My Typical Saturday at FIT

All during February, I was waiting to get back to my FIT precollege classes… and before I knew it, I was on the train again.

This Spring, I’m taking Advanced HAP 026: Sewing for Fashion Designers and HAR 087: Advanced Fashion Art for Fashion Designers. I walked into Fashion Techniques a little worried; I didn’t have much time between the Fall and Spring semesters for practicing, because I had a lot of schoolwork. So I wondered, what if everyone was on a different level than me? What if I couldn’t keep up? Or worse (because I would actually love that challenge) what if everyone else was way behind me? Also, what if, God forbid, I got designer’s block? That’s always my biggest fear.

To my surprise, the instructor was extremely welcoming and warm-hearted and gave a very generous review of how to draw a fashion figure. Generally, we start drawing in the beginning of class while the professor takes attendance. Then we have a preview of what we’ll be going over that day. Usually, the professor puts ads from some of the latest mags up on the board and sometimes her own drawings too to inspire us. Last week, we learned how to perfect tweeds, plaid, and herringbone details. We stood over the professor’s desk and watched as she went step-by-step on how to draw these items. Most of the time, she asks for our input and for ideas on color-scheme and detailing. Everyone is shy and holds back in my class. People are nervous and timid, but finally, someone speaks up with their input. The classes consist of kids at both beginner and advanced levels. Sometimes people have taken classes other places and weren’t sure if they were taught to draw to FIT’s standards, because, of course, not all places have the same expectations. Sometimes people overestimate their skills because of the same situation, or just haven’t mastered the techniques yet. Then there are kids of all sorts in between.

Class ends at 12:30, but since I also take an afternoon class, I stay and wander for an hour. The art store down the street usually catches my attention because, just as most artists, I can spend hours in an art store. I may go across the street for some of the best pizza in New York state, and usually Dunkin’ (which gives 10% discounts to FIT students, but make sure to ask!) for tea or a coffee to boost my energy. The Museum at FIT is free and great for all kinds of inspiration. The Japan exhibit and the His and Hers are awesome! The designers they feature are awesome too. Right now it’s Vivienne Westwood, which we toured. That tour informed us how social and political events have such a strong grip on fashion.

At 1:30, I head up to my sewing class and get ready for whatever project we’re making. I’ve been taking private sewing lessons for a couple years but had no idea how to use an industrial machine, so I took the beginner’s class. Others in the class had also sewn before, but I’ve still learned a lot. I  recently finished making an apron.