Spare Change

Three of my pieces from my first class at FIT!

Change…it’s a loaded word, isn’t it? Many people are hesitant to step into new situations, embark on uncharted waters. But, in our ever-evolving society, change is something we need to embrace. FIT has helped me to cultivate this mindset by teaching me that change can be a catalyst for creativity and positivity. As I travel into the city each week for class, I am kept on my toes by the dynamic developments occurring in today’s fashion industry.

A unique design from one of FIT’s curated museum exhibits. I love how this piece challenges typical fashion through its asymmetrical shape, unique pattern, and beautiful butterfly detail!

Much like New York City, the world of fashion and art is something that transforms every day, every hour, every minute. Being surrounded by such knowledgeable professors and talented peers who have my same passion for this exhilarating field challenges me to think outside of the box and explore new ideas in my own artistic journey. When I sat down in my first FIT class three years ago as a nervous freshman in high school who loved to sew, my perception of fashion was relatively limited to what I personally thought was aesthetically pleasing. As time went on and I enrolled in more classes, however, I learned that fashion was so much more than beautiful clothing; it is an art form that represents the evolution of culture.

This is a Charles James design I saw at the MET a few summers ago. At the time this piece was created, it was completely breaking customary fashion (and societal) boundaries!

My time at FIT has taught me to question social norms and challenge complacency, both in my creations and in daily life. I challenge all of you to step outside of your comfort zones in your artwork and embrace the excitement of change. To quote the great CoCo Chanel, “Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.”

Talk to you next week!

~Kaela

A Day at Dover Street Market

Hey Everyone!

Dover Street Market is a store started by the brand “Comme de Garçon” which pulls together designers from all around the world to showcase their works. DSM’s merchandise is marked by wildly successful brands ranging from “Supreme” to “Gucci” and every brand in between and beyond. Recently, I was able to take a tour of the store with my FIT Precollege class, here’s what happened:
On the walk from FIT to DSM, I find myself constantly looking out for an ex-school building turned high-end fashion store. It isn’t until I already walk W A Y past the store that my classmates who had previously visited call me over to the pristine, and understated front stoop. We wait outside for a little bit before three women in all black couture come out to find us. The women then guide us like a group of lost sheep into a side entrance, past a series of exceedingly well-dressed security guards, and into the front room
The unmarked building should, in theory, turn away potential customers simply because if it’s mysteriously camouflaged storefront. The exact same characteristic that would keep a customer from shopping in the store is, a lot of the time, what brings in customers. The extremely well-dressed tour guide/ sales associate/ social media representative explained to us that it is chiefly the supposed exclusivity that appeals to people; the glamor of possibly shopping alongside celebrities in an aloof, chic, New York City store is just as appealing as getting VIP passes to a music festival or invited to throw the first pitch at a Yankee game.
Our guide sends us with another sales associate who brings us up to the top floor by way of a GLASS ELEVATOR (I mean… how cool! I felt very much like Charlie in the chocolate factory) which allows us to catch a glimpse of the magical curation of designer goods as we rise. We step into the first exhibit-like showroom consisting of Supreme right next to Gucci, which is right next to Junya Watanabe. Following our lovely journey in the magic elevator, we make our way back down floor by floor, getting a better look at the extremely impressive detail that goes into every brand’s space before ending the tour with an informal Q&A session about how someone may get to working at a store like DSM.


I had always wanted to make my way into Dover Street Market, but I never really knew if I would find an opportunity to. I loved learning about everything DSM does! FIT Precollege Programs has once again opened doors for me to experience the industry in a really cool way!

Special thanks to the team at Dover Street Market for a great day! Make your way down to 160 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10016! WARNING: It’s really cool :)

See you all next week!

~ Kaela

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

What to Know When Considering Precollege at FIT

IMG_4680 (1)Hi Everyone!

I hope your week has been great (despite the unexpected chilly weather)! In today’s post, I thought it may be helpful to offer anyone considering a precollege course at FIT with an idea of what they will be jumping into!

Basically, a precollege class here is the absolute coolest extra curricular activity ever. Not only do you get to hang out with some of the sweetest, most hilarious, and talented people every week, but you get a taste of what art school is like! Prior to FIT, I envisioned art school as a place for only child prodigies who picked up their preferred medium at birth and never put it down, but in actuality, that’s not even close to reality! I mean yes, there are child prodigies here, and everyone you meet is extremely gifted, but FIT is a place where you discover yourself in every sense of the word! Whether you want to go into fashion design or marketing, precollege is a tool that you can use to further your understanding of that field and ultimately prepare yourself for it!

Next, precollege is definitely a big time commitment! Now this one is partly depending on where you live and the class(es) that you take; however, even if you live a block from campus and take a class that assigns no homework, it is still at least a 3 hour class. To some people this may seem like a turn off because it is a large chunk of your weekend, but seriously, every class goes by SO fast! When I hear my (amazing) professors say that it is time to clean up I always try to figure out where all the time went!

My third, and last, piece of information that I think you should know is that if you do decide to apply to any art school after going through FIT precollege, you likely will have enough projects to put together your portfolio. I have not had this experience personally (I’m only a high school sophomore), but I have friends who have gone, or are going, through the process of piecing together their creations in preparation for the college application process, and they ALL say that they wish they’d started earlier, and FIT Precollege is a great way to do just that!

At the end of the day, if you are motivated enough to be reading this blog post about FIT Precollege, you will excel in the program :)

I hope you have a great day and an even better week!

~Kaela

The Importance of Construction in Design

Hi Everyone!

I hope you all have had a great past week! As I turned in my first project (as mentioned in last week’s post), I began to think about how I have grown since my interest in fashion really began.

In the beginning, most of my interest was geared toward the design aspect of fashion. I hadn’t yet fully grasped the concept of producing what I drew, so I just spent hours on end sketching garments that I never thought would leave the pages.

When I began to sew, I started with the basics: stuffed animals, pillows, and mini-purses. I created countless variations of the same basic design before I even began to think about transferring my knowledge of how to sew pillows to the creation of my designs. I soon found myself (poorly) constructing blouses made from curtains and blankets, and wearing them proudly!

As years passed, and I have grown older, my skills have developed more.  I found myself sewing more and more successful pieces, more closely resembling my designs, but I still felt as though there was some sort of disconnect between my, then, abilities and what I thought I was capable of achieving.

In the summer going into my freshman year of high school, I took a two-week long precollege course at a prestigious fashion school, notorious for their incredible design graduates. I went into the program confident in both my construction and design skills, but soon realized that my ability to design far surpassed what I was actually able to make; I knew that I had to develop my construction skills more, but I felt hopeless in terms of how I would do it.

A friend that I met in the course suggested that I try precollege at FIT. She told me that she had found herself in a similar situation where she did not have the skills needed to grow in her design career, but after just one semester at FIT, she felt more confident than ever!

Since starting classes at FIT, I have noticed a HUGE improvement in my construction. FIT does an amazing job teaching the basics, while also helping each and every student find their own style and personal techniques! If I could only leave you with one piece of advice, it would be that in the design world, your ability to make what you design is just as important as the design itself!

I hope you have a great rest of the week and a fabulous start to spring!

~Kaela