Fabric Styling you can see my portfolio here. To learn more about the major itself click here!

I hope to introduce you to more of the lesser-known majors FIT offers soon!

–Emily–

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–