Click to view a slideshow of images from the event.
Vogue Editor in Chief Anna Wintour, legendary designer Diane von Furstenberg, and Vogue Creative Director Grace Coddington attended the 2011 Pratt Fashion Show on April 27, viewing the best work of the graduating class of 2011 and celebrating the career of Vogue European Editor at Large Hamish Bowles, who received Pratt's Fashion Icon award.
The event at the Metropolitan Pavilion in the heart of Manhattan’s fashion district attracted about 700 viewers. Professional models showed off the work of 18 graduating seniors in the Department of Fashion Design, many of whom were clearly inspired by street fashion and urban grunge.
The show began with the presentation of the 2011 Pratt Fashion Icon Award to Vogue’s European Editor at Large, Hamish Bowles, by the 2006 award recipient Diane von Furstenberg, famed designer of the immensely popular wrap dress. Von Furstenberg described Bowles as “a true Renaissance man…with a true love and passion for fashion.”
Bowles—author, critic, curator, and recognized historian and authority on fashion, lifestyle, and interior design—beamed with joy as he graciously accepted the award. He praised Pratt for its commitment to providing students with exposure to a variety of creative fields, whether they’re majoring in fashion design or film production. He also credited his parents with encouraging his early interest in art and design: “I’m not sure every parent would indulge their 10-year-old child’s Christmas wish list request for a subscription to Vogue,” he said. Bowles concluded by thanking Anna Wintour for a job he described as “thrilling, challenging, terrifying, and fulfilling.”
Seated in the front row were Wintour in her signature dark glasses, Coddington, Pratt Board Chair Mike Pratt, and Trustee, alumnus, and faculty member Marc Rosen (M.F.A. ’70) with his wife, actress Arlene Dahl. Fashion industry professionals watched from their seats throughout the room as models paraded down the catwalk displaying the seniors’ designs to lively, upbeat music with a distinctly urban vibe.
Graduating senior MaRu Jung won the Alfredo Cabrera Sportswear Award; Dara N. Rosen won the Outstanding Achievement Award; and Gianna Lucci won the Renee Hunter Eveningwear Award.
A video installation in the lobby showed graduate communications design student Anthony Acock spray painting graffiti of the word “Inspiration” on a brick wall in Brooklyn. The video was created by Department of Communications Design Chair Jeff Bellantoni and faculty member Katya Moorman.
Also on display in the lobby were the winning designs of junior-year fashion design students Matthew Bruch, Theresa Deckner, and Juan Pozo, who took part in a semester-long competition requiring them to design outstanding sportswear using 98 percent cotton fabrics. (See Student Spotlight for an interview with Juan Pozo.)
The competition was sponsored and managed by Cotton Incorporated. Linda DeFranco, the company’s director of product-trend analysis, took the lectern to thank the students for their hard work and dedication.
This year, for the first time, Thread N.Y., WNBC's fashion news program and blog, covered the final fittings and the runway show in two separate segments; both aired for five weeks in New York City, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C., on New York Nonstop, a 24-hour entertainment-oriented news service broadcasting on a digital television subchannel of WNBC.
Funding for the Pratt Fashion Show was awarded in part through a competitive grant presented to Pratt Institute by the Importer Support Program of the Cotton Board and Cotton Incorporated.
This year’s runway show, the 112th in Pratt’s history, was also a fundraiser, preceded by a champagne reception and followed by a cocktail benefit with music by The Misshapes. The event raised $150,000 for Pratt’s Department of Fashion Design.
Photos: René Perez; Patrick McMullan Company
Video: Jonathan Weitz