Farm-home inspiration for handbag finalist

By , June 7, 2014 12:56 am
It’s all gone into her handbag:  The upstairs dresser in her grandparent’s Midwest farmhouse, memories of dressing up in vintage clothes, ballet and tap dance classes. For Kathleen Friedman, finalist for the Independent Handbag Designer Award, her sources of inspiration are as suggestive of  a romance novel as they are for accessories design.
 IHDA finalist by Kathleen Friedman

IHDA finalist by Kathleen Friedman

“My bag was inspired by vintage Americana,” says Kathleen, current Accessories Design major. “I loved exploring my grandparents’ house in the Midwest. I especially loved a dresser in one of the bedrooms.” An ornately shaped bedroom mirror there was the influence for the outer flap of her handbag.The hand stitched trapunto, a decorative design on the outer flap, is a technique Kathleen learned in a leather course at FIT. “I knew I had to incorporate it into one of my designs. It’s so beautiful and sophisticated. It can be applied in several ways, and I chose to hand stitch it as a tribute to my grandmother and her beautiful quilts.”

In early May it was announced that FIT’s Kathleen Friedman, Stephanie Carnes and Palwasha Iqbal were finalists in the category of Best Student Made Bag by the IHDA. The winner is to be announced on June 18 at the SVA Theatre in Manhattan.

Handbag by Kathleen Friedman

handbag finalist by Kathleen Friedman

“I chose black and cream for this bag because of my vintage inspirations. This was the first time I knew exactly the colors I wanted from the moment I drew it. Normally I take a lot of time at the leather store searching for the right color combinations and allowing that to inspire me in the process.”As a child, Kathleen helped her mother, a seamstress, and played in her studio. “I have been sewing since the age of nine. The knowledge is extremely helpful in all of my construction classes at FIT.”Kathleen says she is thankful for the exposure the contest gives student designers. “I am hopeful that it will help in my quest for employment after graduation. It’s exciting to show my friends and family all of the press.”

 

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We wish all of the finalists good luck!

 

From the desk of Edward Irizarry

By , June 5, 2014 3:09 pm

Ad man from the 60′s Edward J. Irizarry & FIT student in his 80s, GOING STRONG @ 90.

 By Edward J. Irizarry.

by Edward J. Irizarry

“He charmed the young ladies in the class with recollections of his days working on the Sears Roebuck Catalog” says Prof. Debbie Deas of a more recent class Mr. Irizarry attended, CG 111 Survey of Computer Graphics. “They were fascinated by his anecdotes. What they were learning on the computer he knew from traditional ways. There was definitely an inter-generational connection there.”

Mr. Irizarry, according to his son Thomas, created the logos for Sears Roebuck company and Nabisco.

Thanks to Thomas Irizarry, FIT’s exhibition coordinator for having such a cool Dad.

 

FIT students clutch finalist spots in handbag contest

By , May 30, 2014 4:03 pm
Thanks to three FIT students, “Handbag Decision Paralysis,” may become more serious for the handbag obsessed. Coined by Wall St. Journal reporter Rachel Dodes, the term playfully refers to those with “commitment phobia in the accessories milieu.”

In early May it was announced that FIT’s Stephanie Carnes, Palwasha Iqbal and Kathleen Friedman were finalists in the category of Best Student Made Bag by the  Independent Handbag Designer Awards (IHDA).  Whatever the judges decide, we want one of each.
Handbag by Kathleen Friedman

Handbag by Kathleen Friedman

And consider this: there was a total of 1500 applicants worldwide for the IHDA industry awards.
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Handbag by Stephanie Carnes

Recent Accessories Design grad Palwasha Iqbal told us about her process from conception to finalist:
“This recognition means the world to me! Being a finalist is  an amazing feeling.  Being nominated for a global award is such a honor.”
Handbag by Palwash Iqbal

Handbag by Palwasha Iqbal

“My process  begins with finding the right inspiration,” says Palwasha, which for her pop art clutch was found at the MoMA.

