At first glance, the Fashion Business Association’s Spring Fashion Show was picture perfect. On the way in, attendees were greeted by enthusiastic FBA members, seats decorated with sponsored goodie bags and tables sprinkled with cans of LaCroix. The runway was defined by clean white floors and curtains.
According to the handout, there were seven designers and 17 models, all from different New York City colleges. The designers and models were all female, making for a fashion show with exclusively womenswear. The show had no obvious organization: some models appeared far more than others, other models circled the runway twice in the same outfit. There was also a lack of clarity about which designs belonged to which designer.
Wendy Chen, Parsons School of Design
Each piece was spotted with faces, which were based around Narcissus from Greek mythology. Chen claimed that her collection reflects self-love, confidence and selfie culture. Her designs featured a complicated structure of ruffles and mixed materials.
Vivian Jiang, NYU Gallatin
Without any closing of Chen’s collection, a model appeared wearing something completely dissimilar. After minutes of confusion and abrupt song changes, it was eventually clear that Chen’s show was over and that Gallatin junior Jiang’s show had begun. Jiang’s collection was minimal in concept, color and structure. Her line was made from used and unwanted clothing, possibly explaining the simplicity. According to the collection’s description, her designs were based on a dandelion’s life cycle, though that was visually unclear in the collection.
Natasha Pressley, Pratt Institute
Pressley’s collection was visually appealing, both in structure and color. The collection was consistent with reworked denim except for a neon pink dress that served as a pop of color. Many pieces featured embroidered political statements — many unreadable by audience members and blatant in text — making them fall flat of the intended force.
Alice Seulgi Kim, Parsons
Kim’s collection embodied her stuggles with sleep paralysis and how her body sits in a conscious state but is physically unable to move. Kim’s pieces juxtaposed the softness of sleepwear with the restrictive nature of bondage which translates as her mental and physical entrapment as she sleeps — both of which are trending in fashion at the moment.
Kayleigh Connor, Parsons
Connor’s collection served to address labels that plague women, such as damaged goods and piece of meat, and the question of “What were you wearing?” in the context of sexual harassment and assault. Some designs were printed with images of raw meat or marked by passport stamps. In the final look, the model wore white underwear stitched with “I wouldn’t think about it too much.”
Sarah Howland, Pratt Institute
Howland’s collection, which was inspired by her own lens of nostalgia, filled the runway as The Psychedelic Furs’ “Pretty in Pink” played in the background. All of the outfits centered on romanticism conveyed through the excessive use of pink, red and delicate lace.
Sherah Ndjongo, NYU Gallatin x Laura Shafer, Pratt
What seemed to be presented as one collection was originally conveyed as two separate collections. The mix of garments from Gallatin sophomore Ndjongo and Shafer seemed to be well-made but were overshadowed by the confusion of a mixed runway. All the looks were quite basic, and nothing to write home about.
CAS senior and Co-President of FBA Sam Chow shared positive sentiment for the show.
“We were so happy about the turnout,” she said. “I thought it went really good.”
Although it is obvious a lot of energy went into the show — from the designers, to the models, to the FBA team — the elephant in the room was an uncomfortable lack of organization. It was sad to see the hard work of designers overshadowed by the technical issues that arose, from the many sound problems to the accidental advertisement projected during the show.
A version of this article in the Monday, April 23 print edition. Email Amanda Burkett [email protected]