Category: Event

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.



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




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



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


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.


Students Join Vine Challenge

By , April 12, 2014 12:45 pm’s weekly Vine Challenge produces a frenzy of infectious animation snippets on topics like creepy fantasy creatures, Jack-O-Lanterns, playing with food, and talking cars.  The more sophomoric the topic, often the more sophisticated the response in the form of six-second animated, blooper style shorts. Illustration students easily met the time limit to demonstrate: how a burger eats itself, the crush of a dinosaur, and a monster’s phobia of butterflies–a  condition called lepidopterophobia.

“Crushed” by Ella Fastiggi

On April 2,’s creative producer Jeff Petriello and company animators visited Prof. Dan Shefelman’s Illustrator Mentor Special Projects class to discuss Vine initiatives and work with students.

“Burger Monster” by Lauren French

“Vine is a smartphone video app. It’s used as a short-form animation tool,” says Shefelman. Vines (6-second videos) at their best can be particularly intriguing to illustration junkies and their geeky followers. 

“Lepidopterophobia” by Chelsea Morano

“Mashable is interested in student illustrators making Vines,” says Shefelman. “The bigger picture is that Vines are so user- engaging that including them increases the engagement among their own followers. Petriello is an early adopter of all social media because it engages Mashable users.”

caption to come

Chelsea Morano creating a monster with lepidopterophobia

“Vines are compared to Tweets. Nobody thought at first that messages limited to 140 characters would be useful, nor does everyone think six second videos are useful. At their best however, they are engaging indeed, and FIT students nailed it,” says Steve Ross, editor of Broadband Communities magazine. His publication serves the industry that makes the bandwidth for this stuff possible.


Chelsea Morano animating a monster’s phobia

The Snapchat app allows you to draw pictures on your cellphone or tablet (see above) and share the results with friends. To experience more, download Vine on your smartphone and search for #creaturecrawl.

“A Horror Story” by Grace Batista

But not all apps are for everyone. “There’s nothing I could video for six seconds that anyone would want to see,” says fabric design student Ashley Ray.  “Who wants to see you and your friends running through the streets screaming?”  But someday fabric designs may be animated with six second videos while people wear them.


Lauren French animating her burger

But the trend is going strong. Out of weekly Vine challenges come Vine celebrities and the promise of a big payday. “The students were happy to hear that animators are being paid five figures to make Vines,” says Shefelman.


One Night Only! “Tempo” media design exhibition May 30!

By , May 29, 2013 2:32 pm

What kind of song and dance will it take to get you to the Media Design Club’s “Tempo” exhibition? Well we’re glad you asked.

Here is your video invite: (Note: The Communication Design Professor C.J. Yee character was not impressed with this, but you will be!) 

There will be food, a panel discussion, important people, and inspiration. Sorry for the short notice.

The Media Design Club’s “Tempo” exhibition is ONE NIGHT only. Catch it at: Helen Mills Event Space & Theater located: 137-139 West 26 Street, NYC.

Thursday, May 30, 2013, 6 p.m – 10 p.m. It’s free.

The art and design show, “Tempo,” explores the the relationship between time and visual communication.


Art supply donations: destination Pratt Institute

By , March 12, 2013 2:39 pm

In today’s media we often hear about the raging fire, but little about the aftermath. The story of the fire that destroyed the top two floors of Pratt Institute’s main building on February 15 has faded from the news, but the fallout, the destruction of art studios and student work still looms large. In an effort to help alleviate the hardship, FIT set up an art supply drop-off.

Response was immediate: Three boxes of art supplies were picked days after the fire. Three larger boxes are ready for pick-up. Now two more boxes “are waiting for your gently used or new art supplies to go to students at Pratt,” says Deborah Payton-Jones, volunteer coordinator of Student Life and organizer of the art supply drive.  

Art supplies destined for Pratt

A peek insides the boxes show stretched canvases, large sketch pads, mini wooden table easels, pocket sketch journals, oils and water colors and loads of paint brushes.

“It means a great deal to our students to know their peers are taking time to help them,” says Dina Weiss, the acting assistant chair of Pratt’s fine arts department.

art supplies piling up for Pratt

The bond of cooperation underlines the connection of art students throughout New York City.

