FIT on the Catwalk 2009 – BFA Fashion Show Review

The 2009 Fashion Institute of Technology senior class show – titled “FIT on the Catwalk” – could be summed up in a word: excess. Oversized knit coats sported clashing patterns. Metal fringes hung all over leather jeans. Pom pom dresses? Covered in them. Perhaps the students wanted to stand out on the runway, but even the more sedate pieces included needless detailing. The lingerie suffered similar problems as well as poor tailoring and menswear felt derivative of other established designers.

Some designers showed promise. The few standouts included Sung Hee Bang‘s neatly tailored handknit leather strap coat. Akifumi Shimizu‘s asymmetrical coat hung loosely, but its layered paneling provided interesting texture. An ivory merino coat by Anna Tukmanian featured a fascinating pile of a knitted collar. Na Young Lee’s floofy empire gown recalled traditional Korean dresses. Josue Diaz III offered an interesting take on a wedding gown, although the fluffy, crinkled light blue cotton might work better as evening wear.

The lengthy show was divided into five categories: sportswear, special occasions, knitwear, intimate apparel, children’s wear and menswear. Top designers served as mentors and critics for institute students. This year’s graduating class enjoyed the advice of Alexander Wang, Dennis Basso and Nicole Miller for sportswear; Rickie Freeman of Teri Jon for special occasion; Wenlan Chia of Sparkle and Jerry Dellova for knitwear; Deborah Marquit for intimate apparel; Carolina Zapf of Baby CZ for children’s wear; and finally for menswear, Italo Zuccheli and this year’s Council of Fashion Designers of America Swarovski Menswear award-winner Tim Hamilton. A panel of judges including Zang Toi, Kate Betts, Patricia Field, Lisa Smilor, Erica Sonner and Robert Verdi rated the students and gave individual awards for the best in-category designs.