“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.
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.
And consider this: there was a total of 1500 applicants worldwide for the IHDA industry awards.
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.”
“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.”
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.”
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.”
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”
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!
“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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.
“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!”
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 andexplores how art can be used as a vehicle for self-discovery, something I very much relate to.”
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.”
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”
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 (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.
Mashable.com’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, Mashable.com’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.
“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.”
“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.
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.
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.