“Whether it is Haiti, Japan, or our brothers and sisters in Brooklyn at Pratt Institute, our students demonstrate compassion, philanthropy and civility for those in need. Here at FIT, we’re fashion and so much more.”

 - Deborah Payton-Jones

Art supply donations for Pratt Institute are being accepted at Student Life through this Friday, during the hours of 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

A gathering of eco sensualists

By , February 6, 2013 4:38 pm

A group of eco-focused artisans including FIT grads Zaida Adriana Goveo Balmaseda,  Melissa Kirgan and XZ Chung-Hilyard recently displayed their works at the Manhattan home of prominent fiber artist Abigail Doan. Known for her use of natural fibers and plant materials. Doan, who divides her time between New York, Bulgaria and Italy, describes herself as an “art-farmer.”  

“’Fete for the Senses’ allowed us to create something together while showing who we are as individuals with brands,” said Balmaseda via email. “We had three blissful days to connect, discuss, share with inspiring makers and guests from all sorts of backgrounds, industries and experience, something unforgettable!”

Diningroom table installation at Fetes for the Senses gathering. Photo: Abigail Doan

Balmaseda works with natural dyes and hand-spun yarns. Her “moss formation” dress was on display in one room of Doan’s botanical-scented, spacious apartment. “A lot of my pieces could be described as art, sustainable ‘fashion,’ versatile-reversible wearables, but also labor-intensive examples of handcrafted techniques and new fiber-textile concoctions.”

Zaida Adriana Goveo Balmaseda’s moss formation dress. photo: Jordan Cortese

“It was an event to celebrate the senses and show the work that can provoke the senses in very different, yet somehow connected ways,” said Balmaseda.

Sleeve detail from Zaida Adriana Goveo Balmaseda’s moss formation. Photo: Jordan Cortese

“All of the work included in Fete for the Senses was either handmade, artisan-produced, textile rich, or completely organic in nature”

Trend forecaster and curator Lidewij Edelkoort

 Sometimes it is hard to find platforms to showcase work that helps an audience see and understand different layers,” said Balmaseda. “Fashion events often focus on style trends and marketability. Sustainability events celebrate the ethics of production and alternative business models, the environmental and social impact of the pieces. Textile-craft events usually attract people that appreciate heritage, traditional techniques and innovation. All are wonderful, but do not always allow for a combined picture.”

Zaida Adriana Goveo Balmaseda’s moss formation dress

“New York made me strong, gave me drive and incredible career opportunities,” Balmaseda says on a blog post about a recent knitting session with fellow FIT grads. “It’s incredible how much things have changed since we’ve stopped frequenting the classrooms on 27th street.”

Crystal necklace made by Melissa Kirgan and XZ of Eko-Lab.  Photo: Abigail Doan

“There’s no connection between people and their clothing anymore. It’s very sensual to ingest to bring the design into you.” – Melissa Kirgan

Melissa Kirgan and XZ Chung-Hilyard of Eko-Lab displayed their crystal necklace made of stones wrapped in organic cloth from Goods of Conscience, which is woven with reflective fiber from Guatemala.

“Abigail and I were talking before the Christmas holiday about multi-sensory designs” says Kirgan. “We were inspired to imagine what our designs would taste like. We thought of rock candy. XZ made rock candy for months in her kitchen to get a visual of the crystal. ”

“Rock candy is a little exotic and the coloring is beautiful. We wanted to bring that into the design. I know it’s weird and funny. But it worked out really nicely.”

Detail of Eko-Labs black sesame rock candy. Photo: Abigail Doan

The rope for the necklace was found at the Brooklyn Navy Yard near their studio. “It was a night-before piece! The eucalyptus leaves come from the farmers’ market that we got for the Fete for the Senses journey.”

“It was an intimate setting,” says Assistant Dean Sass Brown who attended fete along with other appreciators of art and craft. “It was a sensitive presentation and a sharing,” said Brown, who is author of “Eco Fashion,” and a leading expert on sustainable fashion design.

