Same Shirt, Different Day: A Conversation With Taylor Orsino

Taylor Orsino, from Staten Island, was determined to leave her mark on her school’s homecoming. She decided to make a IMG_0569goal of hers to design the homecoming tee-shirts. Her art career began when her school’s art teacher told her about a class she taught at a private studio, “she handed me fliers for the class, and from there I joined fashion design.” She joined the homecoming committee at her school and began creating designs. She tried several but none caught on. This Viking with a skeleton face (below) was outright rejected by her school. She combined her carnival tent and Viking design (below), and this ultimately ended up being the design that her school picked.  According to Taylor, her shirts were a big hit at her school, “They sold out. I didn’t even get one.”



Taylor continues to work at her art teacher’s studio teaching fashion design. She started doing inventory in the studio store but was quickly moved to assisting the classes for younger children. She then was able to teach with a partner and soon, on her own. I asked about her career prospects, “I want to go into fashion merchandising.” She is taking FIT’s HMF064 Ins and Outs of Fashion Merchandising, “the main theme of the class is imagery, so looking at what makes brands stand out and what draws people to them.”


In the Halls: Amanda

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Student: Amanda (17) from Garden City, Long Island

Program: Precollege, Saturday/Sunday Live

Pre-College Courses: Intermediate Sewing and Embroidery Design and  Fashion Design Portfolio III

Describe your personal style: Classy with a little bit of edge. I love “flow-y” clothes especially flare/bell-bottom jeans.

Where do you go on your breaks from class? On my lunch break I usually go to the museum exhibit or work in the library.

What is your favorite thing about FIT? The amount of inspiration around you and exposure to the industry.

Who or what inspires you? Everything around me is inspiring in some way. One of my favorite designers that inspires me is Christian Siriano.

What do you want to do after you graduate from college? I would love to begin my own business or partner with someone who loves evening wear as much as I do.

Fueling Your Fire

Hi everyone!

This week I wanted to focus on the heart of your inspirations. Sometimes narrowing down the specifics of what inspires you isn’t as simple as it may seem. You could draw inspiration from a big idea, such as nature or a certain location; or you could even pull inspiration from everyday household items like a vase or furniture.

Things that inspire you should take your breath away and leave you in awe. Well, at least for me it does! A specific place that inspires me, practically beyond words, is the rooftop of a building on West 11th street. roof of west 11th street building

The first time I stepped foot onto the rooftop of this building my heart paused but nearly exploded at the same time. Staring ahead of me, the wind blowing my dress upwards like Marilyn Monroe, I couldn’t help but fixate my gaze on the bustling yet muffled sounding metropolis. I took the photo above after a few times of being up top; rain or shine, the feeling that flooded my body the first time still lingers.

Sunflowers on my window

Flowers. The colors and silhouettes of each petal on a flower complement the detailed center softly. It’s funny to think that a plant can just beautifully form like that with ease. I’m also a lover of shadows. Different contrasts of light, whether it be flowers or buildings, admiring how light settles on either is inspiring to me.

Staying on the topic of nature, autumn is my favorite season. The vibrant colors of leaves popping off the sky like a comic book is so fulfilling to me. The crisp air and twinkling sun ignite a spark in me that leaves me happy and content.

fall in CT

Everyone interprets a scene differently. No one can tell you what your inspiration is, it’s something you run into along the way.

Photo of Frank Sinatra

Reposted from apostrophe9

I constantly use fashion as an inspiration of mine. I love looking at the patterns and fabric designers use in their pieces.This shot of Frank Sinatra ties in a flare of musical taste as well as dapper attire. The suit really owns the photo, between the checkered picnic blanket design and the spring fedora; there’s so many bits to explore!

Last but not least, family. My family always inspires me to keep my drive and to try new things while taking risks I normally wouldn’t take. Having a group of people behind you who inspire you and not tear you down is important in all aspects of life; remember that.

These are just a few sum up pieces of my inspirations though as life goes on our inspirations keep evolving with us! Seeing one single detail could inspire you to create something big and that’s all that really matters! Inspiration is all around us, waiting to be discovered. Change is wonderful…if it wasn’t for change we wouldn’t grow into the thinkers we are today.

So tell me, what inspires you? Leave your inspirations in the comments below!

As always hope you enjoyed reading and have a wonderful day!

