Tag Archives: art

Simon Doonan: The Dream Crusher

The Fashion Institute of Technology: Where Creativity Gets Down to Business.

A little intimidating, no? FIT is intimidating. The alumni, your teachers, your future peers, the projects you will have to do will all be very intimidating. I am not trying to scare you, but I am going to lay down some hard truths. FIT is hard. It is fast-paced, extremely physically and mentally demanding, and sometimes your self confidence will be shaken. The school demands excellence and the curriculum is designed to make you realize the importance of business in the creative industries. You will soon learn that very few can be the head designer of a couture house, or the top buyer for Saks, yet we all want to be that one who will make it. Students here are incredibly driven and hungry. You will meet people here who are full time students working on two minors while simultaneously holding up a job and an unpaid internship while also working on a prestigious contest (i.e. the CFDA Scholarship or the National Student Marketing Competition). We all want that next job, to take the next step and meet the right people.

Finding time to read for pleasure is not so easy for an FIT student, but I recently forced myself to get Simon Doonan’s recent bookAsylum. (I haven’t finished it yet, but it is quite funny and I suggest reading it, especially if you want to get to know the more quirky stories about the fashion industry.) He titles one chapter “The Dream Crusher” and dedicates it to advice for students. He says that young people now are too focused on material and professional success while not honing their creative expressionism. Every kid who wants to get into the fashion business thinks that the only form of success is to open their own design house. I can attest this is true becauseI was one of those kids with stars in her eyes (and still am to an extent). When I came to FIT that was the dream. What type of fashion I was going to focus on, or who my customer was I had no idea, but I knew one day people would be buying my clothes. Then I went through two years of the design program and realized that opening one’s own design house requires incredible skill, impeccable timing,loads of money, and lots of luck. I decided I needed to broaden my education a little and switched majors to Fabric Styling (I will make a post about this in the future if you’re interested).

I’m not saying give up on your dreams, of course not! But FIT is a wake up call for a lot of students who come in with this grandiose vision of their future. BUT it is important not to let that vision become too dim. The stress and exhaustion coupled with self-doubt and sudden questioning of your life goals can lead to a block in your creativity! (I know this because it happened to me and it was one of the reasons I decided to switch out of the design program.) Doonan remarks that hopeful artists these days are lacking the “fabulosity” factor.  Everyone who wants to be noticed has to make an effort to be noticed! Whether that means being a mysterious recluse like Martin Margiela, or the fashion and diva caricature embodied by the likes of Valentino and Karl Lagerfeld, there must be a persona, or a “brand” as people like to call it now. If there is one place you can go all out becoming a personality it’s at FIT. So, welcome. Be smart and informed, but also be daring and maybe a little bit nuts. Interesting will take you far.

–Emily–

Simon Doonan

Notes From the 6 Train: Exploring the Brooklyn Museum

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This weekend I ventured to the Brooklyn Museum. I went to see the Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit (the same one as Brendan). Since he’s already covered it, I won’t spend much time on it. Just a quick thought: You should be aware of what’s happening in the art/music/fashion world, because it;s your craft and you be knowledgeable about it. Not to mention, whatever artists (well people in general) take in is what we put out. If we surround ourselves by inspiring music, people and art, we pick up some of it and it impacts what we produce.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I also went to A Fantastic Journey by Kenyan artist Wangechi Mutu. I frequent lots of museums and art shows but Wangechi’s, by far, is one the most interesting artists I’ve come across. And this exhibit is one of the best exhibits I’ve ever attended. Her pieces were filled with abstraction, but not so abstract that it became difficult to decipher a message. She gives the onlookers social critiques on “gender, race, war, colonialism, global consumption, and the exoticization of the black female body.” (Brookyln Museum.) She does this by giant collages, sketchbook drawings, film, animation and sculptural figures using the structure of the museum. By stitching together images of “African traditions, international politics, the fashion industry, pornography, and science fiction.” (Brookyln Musuem).Her art is impactful and moving, and like nothing I’ve ever seen before. 

Lastly, as we know all fashion and music are closely intertwined, two vines of the same plant. They compliment and provide inspiration to one another. Which is why it’s exciting to see Santigold, the Brooklyn based musician/ producer/ artist in Wangechi’s short film. The 8 minute animation is titled “The End of Eating Everything,” is a commentary about the period of mass consumption that we live in. It’s thought provoking, and short, so you should check it out. Below I’ve included a 3 minute excerpt from the longer video that can only be viewed at the museum. 

All things Color, Love & Fashion,

Ayanna L.

http://www.boldaslove.us/2013/03/23/watch-wangechi-mutu-feat-santigold-the-end-of-eating-everything/

 

 

Street Work to Art Work

Walking down 7th Avenue towards our school on 27th you will always see a lot of interesting things. Anything from people in Anime costumes to people drawing on the side of our school in chalk, it will draw you in. It will catch your curiosity and make you want more. Last May  in front of the D-Building ,we had this awesome batman door way, I always end up taking pictures of the things that are going on at school. I even send them to all my friends at home, ” Look how cool my school is, all this happens in front of the building I go into everyday”. This week make sure you look up and see the adorable deer antlers made out of card board! They always have something going on in front of that building and on the inside as well. One of the professors I featured , Carmita Sanchez Fong, recently had her presentation up to show how many families her and her students helped during sandy and how much they were truly affected.( right when you walk in the D-building).

