PEEP THIS…Hawaiian Plumage

Hali magazine #175 (spring 2013) captures the intricate, vibrant, beautiful , protective, decorative and painstaking effort which aptly describes the art of Hawaiian featherwork.  The British explorer Captain James Cook was gifted several featherwork objects during his numerous trips to the Pacific during the 18th century. 

Symbolizing power, prestige or sacred afilliation. This skill set was applied making long cloaks and short capes, helmets and god images.  The largest cloak required close to half million feathers.  Looms weren’t used for manufactering instead beaten tree bark and netted fibers held the attached feathers.

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Trendspotting: Summer’s end on 7th and 27th

This is the first post in a series.  I’m hoping that you, our students, will contribute!  Because FIT is such a style-conscious place, I’m starting a street-reporting spot, based on trends I see here on 27th.

You may have noticed that this blogger is enamoured of the summer dress.  (Sure the fall semester has begun, but here in NYC, it’s still plenty summery by the thermometer.)  The summer dress is a perfect form, much like the chocolate-chip cookie.  Simple, one piece, cool and comfy, but can be dressed up for fancy nights out, or businesslike for the office.   More pieces can be added, like jackets, sweaters, jewelry, bags, and suddenly it’s a sophisticated statement (or dessert; of course cookies are also portable, but so is a dress.)

In a Tobe Report image I posted earlier this season, the reporter offered up this simple tank dress with a fuller skirt.

The Tobe Report definitely called it here, but I argue that the hottest (as in most popular) form of this dress actually has a circular-draped knee-length “skating skirt”.  And the best best versions of these are in loud, sometimes neon colors in allover lace.  I saw two, in different colors, on new FIT students the first morning of classes.

Here’s the dress to which I refer:


The Old Navy version (from Elle Canada here) on the left is the mass market version.  The one on the right, from Lula magazine, is Christian Dior, and thus more detailed.





This is the dress I saw all over this summer.  The two main fabrications I observed were bright colors, as shown above and here:

This is from the classic “Do’s and Don’ts” layout from Glamour.  I think it looked freshest this way:  in a bright summer color, with lace over a solid base.  Doesn’t the one on the right here look great?


I’ve seen a few FIT students wearing this dress in the last few weeks.  Most recently, I caught up with Kathryn Nishimoto, Visual Presentation and Exhibition Design, on the street Friday, August 30th.  She looks fresh, cool, and ready for the weekend.






Here, the Limited Express version (from an ad in Teen Vogue), also seen often on the street:


Another important fabrication trend will doubtless carry into the fall.  In this variation, this dress shows up in black and white prints in ethnic or graphic prints.



Teen Vogue highlighted an ethnic-feeling tie-dye print by Guess in this layout:


And back at FIT, I asked FIT student Hannah Rice, Interior Design, to pose in her geometric-patterned version:





I love the way the stripes were used in different directions here.






As I demonstrated at the beginning, this is a style/body that can be used as the base for lot of different styling options.


Here are several print and styling options seen in the runway magazine, Collezioni Close Up: Suit and Dress for Summer 2013.  Here’s one with a distinctive geometric print and a funky leather half-corset, for Herve Legere:









This romantic version displays the continuation of mixed prints in traditionally-feminine color combinations to present a graphic but “girly” image:











Continuing the theme of funky use of black and white prints, take this version  by Les Copains: This print combines the ethnic influence and the black-and-white graphic stripe idea beautifully.

I think this is the trend we’ll be seeing most of in the fall.






So here’s reminding you all that PERS on the 6th floor is the spot in FIT’s library where the print forecasting materials and magazines from all over the world can be found.  So I will leave you with this image, from the September issue of Glamour, of style maven Olivia Palermo in some dynamite black and white print combinations:

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Back to School

Here in the library at FIT, we are all holding our breath for the return of the folks who make us the answerers of questions that we are: the students.

I’ve noticed more people on the streets in the city.  I’ve noticed more couples walking hand in hand, or spread out with a few steps between them.  People are returning to NYC to pick up their autumn work loads.  And this means FIT students are coming back!

We’ve got some programs coming up to help introduce folks to the library.  Student ambassadors have been giving tours all summer to prospective students and their parents.  Next week is New Student Orientation Week.  The Library will be a part of the Student Success Fair which will be between the A & B Buildings (New names?) next Monday, August 19th.  Please stop by the Gladys Marcus Library’s booth to meet the librarians and get some good information about the many ways the library can help students.

So what does “going back to school” mean to you?  New bookbags?  New art supplies?  New clothes?  New pencils and notebooks?

New boots for fall?  These last couple years have been great boots years.  This look on the cover of this week’s FN goes great with these boots.



I thought it would be fun to do a quick scan of a few FIT Library resources for inspiration about these and other creative topics, like workspace.



In the current issue of Dwell, the writers interview designers to ask them how they design their own studio spaces.  This could inspire those of you moving into smaller NYC spaces, like dorms or apartments.




The Periodicals & Electronic Services department (PERS) welcomes you and has lots of great materials to spark your creativity.  If you’re looking for ideas for women’s clothing, here are a few Fall-focused titles:


Paper is a New York institution.  Forward-looking and a bit of an insider title, ask for it at the desk.

Essence, one of our Display titles, is a classic.  We have most issues of this title going back to 1970.




For the gentlemen, we have many options as well.



TeenVogue covers trends for both young men and young women.  This issue just happens to feature the band One Direction, dressed in their hippest.





Men’s Non-No is a Japanese title for young men, featuring popular Asian street fashion.  We have magazines from all over the world, chosen to highlight the different markets and customers of the global fashion economy.



But for some of you, the new school year is more about raw materials and inspiration.  The PERS unit doesn’t have much to offer you in the way of materials, but we have lots of inspiration, no matter what your major.  Whether your a fine art major, illustration, interiors or home products, or determined to break out in the worlds of fashion or computer animation, we’ve got visuals to inspire and stir you!









For those of you who think fall means new pigments and brushes, we subscribe to lots of art world titles, including the classics like ARTNews, ArtForum, American Artist and Art + Auction.

Finally, for those of you who pull your palettes out of the ether, we offer Computer Graphics World and Animation for you to feed your head.  Please come visit once you get unpacked!


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Technical Difficulties

Hello, FIT community!

We apologize for the recent problems with our blog, its links, etc.  Apparently our site was under attack in July.  Our IT people have isolated the problem and contained it.  At this point, you should be able to read us loud and clear.  And we should be able to resume posting for your entertainment and edification.

We return you to your normal end-of-summer activities!


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Of flags and clothing

The American celebration of Independence Day includes some colorful traditions, like fireworks and often firecrackers and sparklers, picnics and cookouts, and a lot of showing the good old red, white, and blue.

Given our recent focus on the DIY, I did a quick search on Etsy for “American flag clothes” to see what would come up:[0]=tags&q=american+flag+clothing&page=6

Hmm.  We might be a little obsessed here?  I’m overwhelmed by the amount of merchandise we are creating in honor of our country.  I’ll leave the why to social historians and fashion theorists and just highlight a few of the more interesting applications for the entertainment of you readers.

These shoes delight me:


As do these, for completely different reasons:

Denim is apparently also as American as apple pie, and shorts are a popular item:

Bathing suits, especially women’s bikinis, were also very popular:

Tutus for children were also recurring:

And just to fill you in with some fact checking on flaggish myths, we offer this:

I hope this brief twirl through Etsy’s American flag merchandise has cheered up our loyal readers, and we wish you and yours a glorious 4th of July weekend!



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