Instructor Spotlight: Isolina Perez

finalsmallIsolina Perez is the Department/Industry Project Coordinator for the Jewelry Design department at the Fashion Institute of Technology. She also teaches part time through the school’s Center for Professional Studies and the Precollege Program. She is a frequent guest artist at the Guilded Lynx Studio in Connecticut and offers private workshops at Studio 134 in NYC.

Isolina is also a jewelry and mixed-media artist who likes to bend the rules and push the envelope when creating innovative pieces. Why not think outside the box and re-purpose a device that embosses paper or utilize ordinary items like paper clips to texture metal? She uses these techniques and a variety of others to create her concepts in resin, metal, paper, and enamel.

Classes Taught:
HSX 010: Beaded and Wire-wrapped Jewelry Design
JSX 070 Jewelry Design: Wire-Forming and Beaded Techniques
JSX 071 Jewelry Design: Metal Jewelry Techniques
JSX 072 Jewelry Design: Clay, Resin and Polymer Techniques

On Precollege Programs:
The Precollege Program is a wonderful opportunity for middle school and high students to take a class they love in a college setting. It’s most rewarding when the students complete a piece above and beyond their expectations.

Teaching Philosophy:
Whether someone is a  novice or experienced jewelry designer, I remind them that making jewelry should be fun.  I encourage students to ask as many questions as possible, it doesn’t matter how many times I repeat myself as long as they get the concept.  I tell the students they are only limited by their imagination, and by the end of the class they will be walking out with as many pieces of jewelry as they have created.  That’s Priceless!

Industry Experience:
Isolina has been featured in several issues of Stampington Magazine, Just Steampunk Magazine and in the Lark book “Showcase 500 Beaded Jewelry.”

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The Best DIY Halloween Costume: You



Hey guys and ghouls! It’s the Halloween season, a time to celebrate individuality, theatricality, and plain old absurdity. What better time to experiment with new styles, based on some of your favorite icons? Make every look a costume! Treat your wardrobe like it’s a Halloween pop-up store, not a uniform factory!

It has been four classes and one field trip into my weekly Sunday odyssey at FIT’s Precollege Program. It’s time for a new post that might send shivers up the skinny jeans of the fashion-conservative, while making us fashion deviants scrounge the shelves of the nearest thrift shop within seconds.

Who are you supposed to be? Are you the winner of the costume contest, or are you just another stray cat?

My Product Development class has gotten me thinking about how an individual’s fashion choices come together to create a character. At a certain point, our fashion becomes our costume; we are not referred to by name or number, but by “girl-with-heavy-contour-and-heels-she-can’t-walk-in.”

On my first day of class at FIT, the professor started the course by going around the room and having each student say where they shop. In the context of a Product Development class, this is only logical; our goal is to meet the wants and needs of the common buyer, and what better way to learn what average buyers seek than by studying the models of successful stores? From a business standpoint, we can extract the popular stores’ models by placing their products in terms of the Pyramid; no, not Abby Lee Miller’s pyramid- the Product Development Pyramid.


On a more personal level, this class discussion led me to consider what contributes to an individual’s style. I know what stores my peers shop at, but what brought them into that store? What has influenced their fashion sense? Who are their style icons? What did they first see that subconsciously caused them to believe that this store is the best reflection of them?

To best answer these questions, I will discuss the influences and influencers of the character whose style I know best: myself.

My style icons are mainly renowned for their bold and theatrical aesthetics. I’m very passionate about music, so most of them happen to be musicians (the context of which their dramatic aesthetics are fitting). I’ve listed a few below, along with some key examples of signature looks that should say it all:

FKA Twigs
(FKA Twigs, reposted from,,, and

Gwen Stefani
(Gwen Stefani, reposted from, © Mark Ferguson/Rex via,,

Marina Diamandis
(Marina Diamandis, reposted from,,, and

Nicole Richie
(Nicole Richie, reposted from Nicole Richie for House of Harlow 1960 by Vijat Mohindra via,,, and

Stevie Nicks
(Stevie Nicks, reposted from,,, and

St. Vincent
(St. Vincent, reposted from, © Ben Hassett for Harper’s Bazaar,, and

Aside from public figures, I also draw a lot of the inspiration for my aesthetic from other media, like movies and TV shows. Sound similar to choosing a Halloween costume? For example, I’m greatly influenced by the aesthetic of 90s cult films like Clueless (1995) and Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion (1997), as well as Tim Burton movies like Coraline (2009) and Edward Scissorhands (1990). I love wearing hyper-feminine 90s-style crushed velvet and chokers whenever possible, and I love to style it in as whimsical a tone as possible. The theatricality! I also really love the look and feel of old school low budget films, like the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974). It doesn’t get spookier than that! Various television characters, for example Fran Fine from The Nanny and Samantha from Sex and the City, as well as Elvira, Mistress of the Dark (QUEEN of wearing the same outfit for thirty years), have also contributed to my look. It sounds funny, but I also find unlikely inspiration from nonhuman characters like Betty Boop, Jessica Rabbit, and Miss Piggy. The more imaginary, the better! What can I say? It’s a concept!