– Emily Kelly



Instructor Spotlight: Max Goodman

Max Goodman
Prof. Goodman was born and raised in Philadelphia PA, and earned her BFA  with a double major in painting and jewelry/metals from the Tyler School of Art.  After graduation and inspired by a year studying in Rome, she moved to France and then Tuscany.  Finally landing in Brooklyn, she taught  at a number of community art studios, fabricated for big name designers and built her own art jewelry under the brand Moxy Metals.  In 2013 she launched her own studio for emerging jewelry designers called Happenstance Jewelry Studio, where she currently makes her work and hosts an intensive apprenticeship program.  In her other life she also rides horses professionally – themes of animals, natural forms, organic and alternative materials are signatures in her work.

Prof. Goodman teaches:
HJD 019  Jewelry Design Studio I

Teaching Philosophy:
In my studio everyone is an artist, everyone is equal.  Everyone is encouraged to express their own voice and vision.  However, as artists and craftspeople we are held to professional standards, and we are expected to produce exceptional work even when on a deadline.  My goal as an educator is to foster successful, skilled makers who are proud of each piece they produce, and prepared to move forward in their education or to launch a professional career in arts and design.  In learning to create and in producing great work students come to understand themselves more fully not only as makers but also as people.

On Precollege Programs:
This transitional period in many young peoples’ lives is when they first take tentative steps towards self identifying as an artist or designer.  Being there to watch this transformation and being the mentor that can offer growth and affirmation at this nascent stage is incredibly rewarding.
Industry Experience/Recent Exhibitions:
I have worked as a fabricator for many big brand designers, like Alexis Bittar.  In my personal design work I build almost exclusively on commission for private clients.  I am constantly impressed by my students whom I have helped to launch their own brands, such as Eva Marcus Jewelry, Laura Wass of WXYZ, Allie Schloss of AnnaLaya designs, Libby Klein of Libby BK and Candice Cox of CanDidArt, to name a few.


Timothy Treadwell Ring, Max Goodman


Orchid Pendant, Max Goodman


Magnolia Post Earrings, Max Goodman

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Wishbone Hinged Necklace, Max Goodman

Uncommon Threads: A Conversation With Molly Farrell-Savage

11060836_10205919340115558_5934537564838973232_nAfter learning in the classrooms of the FIT Precollege Program, Molly Farrell-Savage took reality television by storm. Molly recently came in and sat with me to discuss her appearance on the show Project Runway: Threads and tell me about herself. She said that the show “That’s So Raven” and her 3rd grade sewing class got her into fashion. She described her style as, “Very sophisticated, and very classic, with a little bit of edge. I’m really into textures like fur and feathers.”

I asked her about getting on to the show and it seemed simpler than expected. After entering an application, she did a Skype interview, and a month later, got cast. Her experience on the show seemed typical for a reality series, she spoke about the pressure of being on TV, “Of course, you do the normal stuff, your sewing and what not but something you can’t really prepare for is having cameras on you all the time. There were people popping in and interviewing you and pulling you out for interviews during work time.” On each episode, the contestants are given a set of materials and halfway through, there is a twist challenge. “They gave us a white dress, drawstring, sequin trim, purple dye, blue fabric, and fringe which we had to incorporate into one outfit along with everything else.” She goes on to say “. The main challenge look turned out ok, it wasn’t exactly what I wanted but my twist challenge look, which I was most worried about,  ended up being really, really good.” The show also partners every designer with an adult of their choice. Molly chose her mother and said of working with her, “Normally, she gets very frazzled and I thought she might bring me down but she actually ended up being a lot calmer then I was…” In a Youtube video summarizing the episode, Ingrid Nielsen said that she “stayed true to her style” and that it was “cool to see her keep it fresh but not skew too young at the same time.” I asked her about Ingrid’s comments, to which she was pleased. Molly told me that she was afraid she stayed too true to her own style and that she should have conformed more to today’s trends. After being on the show, she told me about other opportunities she’s had since appearing on Threads. She attended Boston University’s Summer Theater Intensive with a major in Design.

MFS Dress

After finishing off with Threads, I asked her about her idols in today’s fashion world. She named Christian Siriano, Zac Posen, Max Azria, and Valentino among others. Molly has been in FIT’s Precollege program for three years, “I have had some really amazing teachers here and they have had a lot of great feedback.”