Last month we had Chalk art work all over the building, done by the illustration majors. It was some of the most creative and beautiful Art work I’ve been lucky enough to see at FIT. People were stopping and taking tons of pictures, I was one of them ( it must have been a great feeling for those illustration majors). It’s great that our school does so many of these fun things to get our students noticed. Last semester I took a life drawing class, in which we got to go outside and draw buildings and people whatever we wanted really, on a nice day. It was so much fun and I highly recommend it, but people would stop and ask to see our sketches and if they could take pictures. ( Made you feel like a big shot haha).

This is some of the Art work from the Side walk Chalk day, the colors were so bright and beautiful!

This was my absolute favorite one of all! What talent it took to do these pieces!

 

 

 

 

FIT is filled with so many majors besides fashion, were all so different but the thing that brings all the majors together is there love for art, and appreciation for the hard work that goes into it. Have you seen anything else around school lately that you think is awesome? Have you done anything that you want noticed?! Send it to me!   Keep up the hard work, Kailee

 

 

Graffiti as Public Art

Graffiti is an art form that is all the rage at the moment. From Banksy’s appearance in October to the harsh and hurried erasing of 5Pointz in Queens, it is all anyone is talking about, and it continues as a tagged up 4 train was spotted in the Bronx recently. While colorful subways were a common sight in the 1980’s, the MTA is extremely strict about taking any graffiti-stricken trains out of service and cleaning them up right away. Whether graffiti is art or a form of vandalism is up to personal opinion, but personally I’d rather have a colorful tagged up subway car rather than a car that completely covered in advertisements (I’m looking at you, shuttle to Grand Central). The point is, when you’re in New York you never know what you’re going to see, so be sure to enjoy when something a little out of the ordinary passes you by. Oh, and if you hear about something cool like 5Pointz, you better check it out before it gets taken down. The city is constantly changing; it’s a blessing and a curse.

5Pointz before

5Pointz after

–Emily–

Notes From the 6 Train: From the Closet to the Catwalk

Here’s a secret of mine. Sometimes I fear of that I will learn the fashion industry so intimately that I will fall out of love. Fashion and I were introduced early in high school and much like a first crush; it became impossible to ignore her beauty, confidence and freedom. Enthralled, I had to learn more. That’s how I ended up here at FIT, learning the past, present and future of my first love. While really learning her character I have found out some unsavory details I wish I could ignore. A character flaw here or there (popularity of sweatshops ion industry, the encouragement of unrealistic standards of beauty, etc.) and I find myself questioning this relationship we’ve built. As much as I am fashion and art oriented, I am just people and culture oriented. Sometimes, these unpalatable details gnaw at my conscious and do instill moments of uncertainty. Occasionally, I find myself wondering if I should be doing something “more important.” (I know, I know, it’s quite a terrible thought, being a fashion student and all.)

Then I go to the “Queer History of Fashion: From the Closet to the Catwalk” exhibit and all those insecurities vanish. As I stroll through the exhibit, taking in every outrageous outfit and devour every outrageous fact and I am reminded why I am here at FIT. Fashion transforms societies, providing a liberation that cannot be found anywhere else. The beautiful garments were paired with plaques describing, in detail, the designer, who it was worn by and the historical significance.There were garments designed by Christian Dior, Andre Leon,Jean Paul Gaultier, and pieces worn by Oscar Wilde, Namoi Campbell,etc. This short list not do justice for the impeccable and diverse collection. They had queer political gear, garments from the leather world, and plenty of other garments that shook the status-quo and shocked the world.

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Fashion, by far, is one of the most inclusive and accepting industries that queer people can work in. Fashion has allowed the oppressed to find liberation and build communities through shared struggles. It allowed people to be themselves. And that’s what fashion is all about, reveling in our differences and being celebrated for them. No matter what fast fashion says, it is an industry based on individuality, and this exhibit made me proud to work in such an industry.

 

And this is exactly how relationships should be. One learns to appreciate the person ( or industry) for all of their amazing attributes, acknowledge their flaws, and love them, not in spite of, but because of them. Luckily for us, we have the ability to help nurture, grow and change our lover.

If you live in or near NYC, I certainly encourage you all to check out this exhibit as well as the other exhibits in the FIT museum. ( I have attached the link at the bottom of this post.) We are lucky enough to have one of the best fashion design museums in the world and has won several awards for the various exhibits. It’s quite a gem, but don’t believe me, go check it out for yourself.

The link to the FIT museum (http://www.fitnyc.edu/332.asp)

All things Color, Love & Fashion,

Ayanna L.