Monthly Archives: May 2012

SHIRT HAPPENS 9: IN WHICH I APPROACH THE UNDERGRADUATES

[In the fall, Jonathan Vatner, Hue staff writer,  took an introductory menswear sewing class. He has been blogging about his experiences on Hue, Too.]

I was doing my homework, sewing sleeve plackets—the reinforced strip on the forearm that connects to the opening on the cuff—and I found myself stuck. My notes read: “Lay down ply so it touches the TOP at the corner. Grab and hold that corner. You’ll create a straight line from that. Eyeball it, then IRON.”

Which ply? The top of what? And what was I eyeballing?

I asked Carol, the Degree-Seeker who seemed to live in the Menswear labs, but she couldn’t remember. “Why don’t you ask the undergraduates? They know it really well.”

I was terrified of the undergraduates. They were way more talented and ambitious than I. And they seemed so comfortable in their skin, a far cry from Jonathan “Gollum” Vatner, shuffling around his undergraduate alma mater.

The full-timers

Students hard at work

All that evening, they had been gossiping about the students in their program: One saw someone sleeping in her Patternmaking class. Another wanted to know what was up with the smelly guy, apparently identifiable to all without a name. Then they all wondered aloud who wasn’t gay in their program.

“Bill says he’s not gay,” said one undergrad. (I’ve changed all the names, all you Nosey Parkers out there.)

“He just doesn’t know he’s gay,” said another. “He’s only like eighteen.”

“Roger’s not gay.”

“No, I’m totally gay,” said Roger, on the other side of the room, though I couldn’t tell if he was joking.

During a lull in the conversation, I gathered the courage to ask them about my placket.

“Don’t ask me,” said one. “ I hate those things.”

But another showed me. He made it look easy.

IF A PICTURE IS WORTH 1,000 WORDS, THIS IS THE LONGEST HUE TOO POST EVER

Hue is intrigued by the gallery in the stairwell of the Gladys Marcus Library. It hosts significant work in a transient space: almost everyone inside is either ascending or descending.

The photographers whose projects are in there now, BFA graduates in Photography and the Digital Image, are definitely ascending. Take Vinny Vega’s stylized, almost plasticky figures, done up with blood, bondage, and a dash of religious imagery. The body doesn’t know how to react.

Vega's photos

Photos by Vinny Vega, Photography '12

Take a close look at the one on the bottom right. Disturbing, yet there’s more going on. Eroticism? Commentary? Or maybe it’s an homage to Nip/Tuck.

Vega's Photographs

Photographs by Vinny Vega, Photography and the Digital Image '12

Occupying a wall halfway down a set of stairs are photos by James Yarusinsky, the result of a three-week road trip across the southern U.S. He arranged them into diptychs between related images to allow for comparison.

Yarusinksy's photos

Photos by James Yarusinsky, Photography and the Digital Image '12

Hue wants to know why there’s a billboard of a toddler in the middle of farm country. Is it an ad? A birthday present? An alien invasion?

This third project, by Jacquelyn Clifford, is quite amusing. Sort of a chorus of snoozers. Perhaps the lesson is to lean forward when falling asleep in public.

Clifford's photos

Photos by Jacquelyn Clifford, Photography and the Digital Image '12

 

HUE HEARTS IMPRACTICAL SHOES

It’s the most wonderful time of the year… when the work of FIT’s graduating students in 17 Art and Design majors decks the halls. Catch it before May 22, when most of the exhibitions will disappear.

Hue was digging on heels today, especially the mondo outrageous kind in the Accessories Design display case in the lobby of the Feldman Center.

Brightly colored shoe and bags

"Eccentric Playland" by Danielle Stein, Accessories Design '12

Danielle Stein, the creator of this wonderland, claims that My Little Pony inspired her varicolored extravaganza, but Hue sees much more of a Rainbow Brite influence. Perhaps Stein wasn’t as devoted a viewer of girls’ cartoons as Hue was.

Steampunk shoe and sunglasses

"Tarnished Timepieces" by Alexandra Seleska, Accessories Design '12

This beaut of a wedge looks a little… heavy… though perhaps its steampunk style and whirring gear in the back would be downright useful while wearing a Rocketeer jetpack.

A blinking high heeled shoe

"The Force" by Ah-Young Kwak, Accessories Design '12

Hue wishes it were 1977 and John Travolta needed a dance partner. The LEDs in the sole would also come in handy on a roller rink circa 1985, or in a poorly lit parking garage anytime, really.

ILLUSTRATION ALUMNA CREATES AMAZING IMAGES ON HER IPAD USING “ART RAGE”

Hue is totally in love with the drawings of Monika Maniecki, Illustration MFA ’11.  Recently, she’s been creating drawings on her iPad using a program, “Art Rage.”

Hue asked Monika what it’s like to draw on her iPad and she said, “I use a ‘nomad brush’—a stylus that’s like a real brush, with bristles. There’s a tiny lag time between when you make a stroke and when it appears, so it’s hard to control it completely.  There’s more of a distance between you and the surface. But I like the challenge: I have to embrace the idea that it’s not perfect.”

This isn’t Monika’s first time drawing digitally, of course; at FIT, she took a course called Integrating Digital with Traditional Media.  Now she teaches it.

Maybe someday, if you’re lucky, Monika will paint your portrait.

Check out more of her drawings at:  www.monikamaniecki.com

Do you draw on your iPad?  Send us some sketches at hue@fitnyc.edu

SHIRT HAPPENS 8: IN WHICH I LOOK TO MY LEFT AND RIGHT

[In the fall, Jonathan Vatner, Hue staff writer,  took an introductory menswear sewing class. He has been blogging about his experiences on Hue, Too.]

Why do people take Menswear 142? Everyone has a different reason, and though this is a beginning sewing class, not everyone is a beginner.

1. The Cruisers already work in the fashion industry and just want to pick up a few pointers. If I am missing a step in my notes or have messed up and am too embarrassed to admit it to Professor Blackman, I ask a Cruiser. Stella* is a Cruiser. She already designs for a menswear company and thought it was time to polish her sewing skills. She never betrays anxiety, even during the most delicate operations, such as sewing a collar for an earthworm. I never look at

Stella’s work, which is no doubt perfect and probably includes decorative stitches in the shape of cowboys and dragons.

One of the undergrads, a fixture in the Menswear rooms

2. Next are the Degree-Seekers. Some of these, such as Eitan, are full-time FIT students who work (or sleep) during the day and prefer to take their classes at night. Others—Carol, for example—are in semi-retirement and have decided to make a business of sewing. Though their stitches might not line up in week one, they take Professor Blackman seriously when he says to practice for “up to 14 hours a week.” I have never been in the sewing rooms and not seen Carol. She’s taking Menswear classes just to get better at women’s wear. It’s like taking French to get better at Spanish. The presence of the Degree-Seekers nullifies any possibility of getting an “A for effort.”

3. The final group is the Curious. These people thought, “Rad! I can save money by making my own dress shirts!” The stitches of the Curious are wobbly, their notes riddled with gaps.

Don’t ask which group I fall into.

*Names changed to protect the journalist from enraged subjects.