Style Saints

I have to confess something.

Contrary to what kids at my school would believe, my style isn’t as “unique” or “trendy” as they’ve apparently been lead to assume. The fact is, I steal. Every person interested (or not) in fashion can tell you the same: that their style stemmed from somewhere and will probably never fully blossom because they’re too dependent on Pinterest for style life support. When I was in elementary school, my obsession with all things French began. It was pretty random at the time (like my Revolutionary War obsession, weirdo) but I now realize that it was probably the style that attracted me even then. I won’t, however, count out my affinity for bread, cheese, and looking vaguely annoyed all the time as factors. Taking fashion journalism at FIT has confirmed by belief that fashion writers have the best jobs ever, because they write about people who inspire them for a living. Here’s a collection of just a few of the people and characters that have inspired my style and continue to make me blow my money on an excessive amount of striped shirts.,2000/QmuaSX1NRZGGcVJr/img.jpg

Might as well start at the top. Alexa Chung, in my eyes, can do no wrong. Not only was she one of about 3 people who looked good in the 2000s, but her style consistently improves what seems like every day. Writer/model/presenter, Alexa owns the slash game. Ever want to feel super boring? Look at her Instagram page. Every picture is just as stylish and cool as you would expect it to be. It’s impossible to choose just one Chung outfit to display so I’ve opted for this one where she’s probably taking the best photo you’ve ever seen.

Before there was Chung, there was Birkin. French yé-yé in the 60s is probably one of the best things to ever happen to fashion (note Francoise Hardy, Anna Karina, Brigitte Bardot and all the cool girls who I’m not including but still cry over). No one wears jeans and converse like Jane and no one ever will. The world’s most famous bag is named after her and she makes wicker baskets look cool (currently hunting for one this summer, hope it works out). She has inspired the likes of Jeanne Damas and her daughters, Lou Doillon and Charlotte Gainsbourg, are some of fashion’s favorite girls right now.


This one’s a bit stranger. Man Repeller wrote an article a little while ago about the New Kind of Prep, referencing the Dead Poets Society boys as a source of inspo and I was startled by how much I agreed. Those guys definitely appreciated the value of a Gucci loafer and Ethan Hawke’s character was probably so upset about that desk set present because he was lusting after a new Burberry sweater. Granted, if this wasn’t the 50s they would probably dress like lax bros outside of uniform, but I’m willing to suspend disbelief and appreciate their style up-front.


I watched Camille Rowe’s closet tour for British Vogue and almost cried from the overwhelming desire for everything she owns. I’m sure she’s been the only overall-clad face of Dior and she does it really well. She has the kind of dream collection of vintage shirts and jeans that make you think that high fashion is equivalent to levis and a slogan tee. She too has an affinity for wicker baskets and an enviable instagram feed- I’m sensing a theme here.

And that’s that! Honorable mentions go to Mick Jagger, Jon Snow (in the winter) and Florence Welch. Oh, and Luke Skywalker. Always Luke Skywalker.

Hannah Zwick

Manus x Machina

Processed with VSCO with b1 presetMy last class at FIT was spent the same way Beyoncé spends a Monday- at Vogue’s costume exhibit at The Met! This year’s theme was Manus x Machina, and The Met’s website explains its intent- to “explore how fashion designers are reconciling the handmade and the machine-made in the creation of haute couture and avant-garde ready-to-wear.” The collection features pieces that date from the early 20th century to present day, each one as extravagant as the next. The early Dior stands out just as much as Iris Van Herpen’s 3-D printed designs. The star piece of the exhibit is the Chanel wedding gown that you’re probably sick of seeing on Instagram, but nonetheless is intricately beautiful enough that it’s projected onto the cathedral-style ceiling. The set of the rest of the exhibit mimicks a church made of mist, or what a character’s dream looks like when it’s really over-exaggerated in movies. The exhibit was made with the intent of proving that the machina needs the manus and vice versa; they are not mutually exclusive. It certainly did its job well, showing that while the contrast between the handmade and machine-made was obvious, quality was never lost.








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Hannah Zwick

Instructor Spotlight: Sue Willis

Willis was born in Chicago and received her MFA from The Tyler School of Art. Her work reflects her deep appreciation for animals and the natural world and the importance of biodiversity to the survival of our planet. She’s exhibited widely, and her current installation project will be exhibited at The New York Public Library this year.


Professor Willis Teaches:

HFA 097 55A      Basic Sculpture


FullSizeRender (5)FullSizeRender (6)Current Project: 

Prof. Willis is currently working on an installation entitled “The Upper Worlds” for The New York Public Library, mid-Manhattan. Her concept will be installed in the giant display windows on 5th avenue and 40th street, and throughout the library’s installation space “The Corner Room”. The exhibit will consist of habitats of life-sized wildlife sculptures in porcelain and faux fur, and a few human sculptures. The installation will honor the exquisite beauty of life, and is a testimony to the people’s empowerment as a unified force to protect our world.

Teaching Philosophy:

Making art is one of the true joys of my life. I tell students to immerse themselves in the process without fear, and to experience the clay’s supple plasticity and sheer joyfulness in the process of sculpting. Self expression is one of the keynotes of my class and it’s magical to watch their expressiveness emerge. So many students tell me they didn’t realize how much they would love working with clay or how skilled they would become in modeling form! My students’ opinions are very important to me. Often I ask for their feedback on my own artwork concepts, as I feel it’s important that my work communicates to them, and our discourse teaches them how an artist thinks. I care deeply that they feel happy and fulfilled, and it’s thrilling to share one of the greatest joys of my life with my students.

