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The and New York City Economic Development Corp. earlier this week held the Fashion Future Graduate Showcase, a three-day showcase of design talent from some of the top fashion schools in the U.S. at Industria Studios. Collections by 53 graduates from schools including Academy of Art University, California College of the Arts, FIT, Kent State University, Parsons, Pratt, Rhode Island School of Design and SCAD were exhibited July 9 and 10, with the top four collections presented on July 11. The students selected for Wednesday’s presentation included Zhouyi Li of the Academy of Art University, Taliah Leslie of Pratt, and Britt Luttio and Peng Ye of Parsons.
All four students took the conceptual route, with Li working her garments with three-dimensional geometric shapes inspired by Richard Serra. Luttio worked with the concept of identity. “Within our persona we have multiple identities,” she said. “How I am in this space is not how I’m going to be with my lover or with my mom.” Her collection featured transformative pieces with a definitive Nineties attitude, that was influenced by things from her childhood — Victoria’s Secret and Betsey Johnson. Ye based his collection on the word 刹那, which represents the shortest accountable time in Chinese, and worked with stripes. “I was inspired by immigrants in my life and my friends and my family and classmates,” said Leslie. “I heard their stories and I asked them to use one word to describe what an immigrant is and I basically laser-cut that and put it into a stripe and then fused it to another fabric.”
In terms of their new postgrad lives, all four students planned to gain more experience before considering their own ventures. Luttio is interning at Alexander Wang. On Leslie’s wish list is working with Rick Owens, Haider Ackermann or Thom Browne. Li is traveling to Japan to get a masters and Ye is job hunting.