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Gateway is the community newsletter of Pratt Institute. It is published monthly by the Office of Communications, in the Division of Institutional Advancement. For a list of contributors, click here.

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Friday
Jul232010

on the catwalk: 2010 pratt fashion show honors catherine malandrino

Evening gown by Natalia Rodriguez, B.F.A. ’10, Photo by Rene Perez

Twenty-two seniors graduating from Pratt’s Department of Fashion Design presented their thesis collections at the 2010 Pratt Fashion Show at The Altman Building in Manhattan on May 13. The student designers showed their work in four categories: sportswear, menswear, costume, and evening and bridal. Notable guests included legendary tastemaker and style icon Iris Apfel, Vogue’s European editor at large Hamish Bowles, and design luminary Ralph Pucci.

New York-based French fashion designer Catherine Malandrino was the evening’s honoree, and received Pratt Institute’s Fashion Icon Award. Kim Hastreiter, editor in chief and publisher of PAPER magazine presented the award, praising Malandrino’s designs for reflecting “her natural generosity, her joie de vivre, and incredible enthusiasm for culture and people.”

In accepting the award, Malandrino said she had met Pratt students when they interned at her company and found them “very serious, very dedicated, very well-trained.” She described Pratt President Thomas F. Schutte as “a man of vision” and Pratt fashion faculty as “passionate individuals” who do their best to help students enter the fashion world. 

“It’s not just about clothes,” said Malandrino. “It’s what we can do all together to create a world where everything can look better.”

Friday
Jul232010

Patti Smith Performs at Pratt’s 121st Commencement

Photo by Rene Perez

The poet, performer, and artist Patti Smith addressed Pratt Institute's 121st commencement ceremony on May 17 at Radio City Music Hall. Smith received an honorary doctoral degree alongside former New York City Landmarks Commissioner Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel, novelist Jonathan Lethem, architect Daniel Libeskind, Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)director Glenn Lowry, and film director Steven Soderbergh.

In her speech, Smith offered advice on everything from artistic collaboration to dental care.  She then reminisced about her connection with Pratt. 

“Many of my friends went, and I pursued them, and spent a lot of time in Brooklyn on the Pratt campus,” she said. Among Smith’s closest friends was Pratt alumnus the late photographer Robert Mapplethorpe.

Smith also performed two songs— “Wing” and “My Blakean Year”—accompanied by Lenny Kaye, lead guitarist of the Patti Smith Band. 

Longtime champion of the arts Diamonstein-Spielvogel welcomed graduates “to a world of infinite possibility” in which they should engage in public life.

Novelist Lethem said, “I hesitate to dispense wisdom to those who have really demonstrated greater wisdom than I did at the corresponding age by allowing yourself to arrive at a moment like this and wear a robe like this one so much sooner than I managed.” 

Architect Libeskind, referring to Pratt as “a school I have always admired,” told graduates, “If you pursue your dreams and do what you love, you can never fail.” 

MoMA director Lowry was honored to receive his degree, he said, because “Pratt’s tradition of distinction has set a standard that all of us in the art world aspire to.” 

Finally, film director Soderbergh gave a list of 17 things he’d learned since the last time he wore a cap and gown—when he graduated from high school. The last item was, “Patti Smith is very cool.”