(Miss Piggy, reposted from







(Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion, reposted from







(Texas Chainsaw Massacre, reposted from








(Fran Fine from The Nanny, reposted from










(Samantha Jones from Sex and the City, reposted from

To best express the influence of such nouns (people, places, things) on my vibe and aesthetic, I shop mainly at local and online boutiques (mainly for statement pieces, which would fall under the top “fashion” part of the pyramid).

These stores include:

~Buffalo Exchange (locations all over the U.S., including five in NY, one being a block away from FIT in Chelsea at 114 W 26th St)
~Dolls Kill (
~Fashion Nova (
~Free People (, locations all over the U.S., Canada, and U.K.)
~House of Harlow 1960 (
~Mystique Boutiqe NYC (, locations in Manhattan and Long Island)
~Nasty Gal (
~Ruby and Jenna (, locations in NY and NJ)
~So Aesthetic Shop ( ~ use the promo code “Harmony” for 10% off
~Twenty5A (, located on Long Island)

Where will you buy your daily costumes? Will you mix-and-match and DIY, or will you choose a prepackaged number off the wall? What character will you be? Will you masquerade as the most convenient persona, or will you take the time to develop the best product, a conglomerate of all your favorite icons and influences- you? Creep in the comment section below and tell your tale!

Join me next week as we continue to “Liv” On The Edge of true enterprising artistry, brought to you by FIT’s Precollege Program!


Introducing Precollege Blogger: Faith

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Hello FIT! My name is Faith Vogel, I am a high school sophomore born and raised in the suburbs of North Jersey. It takes about thirty minutes to drive into New York City from my home, not counting the two hours it usually takes me to figure out what I’m going to wear before leaving my house. I am very fortunate to have an amazing family that will drop everything to bring me into the city. Whether it be for a walk around central park, to pick up a treat from Magnolia’s Bakery, or to shop around SoHo until we can’t feel our legs. Often times I take the convenience of living so close for granted.

Compared to my home in Jersey, New York City is a whole other universe. Here I am surrounded by a community where everyone knows everyone’s business. When I venture into the city I am exposed to a fast paced urban jungle full of endless opportunities and millions of individuals. Being able to experience the cultural differences from both my mellow suburban town and the fast paced urban lifestyle of NYC has allowed me to view the world from multiple perspectives. If I would have grown up any further from the city I probably wouldn’t have been exposed it’s constant inspirational and influential society, and most importantly I wouldn’t have fallen in love with FIT. I still remember last spring when I was getting ready to sign up for my first Precollege class here at FIT and having such a hard time choosing between the variety of classes they offer. As I was looking at the list of classes I just kept scrolling back and forth wanting to take every single class. Finally after several hours of difficult eliminations, I came up with HFS 182 Developing an Eye for Styling, and let me tell you, best decision I ever made. I had an amazing professor and awesome classmates. When the program ended I couldn’t wait to sign up for my next class and now here I am eagerly waiting for my class of Fashion Forecasting.

I always had the dream to one day become the next Rachel Zoe, I grew up inspired by her style and love for fashion. I still remember coming home from school seeing my older sister watching the Rachel Zoe Project and I’d plop down next to her and watch for hours on end mesmerized by her job and lifestyle. Ever since then it has been my dream to become a celebrity stylist and a fashion icon, but recently I have decided to explore the world of fashion merchandising. With the help of my amazing marketing teacher at my school I have been exposed to marketing in fashion and I already want to learn more. So thankfully this time around I didn’t have such a hard time picking out my class. I went straight down the list, clicked on fashion forecasting and got out my mom’s credit card faster than when Adele announced her tour tickets, so hopefully this semester will be just a fab as the last! Thank you for reading my first blog, See you soon!

-Faith Isabelle

Introducing Precollege Blogger: Alivia

alivia-cooneyBorn and raised on Long Island, I have been blessed my whole life with an easy access to New York City, the ultimate hub of all things artistic and enterprising. Since my first visits to the city in my early youth, I always knew it was where I was meant to be. The never-ending action, the constant feeling of potential, the smell of sidewalk pretzels and cigarette ashes, and a Dunkin Donuts on every block- what’s not to love?

