Category Archives: Work

Work by an alum, student, or professor of FIT.

SUCCESSFUL ROMANCE NOVEL COVER ILLUSTRATOR’S LIFE AFTER THE DEATH OF THE ROMANCE NOVEL COVER

For more than 20 years, Leslie Peck, Illustration ’87, painted the covers of romance novels, bodice ripper and genteel love story alike. Although the contents may have been tawdry (Hue wouldn’t know), the covers were often masterful. Take a look at some of those covers in Hue’s summer issue.

But they didn’t come cheap, and, as publishing houses looked to cut their spending, these lush paintings went by the wayside. Peck, looking for a new career, turned to painting the world around her: farm animals, still lifes, potraits. Hue thinks she gets them just right.

See more painted beauties on Leslie Peck’s website.

A TASTE OF MOVIE MAGIC

Hue finds the work of Computer Animation and Interactive Media students utterly delightful. Working mostly alone, they create films of the quality you’d expect in a movie theater. Sean Peterson, CAIM ’13, is no exception. Poppet: No Strings Attached is a gorgeous, amusing piece about a magician, thwarted in his conjurings by his rascally kitty. The animation is so precise, Hue could watch the magician squash and stretch for hours.

Impractical Magic: “Poppet” by Sean Peterson, Computer Animation and Interactive Media ’13.

Long interested in classic Disney cartoons, Peterson got the idea for Poppet after seeing Paperman, the Oscar-winning hand-drawn short that opened for Wreck-It Ralph in 2012. He created 3-D animation set against a still background, augmenting hand-drawn figures with automated techniques to save time. Then he meticulously worked in details like the rim lighting, 1920s-era static, and filmed smoke and dust, using more than 15 layers in the final project.

Peterson hopes to find work in character animation in Hollywood. Based on Poppet, Hue is confident he’ll make a splash—complete with a pool-emptying animated geyser, no doubt.

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ALL THE SCHOOL’S A STAGE

FIT is in bloom this month — and we’re not talking boring old flowers.

Through May 23, the culminating work of 800 graduating Art and Design students is displayed all throughout the school; for example, Accessories Design and Photography in the Feldman lobby, more Photography in the library, Fine Arts in the Great Hall, Packaging and Fashion Design in the museum lobby, and, oh gosh, just take a gander at this chart.

Hue will post a few more times about the exhibition before its end; for today, here’s a sampling of stunners.

“Transience,” fantastically fluorescent shoes by Rachel Bohn, Accessories Design.

“Ode to Southern Summer,” a necklace by Daniell Hudson, Jewelry Design, made with real cicadas, just in time for the Jurassic Park rerelease this summer. Oh, and the cicada “swarmageddon.”

Spectacle in the Fine Arts exhibition hall. The green resin clutter of body parts is “Ouch,” by Dimitri Dimizas, Fine Arts, a commentary on our culture’s lust for violence.

The “Sammy” plush toy and the “Sammy Can’t Stand Her Bangs” book. Is it a response to Michelle Obama’s look at the inauguration this year?

 

 

 

 

 

 

WHAT I LEARNED FROM STARTING A MEN’S UNDERWEAR BRAND

Vasumathi Soundararajan, Fashion Design ’10, chief underwearist of the new brand Ken Wroy, recounts her most salient lessons from her first year in business.

When doing market research, sales associates are the best teachers. They do like to talk. I learned all about the brands out there, and the best sellers for each age group, why some brands cost more, etc.

Some people buy expensive underwear, like $60 a pair.

 

Each buyer for a retail store starts with only 20 to 30 pieces. After all the effort of getting the buyer, that number seemed low. But it has pushed me to look for other ways to sell. Also, many of these stores sell on a consignment basis: A shop owner will give me space to display my product, and he pays me based on what I sold for the month. That can still be a great opportunity, though.

I used to wonder why brands spend so much on branding, and whether that was necessary. India isn’t so much into branding, so I didn’t expect that everything would boil down to a brand. Now I understand its importance. Certain demographics won’t even look at underwear if it’s not branded. They won’t even give it a chance.

Another thing I was not ready for was the emotional roller coaster of working for myself.

Underwear is such a small product, one would imagine that a factory could pull it off with no trouble. At every step, I learned not to take anything for granted.

In Tirupur, where my product was being dyed, many dyeing houses were shut down recently because there was no proper chemical treatment plant.

People are not used to women designing for men—it’s almost always the other way around. And they don’t expect an Indian woman behind the work. It’s a conversation starter, an opportunity for me to show that I’m passionate about it.

Vasumathi Soundararajan

Vasumathi Soundararajan, Fashion Design ’10, knows men’s underwear.

INSIDE THE JEWELRY DESIGNER’S STUDIO

Independent jewelry designers can often be found at the bench, hammering away at itty bits of metal. But corporate designers work much differently. Charu Mehta, Jewelry Design ’11, associate jewelry designer for the Adelington Design Group, part of Fifth & Pacific (formerly Liz Claiborne), gives Hue Too a rare glimpse into the mass-market design process, using a pair of Kensie earrings as an example.

First, the design team shops at high- and low-end stores for inspiration. They liked these resin earrings—and neon is hot right now—and wanted to create something better.

Back in the studio, the designers make dozens of sketches, based on materials chosen by the product development team. The design director picks the best one—in this case, the one on the lower right. She thought the teardrop shape with just one ring of stones looked special without costing too much.

Next, Mehta makes a clear and informative technical drawing that is sent to the manufacturer.

The manufacturer takes a “first pass” at the earring, and the designers tweak it. In this case, they wanted the blue resin piece to look shinier and asked for it in a range of colors.

Mehta’s work is done when the showroom sample comes in. This piece, in Kensie’s Spring/Summer 2013 collection, sells for $38 at Lord & Taylor and Macy’s.