“I fell in love with 60s Pop Art. My next step was sketching and figuring out the perfect look for the clutch. I wanted to create something that was a nod to the Pop Art era but still modern and fresh. I countered the bright fun colored circles with a simpler gusset that takes its cues from modern architecture. The idea is Andy Warhol meets Frank Lloyd Wright.”

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Applying disks on to frame

Once she finishes a concept sketch “for something I love” Palwasha refines it and adds measurements. “I then write out the supplies and steps required to make the bag.  After I bought my acrylics  and made my patterns I marked my acrylic and then used the bandsaw to cut each piece.”

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Arranging the layout of disks prior to gluing

Palwasha sanded the rough edges and made sure all the measurements were correct. “I did a tape mock-up to make sure everything fit and then marked and drilled holes for my hinge. After that I began a frosting process to give the acrylic a more matte  look. Once the polishing was finished, I carefully  glued the pieces together and  re-polished  the piece. I then inserted the lining hinges and magnets.”

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Finished result

 

Palwasha says this particular clutch chosen as an IHDA finalist is “very dear to my heart.” She says it combines skills she’s learned in both the Jewelry and Accessories design programs. (She received her AAS degree in Jewelry Design.)

“It represents how my education has  shaped my passion. I could not be more grateful to get such wonderful  recognition for  my passion.”

Palwasha says it’s a great note on which to end her time at FIT. “It’s an even better one to start my career”

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This is the eighth year that the IHDA has presented awards.

The Best Student Made Handbag category is for students who have started their lines while in school. Other categories include handbags made from sustainable or recycled materials, another for hand or machine made with proceeds given back to the country of manufacturing, and one for the “most trend-driven” use of denim.

Winners will be announced on June 18 at the SVA Theatre in Manhattan. All will be featured in the September issue of InStyle. We wish all of the finalists good luck!

Congratulations fashion design students Milan!

By , May 30, 2014 3:37 pm

FIT Milan 2014_graduation

FIT’s graduating Milan students wreath their college pinnacle!

Communication Design students moving forward

By , May 22, 2014 11:20 pm

“When first-year Communication Design students put up their work and stand back, they say ‘Wow! I didn’t realize I did this much!’” says Prof. Leslie Blum about the end-of-year review of student work from the two-year foundation program. “Now everything they’ve done in the first year makes sense to them.” 

first-year communication design student work

First-year communication design student work

The design principals are the same regardless of the project, says Blum. “They understand how to carry a design concept through different applications and different media.”

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First-year communication design student work

Classes students have completed to get to this point include color theory, typography, and digital design. Next up: digital graphics, and advertising, graphic and web design courses, to name a few.

“What they did for Design Studio II was intended to get them off their computer screen and to be inspired from the world around them–to filter what they see through the eyes of a designer,” says Prof. Blum. “Hopefully over the summer they’ll continue to be inspired by things that they notice that others might not. It’s about being curious and open.”

Photos: Leslie Blum 

Hayley returns!

By , May 7, 2014 10:02 pm

Recent Interior design alumna Hayley Park (’13) talked to graduating students of Prof. Susan Forbes’ internship class today about the rewards of hard work.

“Focus on the learning process,” she advised. “Take it as a calling rather than a job. When you intern you get a taste of what it’s like and that leads you to a job. When you like it, it becomes your career. But it’s perfect when the career becomes your calling.”

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Hayley Park (ID ’13). Photo: Shannon Leddy

Hayley is currently a junior designer at Gensler, the prestigious integrated architecture, design, planning and consulting firm at Rockefeller Center.

Her verdict was good on questions regarding salary, working hours, work environment, certification requirements and whether architects and interior designers really are able to work together.

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Elizabeth Tighe, Haley Park, Prof. Susan Forbes, Alexis Tamzrian, Ayano Misawa, Laura Murray

“Do you really work 70 hours a week?” asked one student.

“You have to consider that you’re going to take more time [on projects] than experienced people,” said Hayley.  But it’s not all 70 hour work weeks, she assured them.

The concern about work load was understandable. “They’re a week away from printing their thesis pretensions–the most stressful time of the entire program,” said Hayley. “They all looked tired!” 

