Looks from Kaye Applewaite, Yunxiang (Sharon) Zhou, Yoonsung Choi and Isabel Simpson-Kirsch's collections at the Parsons' 2013 Fashion Show.
Photo: Courtesy of Parsons
Yesterday afternoon, I zoomed over to Pier 60 all the way over on Manhattan’s westernmost edge in the swampy summer heat to catch Parsons’ 2013 Senior Fashion Show. It was well worth it, not only for the Lobster Roll that I scarfed afterwards at Chelsea Market or the champagne that I managed to cadge after the event but because it’s always super exciting to see what the fash-youngs have up their sleeves.
The excitement was palpable. It feels like graduation but without the stupendous relief. Sure, your parents are there and you’re stoked to see your friends but there’s still this high-pressure live performance to get through. Plus, the finalists have been announced from your class but not the winners so you can sense the competitive energy throughout the room (for the winners, here's the official release). And, well, it’s fashion kids so you know that everyone was stunting in admirable outfits despite the truly prohibitive heat. Ensembles that you know they’ve been planning for several weeks at least.
The thing about a show like this is that it’s the distillation of two years of effort (fast track notwithstanding). The students spend hundreds of hours learning about technique, construction, and how best to narrate their vision and voice in a precise and appealing way. Without getting into the whole commerce vs. poetry thing, the most interesting aspect of watching a young designer at this point is that despite how early it is in their career, when a designer’s great, you can tell. The confidence is unmistakable and their message is complete. It really is that whole, “In every block of marble I see a statue as plain as though it stood before me, shaped and perfect in attitude and action” Michelangelo thing. The seeming facility with with they retrieve the message from their brains and cajole fabric to behave in that manner can be breathtaking.