Art of the In-Between

This week, I went to the new fashion exhibit, Art of the In-Between, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The exhibit showed work by fashion designer Rei Kawakubo, the founder of Comme des Garçons, which translates to “as the boys”. Rei Kawakubo studied fine arts and aesthetics at Keio University in Tokyo, but she does not have a traditional fashion education. She began by designing clothes for women and later began designing men’s clothing as well. She focuses on mobility and comfort in her designs.

Rei Kawakubo challenges our western definition of beauty. When you walk into the exhibit, the first garments that you see are these red dresses. The cloth is wrapped and layered in such a way that there are large lumps that distort the figure. I immediately noticed how this strayed from the traditional hourglass figure one sees accentuated in a majority of woman’s couture. Rei’s designs each have a unique shape that has nothing to do with highlighting one’s physical features. They are works of art that happen to be wearable. Rei once said,“For something to be beautiful, it doesn’t have to be pretty.” This is exactly what I observed. Every garment I saw had beauty and power, but none of them were pretty. “Beauty is whatever one thinks is beautiful.” – Rei Kawakubo, I agree that beauty is subjective, and everyone has a unique definition of what beauty means. Art of the In-Between made me think about my own definitions of beauty and how beauty is sometimes inexplicable.

Since I am taking a menswear class, I noticed her use of men’s clothing. There were multiple garments that she had created by cutting up suits and reconfiguring them. After being disassembled, the garments no longer seemed to have genders. I enjoy observing how designers combine men and woman’s couture. I myself want to experiment using classic men’s suit jacket collars in woman’s clothing.

I also noticed her use of fabric and color. She used a lot of blacks, reds, pinks, and whites which seemed influenced by classic European styles. I also was reminded of Victorian era dresses by a few of the garments. I think this was due to their heavy and luxurious fabric.

The exhibit will be open until September 4, so I encourage you all to go check it out for yourselves!

Happy Creating!

– Ella

The Inspiring Colors of Spring

Hello Everyone!

I’ve recently been thinking about what inspires me and more specifically what inspires me when I sew.

Over the weekend, I soaked up fresh air and sunshine by taking a walk through Central Park. Spring is one of my favorite seasons because of all the beautiful colors. Spring also happens to be my birthday season!

As I strolled through the park, I took in all the lovely springtime colors: the clear blue water of the reservoir, the bursts of pink and white apple and cherry blossoms, the bright yellow tulips colored like egg yolks, and the fresh green leaves and grass that give the park its green haze.

Colors are an important aspect of fashion. Although you will often find me wearing blacks and grays, I enjoy using bright fabrics when I sew or design clothing. In my FIT menswear class, I am currently making a dress shirt using yellow fabric. I thought this would be a fun and an appropriate color for a spring shirt.

Nature is definitely a source of inspiration for me not only in my sewing but in other areas of my life as well. There is something invigorating about simply breathing a breath of fresh air, or I may just be a nature-deprived New Yorker and subsequently romanticize every leaf, twig, and flower I lay eyes on.

There are many things that inspire me, and not necessarily to do something specific. They just imbue me with an energy and motivation to learn and create new things. I realized that another main source of inspiration is visual and performing art. In our society, art plays the important role of inspiring others. I draw hope, happiness, and motivation from all art forms. There are more things such as lectures, feelings, and experiences that also motivate me. All the above lift my spirits and keep me working towards doing something that maybe one day will inspire others.

  • What inspires you?
  • Do you also like to walk through parks people-watching and soaking in fresh are and colors?
  • Where do you draw inspiration from for your fashion designs?

Happy Creating!

– Ella

Precollege Blogger Kaela’s Back!

Hi Everyone!

My name is Kaela Buggy. I am a high school junior living in a small Connecticut suburb just outside of New York. I have had the privilege to blog for FIT Precollege in past semesters, so it’s so nice to be back! If you want to know an extensive history of my fashion “career” please go back and read “Welcome Back Precollege Blogger: Kaela” and/ or “Introducing Precollege Blogger: Kaela,” but for now, here’s the abridged version:

Growing up in a series of small towns, all very sports-oriented, I struggled to find my place because of the fact that I 1. am the least athletic (and most injury prone) person to ever walk this earth, and 2. I have never really liked playing sports. I played my hand in soccer, basketball, softball (must I go on?), but I never found a sport that nearly matched my passion for the arts. In the first grade I was given my very first sewing machine: an old Singer that kind of smoked when I used it and A L W A Y S needed oiling, but to me, it was perfect. It was this apex moment that catapulted me into my “passion for fashion.”

