So, if you’ve been keeping up with my blog, you know that I’m the kind of girl that jumps at every opportunity. As a Precollege Blogger, I jumped when Brian emailed us about attending the Fashion High School Graduating Class’s fashion show, and I jumped high. I had no idea what it would be like, all I knew was that it was a chance I was going to take. I didn’t realize this chance would be different from all the others… until that night.
Last week, I went with 2 other bloggers, Sarah and Erin, and Michelle Nagel, the Precollege Program Director at FIT, to the Fashion High School a couple blocks down from FIT. We walked in and were greeted welcomingly. There was a lot of people taking pictures, and getting their pictures taken. People wore high-end apparel, as well as work attire. Hor d’oeuvres were served, and people chatted away.
The High School of Fashion Industries is a public school for students living in the 5 Burroughs with a special interest in fashion. Beginning in 9th grade, they learn all about designing and the industry. For their graduation requirements, they put on a show completely made up of garments that they made, with students modeling them.
I had no idea what to expect from these kids, I was too busy being jealous that I didn’t go to fashion high school! However, when I walked in, I could tell from the art work on the walls that I was going to be impressed. Their talents were obvious, and their art work was beautiful.
Erin, Sarah, and I snapped away hundreds of pictures of the student’s work. We met the creative director of Saks 5th Avenue, and had our pictures taken, and watched in awe as the world of fashion that we love so much take place right before us. We walked in to the auditorium to find good seats, but instead we were distracted by the guests of honor, the Toledo’s, posing for the cameras.
We quickly whipped out our camera’s and got as many pictures as possible. And then, it happened.
I was sneaking around camera men, trying to get a good angle, while Ruben Toledo signed the bag he designed to raise funds for the school for a fan. When he finished, he looked up, and must’ve seen us so eager to get their picture, because he reached out his hand and introduced himself to me! I was in awe. I was silently, well, freaking out. I had no idea what to say, so I said what I had been saying all night… “Hello, my name is Karlie and I’m a blogger for the Precollege Program at FIT.” He said it was wonderful to meet us! He was gracious and kind, as the three of us gathered around while he introduced us to his wife, Isabel. We told him we were there so we could blog about the night’s events, and he told me I could ask them any questions i’d like. I panicked. I had not been prepared to interview anyone, especially not the guests of honor. As the fear in me began to rise, Alina Cho, CNN’s Reporter came up to us and Mr. Toledo joked about how we would replace her one day. Another introduction, an explanation of who we were and why we were there, and I had just enough time to straighten my mind out and gather some questions.
He turned back to me and asked about the questions. Not only was he kind enough to introduce his wife and himself, but he was really engaging in conversation with us, we practically had an entire interview!
I asked how they would describe their experience in the fashion industry. They described a dream-like story of a starving artist and his fashionable wife, and told us not to wait around, just do what you love. I asked who the most influential person in each of their lives was. She pointed to him, and he laughed, and said he would say the same. His love for her was beaming in his eyes, and I looked in adoration for this wonderful couple. I asked how they met, and he said he was 13 and fell in love when he saw her in spanish class, but she took some warming up.
Then it was time for the show to start. Okay, I needed to absorb what just happened. I had just met two very prominent people in the fashion industry, living my dream, and the night wasn’t even near over.
We sat right behind the camera men, hoping to get the best shots we could. We had to position ourselves between a few flailing arms with several cameras, and prepared for the show to start.
They began with simple pieces, and gradually built up to their more technical work. They showed well put together collections, with prominent themes and versatility.
Several of their pieces had very high intricacy, especially for high school students. As a seamstress, I was blown away knowing how some of those outfits go from a dozen pieces of cutout fabric into a garment. I absolutely loved the outfits, I’d honestly wear most of them.
I tried to take as many photos as possible, but some of them are a little blurry, but here they are!