OK, fashion pundits consistently complain season after season that the American fashion market is saturated with uninspired collections that fail to excite fashion editors and journalists or quicken the pulses of consumers. In an age where cheap disposable fashion appears to be the order of the day—jeans for $9.99 and spring/summer shoes on sale for $5.99—many fashion insiders worry that the fashion industry stateside is in its own way and doomed for an endless continuum of who-cares fashion moments.
The Fashion Institute of Technology’s (FIT) “Future of Fashion” runway show gives rise to a different, more hopeful prediction of where fashion is heading in the US. This annual fashion show of FIT’s best and brightest recent graduates demonstrates that while more seasoned designers seem to be churning out the same, mundane looks every season with some slight variation or embellishment, FIT’s recent graduates are going for the brass ring and bravely pulling out all the stops. The graduating class of 2014 was no exception.
From innovative perspectives on knitwear to the use of new textile technologies and creative oeuvre evidenced in the Class of 2014’s interesting take on outerwear, if any young group of designers can rescue the American market from its current malaise, I am betting on these recent FIT graduates. And this year a lot of the designs were wearable and retail friendly while still being fashion forward.
Since there were over 100 looks in this year’s fashion show, Fashion Reverie is going to highlight the boldest and most innovative looks.
FIT’s Class of 2014 did themselves proud with their outerwear looks. Standouts were Kyu Sang Kim’s white pastel gazar dress with fox shrug, Peter Po’s white spacer long coat, and Asli Parmaksizoglu’s tonal grey wool oversized coat.
Every season FIT’s graduating class causes the fashion world to re-examine its relationship to lingerie. This season was no different with more of aconcentration on bondage-inspired lingerie with hint of slap and tickle. Lingerie items of note were Christin Duffy’s black sheer long gown with French lace over black bra and panties, Kiran Khaliq’s peach lace bra and nude tulle waist-cincher with panty and nude tulle gown, and Jaclyn Magliulio’s navy/black cotton and lace bra with navy/black cotton and lace underbust bustier.
Knitwear has always a specialty of FIT’s course load and this season the graduates did not disappoint. Su Jung Lee’s ivory bulky wool knit coat with neck warmer and geometric skirt, Macshella Oduro’s emerald green sea-beaded dress with slits and Vanessa Coote reversible handkni colorwork brioche poncho are all standouts.
And FIT’s fashion would be nothing with out kid’s clothes. Standouts were Stephanie Decanay pink alpaca vest with ostrich feathers, grey fleece pompom dress, Tara Zeman’s brown wool coat with applique pleasted inserts over beige flared skirts, and Natali Collado’s white metallic textured coat, charcoal leggings with mint knit turtleneck vest.
—William S. Gooch