The main driving force behind my inherent need to be in the city stems from my innate sense of individualism and creativity. I’ve always viewed myself as an artist; from an early age, I have channeled this creative energy into performing in musical theater productions, writing (in every medium, from short stories, to blog posts, to plays, to essays and papers), and using fashion and makeup as a daily outlet to release this sacred energy. To a non-artist, it may sound a tad dramatic to use the word “sacred” in this sense; but for anyone who can relate to the daily, internal buzzing of waiting (not so patiently) to conquer creativity blocks and burst out into some sort of expression, there is no exaggeration in the slightest. As a matter of fact, when I go too long without channeling this energy into some sort of outlet, I experience pretty intense consequences; I have trouble focusing, I start to feel anxious and hopeless, and I sometimes even use destruction in a desperate attempt to make up for my lack of creation. I know many artists go through these same fluctuations of energy, so I feel it is important to surround myself with as many like-minded artists and individuals as possible. It is so important to learn as much as we can from each other, not only in terms of inspiration, but even more so in terms of channeling this inspiration once the seed has been planted. The future of innovation lies in this idea.

In my life, I try to apply this philosophy to all my creative endeavors. Surprisingly, it’s not always my creativity that motivates me; I often begin new creative projects with like-minded artists simply because I am so inspired by the energy I experience in the collaboration aspect of it. For example, my friend Jenna is an aspiring photojournalist. Whenever she has an idea for a new photoshoot, I am the first person she reaches out to because she values my talent and passion for styling and modeling. We both gain great unique insight from each photoshoot we do together because we truly respect and value each other as artistic individuals. Because of this mutually beneficial artistic relationship, we feel greatly renewed after each of our projects are completed because we thrive off of the energy being rallied. It is a truly cathartic experience.

I am so excited to be apart of the Precollege Program at FIT (attending the class HFM 065 55A Product Development: Creativity and Business) this fall because FIT is a school founded off of these same ideas that I hold so dear. Surrounded by a community of like-minded artists and innovators from all walks of life, it is no wonder that FIT students have a reputation for taking the fashion and art world by storm. Personally, I cannot wait to experience the same exhilarating creative interactions with the students at FIT that I experience in my neighborhood with my friend Jenna. I plan to take what I learn from both the class and my fellow students at the Precollege Program to further expand my creative stamina and increase my creative output. I want to completely eliminate the dreaded “block” phase of the creative cycle, and center my life completely around emitting an endless stream of artistry into the universe, letting each project and medium I achieve this through be equally joyous and fulfilling for both artist and consumer.


Instructor Spotlight: Steven Cutting

Steven Cutting (final small)Steven Cutting is a Professor in the Fashion Design Art Department in the School of Art and Design at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Professor Cutting has taught at FIT since 1996  and received AAS and BFA degrees in Fashion Design from FIT. Currently he is working on his MA in Adult Development. Master at his craft, designer of Innovative style not only in NY, but in Europe, Asia, and the Caribbean he has worked as a Design Director, Fashion Designer, in both garments  and accessories.

Classes Taught:
HAR016 Creating the Fashion Figure
HAR089 Fashion Design Portfolio III

Professor Cutting’s Teaching Philosophy:
Innovative and Relevant techniques, which consistently evolve as the times change!

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On Precollege Programs:
I get great satisfaction from teaching, knowing I made a difference! Its important I provide a welcoming environment….

Additional Comments/Advice:
Constantly research to fulfill your desire for Fashion! Understand how to blend your appetite for fashion with business for success…LIVE IT, BE IT and REMAIN IN IT!!!!!

Industry Experience:
Kenneth Cole, Perry Ellis, Larry Levine, Anna Scipioni, Krizia, Philippe Monet, Doneger Trends Consultant, Beyoncé’s House of Dereon/Dereon, Komocean, Fashion Show Producer

Harvey’s Bristol Crème Award for Most Promising Designer
Children of Promise Mentor
Shabeau Magazine Award Winner
Council for Leather Exports Presenter: India/New York
Leather Trend Specialist: China/Miami
Caribbean World Fashion Presenter/Instructor: Barbados/Guyana/St. Kitts
International Guest Professor: ZST University -Hangzhou China

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Upcoming News:
▪ Website coming…
▪ FASHION DESIGN BOOK in works coming soon…
▪ Fashion Show with Kenneth Cole/Kota Alliance/Stand for Education May 2016

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