“We finished the three day feast sitting on the floor with our last guests while XZ gave a hands on crochet demonstration,” said Balmaseda. “Oh so sweet!”


Both Kirgan and Balmaseda studied in FIT fashion design programs in Italy. XZ Chung-Hilyard is a graphic design grad.

Chanel Mehyo becoming fearless

By , December 21, 2012 2:50 pm

“Natural, instinctual and quick” is how fine arts student Chanel Mehyo describes her chalk pastels, charcoal and acrylic paint drawings that appear in the Junior BFA “Selections” exhibition in the Pomerantz Building lobby. Mehyo completed the series in experimental drawing class, taught by Prof. Stephanie DeManuelle, chair of fine arts. The class says Mehyo “helped me become more fearless.”

“You can see in Chanel’s work what an amazing sense of color she has. Her whole shape sensitivity is also amazing,” says DeManuelle. “She uses really beautiful color juxtapositions.

Chanel Mehyo chalk and acrylic drawings

“Chanel uses dry and wet media, charcoal, acrylic paint and chalk. It’s the impulse of the project to develop a vocabulary that is used throughout the series with mixed media, ” says DeManuelle, who encourages students to explore contemporary drawing techniques. “Students are meant to develop multiple works using similar strategies in each of the pieces.”

Chanel Mehyo’s series cont.

Mehyo wants to continue her studies post graduation to become an art therapist.

The Selections exhibit will be on display until January 28, 2013.


Hayley’s PAVE-winning men’s store

By , December 19, 2012 8:08 pm

It’s one thing to admire great menswear on the street. But how do you recreate that feeling of a great pair of pants walking by for a customer in a virtual store? In order to turn “Nice pants, man” into more than a stand-up line — and into a desire to purchase those pants online — was the goal of this year’s PAVE (The Planning and Visual Education Partnership) competition.

PAVE’s annual competition has categories in visual merchandising (or product display) and the interior design of retail stores. From among this year’s 400 PAVE contestants who submitted pop-up designs for Bonobos online men’s clothing store, senior interior design student Hye Young Hayley Park won honorable mention.

Hye Young Hayley Park in the middle of two fellow PAVE winners

“We’re proud to have Hayley represent the great work our students do at FIT,” said interior design chair Andrew Seifer. “Hayley is an incredible talent in our department. She won the Decorator’s Club award last spring and continues to flourish.”

Rendering of pants and denims display by Hye Young Hayley Park

“My pop-up store aims to create the virtual experience that’s closest to a physical experience by converging digital and retail stores,” says Ms. Park about the pants and denims shown in an on-the-go style in her rendering (above).  “For each pair of pants on display, an Ipad will be provided that allows customers to read reviews, check available colors, sizes, and find additional product information before making a purchase.”

Rendering of accessories display wall by Hye Young Hayley Park

“The accessories display wall is a 3′ x 3′ modular system with adjustable shelving sticks,” says Ms. Park. “The displayed products include shoes, ties, bags and belts. The LED seating cubes can be custom-colored and be rearranged. The material would be chipboard, good for sound absorption.”

While Ms. Park’s taste in fashion is commonly noted, it’s her interior design expertise that could make virtual shopping a sleek and wonderful experience.

To read about last year’s FIT PAVE winner go to: “Natasha Melo helping us locate lipstick, eyeliner & more”


Happy Birthday Katie!

By , October 24, 2012 3:18 pm

Balloons and pumpkin cake were waiting for interior design student Katie McTammany at the end of her photography class PH404 this morning. Katie turned 21 today.  She and her classmates had just learned how to saturate and desaturate photos in class with Prof. Brad Farwell. 

               Birthday girl Kathryn McTammany & Hayley Cavagnoll

Cake was lovingly provided by Hayley Cavagnoli.

Saturation wasn’t the only game in town. Curves and levels were topics as well.

                  Katie holding her birthday card from Jessica Mazur


With a hug from one of her peeps.

Photos by Rachel Ellner


A Boateng tweet and the thrill of anticipation

By , October 18, 2012 12:12 pm

Kris Harrington’s tweet from Ozwald Boateng

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