New York Fashion Week S/S 2014: Parsons MFA

Every year, candidates in the Parsons Fashion Design and Society MFA program have the opportunity to present their work at a show during New York Fashion Week. I had the pleasure of attending the show this year at Milk Studios in Chelsea, and was delighted to find so many talented, new voices in fashion--people who are thinking more of fashion as a wearable art form than something that simply looks pretty on our bodies. At the show, I found myself at war with the same age-old runway dilemmas--wearability versus practicality. While not all of the pieces were necessarily something you could throw on and walk down the street, they were wonderful to see as creations (think the same argument made for Alexander McQueen's divine creations before his passing).

That being said, I found a few designers to be particularly interesting:

Jihye Nam
Nam was born in South Korea and received her BFA in Textile Design from Rhode Island School of Design. Her collection, "Block," featured oversized shirtdresses adorned with (and sometimes made of) blocks of colorful light fabric, sometimes handpainted, and stitching in vibrant hues. On some of the models, the paint dripped down their legs onto white stockings and shoes so they looked like walking canvases. And who doesn't want to walk around looking like a one-of-a-kind painting? 

Photo courtesy of Style.com.

 

Sijing Chen
Born in China, Sijing Chen attended the Academy of Art and Design at Tsinghua University in Beijing and worked as an intern at threeasFOUR and Fujian Seven Group before arriving at Parsons for her MFA. Chen's collection, "Flower Tomb," featured bold splashes of poppy red on light grey, often with an accompanying hand-sewn, geometric string art designs complementing the angular, modern shapes of her clothes. 

Photo courtesy Style.com.

Claudia Li
Li, from New Zealand but born in China, completed her BFA in Fashion Design at China Central Academy of Fine Arts before coming to Parsons. Her collection, "Origin," featured coats, dresses, and ponchos detailed with large stitches of wool. Each piece looked like a walking (and dare I say comfy-looking) sculpture. The piece pictured below was one of my favorites, and features blue hand-dyed wool. She made the shoes, too!

Photo courtesy Style.com.

 

Anna Stephenson
Originally from London, Stephenson graduated from the Edinburgh College of Art before receiving her MFA at Parsons. Her collection "Still," featured white, grey, and silver silks in unusual cuts that were still elegant and glamorous. They simply floated down the runway. I especially loved the way she made an oversized pocket incredibly chic and wearable. Stephenson's girl is the picture of effortless modern refinement, and her collection was my favorite in the show.

Photo courtesy Style.com.

 

Jia Hua
Hua came to the Parsons MFA program after receiving her BFA in Fashion Design from the Academy of Arts and Design at Tsinghua University in China. A vibrant take on sportswear, her collection "A Lot" looked at typical sweatshirt and dress construction in a new, bold, and occasionally sparkly way. Suddenly with Hua, there's bright color and high style in a traditionally blah item in the wardrobe, especially with the introduction of sheers, crystals, and mesh. 

Photo courtesy Style.com.