Since that day I have further developed my skills by taking design and construction classes all over the tri-state area. In the spring of 2015 I started at FIT Precollege in Prof. Middleton’s “Sewing for Fashion designers.” That summer I continued my precollege career with Prof. Levy’s workshop of the “Fabulous World of Fashion Forecasting.” In the fall of 2015 I took Prof. Middleton’s “Intermediate Sewing and Embroidery.” In the spring of 2016 I enrolled in Prof. Beard’s “Patternmaking and Sewing.” I was unable to participate in a summer program this past summer, but I continued in the fall of 2016 with Prof. Cina’s “Creating the Fashion Figure,” and this semester I am taking Prof. Piazza’s “Ins & Outs of Fashion Merchandising.”

In looking at my unofficial precollege transcript, you probably notice that I have taken mainly fashion design and sewing courses and only two business-minded courses. One of the amazing things about Precollege is that it allows you to focus in on what you want to do with your career. I had always dreamed of being a famous fashion designer, the next Marc Jacobs if you will; I wanted to design and create and perfect the most amazing fashion shows. While that very glamorous life style is still appealing, I recognized that another passion of mine is equally important.

I have decided to continue my education focusing on the business side of fashion, in hopes of, one day, opening a store born out of a non-profit where all proceeds go towards fighting human trafficking. While the connection between fashion and social justice may seem foreign to most people, FIT Precollege has helped me to envision what the link could look like in my future, and it can certainly do the same for you! Thanks so much for reading a little bit about me, I’ll talk you all next time!

Best,

Kaela

Farewell Fashionistas!

Sunday, December 18th  was the last class of FIT’s Fall 2016 Precollege Program. Before I say goodbye to my time here and to my readers this season, I will outline what the final assignment was like.

As an 11-week course, we had a number of assignments along the way to keep us on track, to prepare us for a career in presenting our ideas to our peers, and to test our knowledge of the material we learn. Inevitably, this last class marked the final assignment: creating a fashion line for a fictional collaboration between a chosen fashion icon and retailer.

In terms of product development, this means breaking up the fashion line into the categories of fashion, core, and essentials.

For my project, I was assigned James Dean as my fashion icon, and Brooks Brothers as my retailer. Thus, my personal goal was to create a collection embodying the edgy, rebellious side of James Dean while not straying too far from the traditional, conservative Brooks Brothers image. I had to try not to alienate the target customer, while using my new fictional brand ambassador to hopefully draw in younger customers to breathe new life into the retailer. I took advantage of the common links of layering and “All-American”-ism between my icon and my brand. This collection was my result:

I also thought it would be a cute idea to create a few outfits (to present via Keynote) out of the items in my collection, using Polyvore. These are a few results of that:

So that’s the crux of my FIT chronicles! Thank you to all of my readers and supporters this season, to my professor, to the Precollege Program directors, and to the great girls in my class for making this semester an excellent and memorable one!

I can say in all honesty that this is a great course, and I would highly recommend it not only to anyone interested in fashion, but to anyone interested in evolving into their best self in the most constructive of environments. It sounds dramatic, because it is; this class and the entire experience it promotes is honestly life-changing.

I shouldn’t hope to see you at FIT’s Precollege Program next Spring- YOU should hope to see yourself here! Give yourself the gift of self-love this holiday season and sign up for class!

-Alivia

Farewells and Goodbyes


On the last day of class all that is left are farewells and goodbyes. It feels just like yesterday we were all strangers with one common interest but yet here we are sad to leave one another after 11 awesome weeks. With a new outlook on not only the fashion world but FIT also, I decided to ask my classmates to reflect on their time here in the Precollege Programs to give insight for many of you hoping to absorb some of the same knowledge we have gained.

“I Love the location and vibe of FIT.”

-Julia

“This is my first class I have taken at FIT it has been a great experience, definitely coming back.”

-Brandi

“Great way to meet new people and make new friends.”

-Sarai

“Definitely where I see myself for college.”

-Jasmine

For me, this being my second year here, I have doubled my education and am very engaged in the fashion industry. With hopes of coming back in the Spring, I know I will yet again get to participate in this experience of a lifetime. From writing about FIT and sharing my thoughts and process with all of you, it made me realize how gratifying the Precollege Programs are and that there is nowhere I would rather be.

Thank you for tagging along on my journey.

With love,

Faith