“My process begins with finding the right inspiration,” says Palwasha, which for her pop art clutch was found at the MoMA.
“I fell in love with 60s Pop Art. My next step was sketching and figuring out the perfect look for the clutch. I wanted to create something that was a nod to the Pop Art era but still modern and fresh. I countered the bright fun colored circles with a simpler gusset that takes its cues from modern architecture. The idea is Andy Warhol meets Frank Lloyd Wright.”
Once she finishes a concept sketch “for something I love” Palwasha refines it and adds measurements. “I then write out the supplies and steps required to make the bag. After I bought my acrylics and made my patterns I marked my acrylic and then used the bandsaw to cut each piece.”
Palwasha sanded the rough edges and made sure all the measurements were correct. “I did a tape mock-up to make sure everything fit and then marked and drilled holes for my hinge. After that I began a frosting process to give the acrylic a more matte look. Once the polishing was finished, I carefully glued the pieces together and re-polished the piece. I then inserted the lining hinges and magnets.”
Palwasha says this particular clutch chosen as an IHDA finalist is “very dear to my heart.” She says it combines skills she’s learned in both the Jewelry and Accessories design programs. (She received her AAS degree in Jewelry Design.)
“It represents how my education has shaped my passion. I could not be more grateful to get such wonderful recognition for my passion.”
Palwasha says it’s a great note on which to end her time at FIT. “It’s an even better one to start my career”
This is the eighth year that the IHDA has presented awards.
The Best Student Made Handbag category is for students who have started their lines while in school. Other categories include handbags made from sustainable or recycled materials, another for hand or machine made with proceeds given back to the country of manufacturing, and one for the “most trend-driven” use of denim.