 

Read more about Hayley:

Hayley’s PAVE-winning men’s store

Joe Zee reflects on FIT’s graduating fashion design talent

By , May 4, 2014 7:20 pm

“These people…I don’t know who they are, but I know they’ve traveled from four corners of the world to come to FIT.

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“They blow me away with their talent, and if that’s what they are doing at the school level…

 

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I can’t wait to see what they do when they actually get out in the world and can do it for real. ”

 

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Joe Zee, creative director Elle magazine, FIT fashion design alum

 

Setting the stage

By , April 30, 2014 5:05 pm

For the Future of Fashion!

FFFL_0315Catwalk alert: FIT’s Future of Fashion 2014 runway show goes live at 7pm May 1. Watch here: FIT Fashion Show

 

When poetry and angst meet

By , April 21, 2014 5:22 pm
What happens when poetry, artistic talent and biographical angst meet in Prof. John Nickle’s fifth semester Illustration class? One example is Rebekie Bennington’s mind explosive self-portrait, suggestive of the “agony of sensual chisels,” “lilac shrieks” and the “scarlet bellowings” of E.E. Cummings’ poem “My mind is.” The poem ” says Bennington, “makes references to color and explores how art can be used as a vehicle for self-discovery, something I very much relate to.”
Self Portrait by Rebekie Bennington

“My Mind Is” self-portrait by Rebekie Bennington

For Nickle’s Materials and Techniques class assignment, students were to apply classical painting techniques to a contemporary treatment of a portrait using acrylic paint.

“I like the raw energy and rough texture of Rebekie’s mixed media self-portrait,” says Nickle. “It gets at the heart of the E.E. Cumming’s poem. Rebekie is an accomplished cartoonist and usually works in a very different, elegant but more detached style. This shows that she has artistic range.”

"Drug Bath" by Rebekie Bennington

“Drug Bath” by Rebekie Bennington

Bennington had previously been crafting what she calls “tight, reference-based paintings,” such at “Death Bath,” also a vibrantly colored acrylic. It’s message is very direct. “It is an exploration,” says Bennington, “into the dangerous self indulgence of drug addiction.” 

 Her self-portrait was a return to mixed media. “I began by gluing down torn paper and then attacking the canvas with acrylic paints and colored pencils. I found old sketches to incorporate into the piece,” she says.

 

my mind is
a big hunk of irrevocable nothing which touch and
taste and smell and hearing and sight keep hitting and
chipping with sharp fatal tools
in an agony of sensual chisels i perform squirms of
chrome and execute strides of cobalt
nevertheless i
feel that i cleverly am being altered that i slightly am
becoming something a little different, in fact
myself
Hereupon helpless i utter lilac shrieks and scarlet
bellowings.

—E. E. Cummings, from “Portraits, VII,” in “E. E. Cummings: The Complete Poems”

The grandeur of Maggie Norris’ couture Easter egg

By , April 14, 2014 6:02 pm

If anyone could design a couture Easter egg, it’s New Orleans born Maggie Norris. Maggie’s Rosebud Corset Egg (giant, bejeweled, and red velvet covered), is inspired by Peter Carl Fabergé’s Imperial Rosebud Egg. There’s no downside as suffered by Fabergé’s last royal customer, Tsar Nicholas II. Maggie’s egg will in fact, benefit two charities.

Watch here the hatching of Maggie’s egg. The event is a component of Fabergé’s Big Egg Hunt.

Maggie, who served as a guest judge for last year’s senior fashion show, was an inspired choice for the Fabergé event. A couture designer as well as an event coordinator, she has given her egg design classy treatment, and along the way garnered publicity for the charities, Studio in a School and The Elephant Family.

Maggie Norris with her freshly hatched couture egg

Maggie Norris (above) giving a sweet kiss to her freshly hatched egg. Her work, egg #040, is doing well. So far, bids for it have reached $500.

Illustrated by Anna Kiper

Illustrated by FIT Professor Anna Kiper

Follow the auction of Maggie’s couture egg here: Rosebud Corset Egg.

 

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