The Dodo
L’Huffington Post Italia
Oubliette Magazine
NHK Tokyo

Blogs and digital archives:
Feminist Art Base: Brooklyn Museum, Elizabeth Sackler Center for Feminist Art
Digital Archive: National 911 Memorial Museum
Artist profile; FIT Art and Design Blog: “White Wolf at Brooklyn Waterfront”

A Glimpse at a Photographer’s Final

Hey Precollegers!


The end of the semester is right around the corner–2 weeks left of classes, and finals are due this week! I am currently drowning in prints, negatives, and .jpeg files to organize and hand in. After class on Saturday, I rushed to the FIT Barnes and Noble to pick up a portfolio for my final before I grabbed lunch, and ran to catch my train.Today, I shot with my model for my final project, and we completed the last part of my 3 part series!

I’m freaking out currently, because I will be In Los Angeles from Wednesday to Friday night, and our final is due Saturday morning. I have very limited time to get my digitals printed. I need to narrow down to 2 photos from over 200 taken today to add to my final. My model and good friend Anna agreed to let me cover her entire face in glitter one last time (bless her). I then took a few shots in my backyard due to the silver glitter reflecting beautifully against the deep green color scheme of the budding foliage because of the recent cloudy and drizzly days. She posed on various rocks in a field of lilies of the valley, and the colors really came out breathtaking. After about 20 minutes, we drove to a town next to mine to take photos of her in public, specifically one of my favorite coffee shops. Anna posing in a public location with a face of glitter is meant to represent the face you have to put on for society, even if it is not something that you personally enjoy. In my shots, Anna did a great job of portraying a girl that is uncomfortable in her skin due to the mask that she has to hide behind in order to be deemed “beautiful”. A few odd looks and funny remarks were made regarding her appearance, but overall people were more amused than anything. A few people asked about her face, and once you tell them that it’s for art and you have a camera around your neck, people generally stop with the questions. It was actually satisfying to see some peoples’ faces brighten up when they saw a dazzling glittery girl enter the same room as them. Of course,  few toddlers were afraid on our walk, but that’s not too surprising. After posing with her cafe mocha for about a half an hour in a beautifully lit and aesthetically pleasing environment, we grabbed a quick dinner and ended my final shoot. I’m looking through my pictures right now, and I can easily say that it is going to be hard to choose just 2 to make my 5 photos-based-on-a-theme final for my Introduction to Traditional & Digital Photography    class. I’ll leave a few sneak peaks below of what I shot today, and some of my darkroom rough-draft prints from past classes. How are your guy’s final projects coming along? Let me know in the comments below!

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See you guys next week!


Making Friends at FIT

To be honest, making friends isn’t as hard or scary as it may sound. Saying “hello” to the person right next to you in class can lead to a blossoming friendship! Or, in my case, seeing them on the train. Whatever works for you.

This past weekend, after another class of HAD 109 Adobe Illustrator for Artists and Designers, my friends Sarah, Div, Olivia and I went to the Whitney Museum of American Art around Greenwich Village. It was truly breathtaking!

There’s always a time in your life where you have to try something new. If you go to New York, taking the Subway is inevitable. And it’s not all that bad!

Subway at 28th Street

Subway at 28th Street

Untitled Meatpacking District

A restaurant named ‘Untitled’ at the Whitney

Conveniently enough, there is a subway station on 28th street literally right on campus.

We took the 2 train downtown from 28th street to 14th street. We walked through the Village into the Meatpacking District on Gansevoort St. all the way to the western side.

Upon arrival, I noticed the super trendy-looking restaurant to my right, under the museum. The museum, named Untitled, it struck my eye and basically confirmed that this has to be an insanely cool museum.

And I was totally right! The inside of the museum was huge and wonderfully arranged. I never thought that it would be so interesting to go to a museum.

Well,first we had a brief intermission in the elevator (BTW- the elevator was painted inside and it was like we were inside a giant basket!!! Bonus points, @Whitney) for a group selfie, cause why not?

Whitney Museum Elevator

Div, Sarah, Me, and Olivia, respectively

Once we reached the seventh floor, I was totally obstructed by this painting by Georgia O’Keeffe, titled “Summer Days.”  I admire the vastness of the landscape. It was portrayed as a small desert at the bottom of the piece with storm clouds in the background, totally taken over by the deer skull in the foreground.

Georgia O'Keeffe, Summer Days

Georgia O’Keeffe, Summer Days

Another piece that caught my eye was “Variety” booth, NYC by Nan Goldin. The irony between the title and the piece was astonishing to me. What also made me fall in love was the simplicity of it as well as the ‘vintage’ vibes that it gave off being in a room full of bright pieces.

Nan Goldin, "Varitey" Booth, NYC

Nan Goldin, “Varitey” Booth, NYC

The whole mini field trip was wonderful and helped me become more aware of my surroundings in Manhattan.

If you plan on attending any precollege programs at FIT and you are a quiet, reserved person, I suggest opening up and saying “Hey” to the person next to you! New friendships do anything but hurt, and they open up possibilities that may have not been possible before. There are only two classes left that I will have to see my friends, and I can’t wait to continue exploring the city with them.

Until next time,
Joey Criscione