Monthly Archives: June 2012


Every so often, while Hue is wandering the halls of FIT, a student artwork catches Hue’s eye. Recently, Hue saw three works that revealed an artist’s macabre vision.

Behold “The Bird Nest,” by Phoenix Chan, Illustration BFA ’12. Is it a bird feeding her young at dawn, or bird about to feast on li’l blondie trapped in her nest?

Alice in blunderland

“The Bird Nest,” Oil on gesso board, 16”x20”, by Phoenix Chan

Phoenix sees a third option, that the bird is surprised to encounter a five-inch-tall girl taking a nap in her nest. “Personally,” she says, “I am fascinated by ‘tiny people.’”

This next one looks sort of normal, until you look closer… a rabbit in her underwear? Babies in a bag? A head made of gears, covered in a mask? Hue says: What?

Is this running local?

“The Subway,” oil and ink on watercolor paper, 11.5”x30”, by Phoenix Chan

Here’s the real story, courtesy of Ms. Chan: A lost little boy tries to get on the subway at Adult Ave. A friendly stranger stops him and tells him to put on a mask—because it’s uncouth to look people in the eye on the subway. The little tyke has to decide whether or not to accept it or not.

In “The Chess Board,” Phoenix depicts Heaven, Earth, and Hell on three separate chess boards, all connected by stairs. If you win the chess game on one level, you move up. If you lose, you move down.

Take that, Bobby Fischer

“The Chess Board,” ink on craft paper, 24”x36”, by Phoenix Chan

For more of Phoenix’s mind-opening work, open up Phoenix Chan Collections [].


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

The class before Thanksgiving, Professor Blackman got out the ham and showed us how to put “marrow” in our shirts, then passed around lemon bars. But I still left hungry.

A ham is a pillow with the shape and solidity of a pig thigh, useful for ironing curved seams, like the ones in the shoulder. Just drape the shirt over the ham and iron a few inches at a time.


Professor Blackman's vintage ham

Merrowing (not marrowing, as I laterdiscovered) is a hassle-free stitch of three interwoven threads done on a specialized machine. It finishes off raw edges so that they don’t fray, and it can be a useful shortcut instead of laboriously felling a seam (which involves turning under the raw edge and stitching two rows).

The lemon bars were actual lemon bars, brought in by Professor Blackman, a talented and generous baker. Scrumptious.


Ever since FIT’s 2012 Commencement, Hue has been thinking about names. So Hue did what any slightly obsessive personality with statistical leanings would do: make a word cloud out of all the names from the program and see which ones rose to the top.

2012 FIT graduates

Nicole and Jessica seem to be the winners, though Samantha, Alexandra, Lauren, and Stephanie are well represented. (Trust Hue, there are far more men at FIT than the word cloud would suggest.)

Compare these to the Social Security Administration’s list of most popular baby names for 1991, around when many of these gals were born. Nicole is #15, Jessica is #2. The only real surprise is Alexandra, #36 on the SSA’s list, yet prominently represented here.

That got Hue to wondering, how do the names compare with FIT grads from 50 years before?

1962 FIT graduates

Hello, Carol! And Barbara, Susan, and Judith. There doesn’t seem to be much of a link between 1962 and 2012 names… though if you look closely at this one, you can see Stephanie peeking out in the upper left.

One last experiment: Do the names of FIT’s Art and Design grads differ from those from Business and Technology? Does a person’s name have an effect on their choice of career?

2012 Art and Design graduates

2012 Business and Technology graduates

Hmm, not a huge difference. Nicole is the most popular in Art and Design, Jessica in Business and Technology. But Katherine and Sarah seem to be artier names, while Brittany and Alexandra are more businessy. Also, the men’s names are significantly larger in the Art and Design cloud. Note to men: Apply for a business degree.

Alas, with all these names flying around, Hue can’t help feeling left out.


All those who complain that there isn’t enough pink at FIT should please proceed to the lobby of the Pomerantz Art and Design Center. There, Mattel has teamed up with FIT to create “The Pink Issue,” an homage to Barbie from five Art and Design majors.

Hue was quite fond of the intricately decorated dollhouses dreamed up by Interior Design students. A dream house indeed! This bathroom, if scaled to human size, would be larger than Hue’s whole apartment.

A Barbie dollhouse

"A Timeless Barbie Powder Room" by Jessica L. Mazur, Interior Design '13

The bubble bath looks positively inviting, though Hue wonders who’s going to clean up the mess on the floor. (Sorry, Ken.)

This bedroom looks like fun for the feet… but is it pink enough? One thing’s for sure: Barbie’s friends can spill as much rosé as they like onto the rug, with no one the wiser.

Another Barbie dollhouse

"Green is the New Chic" by Katie McTammany, Interior Design '13

Hue finds this dress, seemingly made out of shopping bags, to die for. Barbie would light up the red carpet. But the fantasy would be crushed once she hopped into a cab. She’d have to walk home, unless she came in a Segway.

A life-size Barbie dress

"Shopaholic" by Maor Tapiro, Menswear '13

The Pink Issue runs through September 3.


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

The class has just two graded assignments, a full shirt at the end of the term and a dickey halfway through. A dickey, in case you don’t know, is basically the sleeveless crop top version of a dress shirt, once common in schoolboys and working stiffs but now worn only as a sight gag.

My dickey, unfortunately, was far from perfect. The stitches were basically straight, but I couldn’t get the collar band to line up with the shirtfront placket, nor did the collar band match the yoke. Think about it this way: The collar is how a two-dimensional shirt becomes three-dimensional. Round peg, square hole.

When it came time to turn them in, we draped them on mannequins and lined them up on the side of the classroom. During class, Professor Blackman surreptitiously graded them. At the end of class, he gathered us to the front of the room. Seven of the 15 dickeys were positioned behind him; the other eight (including mine) remained to the side.

“Really good start, guys,” he said. “I’m very pleased. Everyone handed in a dickey, and guess what? They look like dickeys. This is the first class where no one has failed. You should be very, very pleased.”

The dickeys behind him, it turned out, were those that had received an A or A-. One by one, he called up the students who had created them, and shook their hands.

I rescued mine from the side of the room. He had written all over it, noting flaws that seemed all the more egregious when arrows pointed them out. My heart sank. Just what I needed was a D in sewing. But when I turned over my grade, it was a B. Could have been worse.

Couture, eh?

Professor Blackman's comments on my dickey