To see fashion come to life in three dimensions, visit Sculptural Fashion, the fourth-semester graduating Fashion Design students’ AAS exhibition, on view in the John E. Reeves Great Hall from April 22 through 26, from 9 am to 9 pm daily. The exhibition displays both women’s apparel and fashion art.
Marlene Middlemiss, assistant professor, Fashion Design, explained that the garments are all “sculptural” in their design and shape. The exhibition features extensive fabric manipulation and pleating (folded, tucked, draped, and three-dimensional), and even some origami. “It is a very modern and very forward exhibition,” Middlemiss said. “We picked this theme because we wanted students thinking outside the box to what the future will look like. It is very diverse.”
The show is a collaboration between the Fashion Design Department and The Museum at FIT, with the museum’s director and chief curator Valerie Steele taking part in the curatorial process of selecting the pieces that are in the show.
The road to the opening of this exhibition began at the start of the semester, when each of nine classes, comprising a total of approximately 180 students, was assigned a professional designer as a mentor or “critic,” along with their faculty member. The critics and faculty guided the students throughout the semester, helping them to develop the concepts that would become their final designs. Each critic then selected a Critic Award winner from his or her class.
The students in the AAS Fashion Design program learn their craft in the short time span of two years. The goals of the program include all the basics—sewing, patternmaking, and draping—but also drawing the figure, which helps students to really see the human form.
“It’s remarkable how they soak it all in and by the end are sewing and draping beautifully,” Middlemiss said. “We teach them in two years how to be a designer. There are so many things they can do from that point. The AAS gives them the foundation they need to specialize and perfect the craft.”