Special Occasion

Troy AllenTroy Allen

Warwick, Rhode Island

Becoming a designer was pretty much instinctual. From a young age I was redesigning doll clothes, putting together outfits for my family, and redressing mannequins in stores, even when I wasn’t supposed to. Ultimately, I became a designer to create a fantasy for women. I love to use fashion as a means of transformation—to a new dimension, a new decade, or even just a new feeling. What makes me unique as a designer is my point of view. I like my designs to harken to a time when fashion was a little less practical, but also embrace something cutting edge. I like to create a fusion of something beautiful and elegant but also a little strange. Designs that require thought make you appreciate them more. I chose special occasion as my specialization because it is an area where you can truly push boundaries and create something out of this world.

Cassidy BalkusCassidy Balkus

Waimea, Hawaii

My fascination and zeal for fashion design began at an early age. Despite having little exposure to the world of fashion, it quickly became my passion, and through hard work and dedication, I did everything in my power to enter this mysterious world that had so captured me. I believe I design as a way to express myself, to make tangible the soundless truths that creativity forges. What makes me unique are the life experiences I integrate into everything I do, that push me to achieve the highest. What inspires me is truthful beauty, and special occasion was the specialization that I felt could explore this to its fullest extent. I will take my fluid, detailed aesthetic with me on all the journeys this field has to offer.

Anny CabaAnny Caba

Queens, New York

My first memory of sketching clothes was when I was about nine years old. Growing up, I spent a lot of time doodling ideas, sewing (mostly unusable) things, and researching gowns online. Everyone around me knew I was destined for a creative career—except me. Instead, I decided to attend NYU for business after high school. Ironically, I spent most of my time there draping and sewing a line of party dresses for a school-run fashion show. I realized then that fashion was more than just a hobby and I could turn it into a real career. I transferred to FIT the following semester. My specialization and aesthetic have naturally fallen into place as well. Without intending to, I always end up making super-feminine, delicate, and sophisticated clothes.

Kathryn ChangKathryn Chang

Los Angeles, California / Seoul, Korea

I’ve always wanted to follow in my dad’s footsteps and work in the fashion industry, and as a kid I would dress my little sister up and have photo shoots with her. I was born in Los Angeles, but I moved to Korea when I was less than one year old. I lived there for eleven years and then moved to China, where I spent the rest of my time before coming to FIT. I feel that moving to different countries and meeting different people with various nationalities has given me a rare opportunity to experience and merge different aesthetics. I chose special occasion because I realized that my designs always tended to have an evening wear feel to them. I consider my design aesthetic to be ever changing and adaptable, but it always has a feminine touch.

Tong ChengTong Cheng

Wuhan, China

What led me to choose fashion design may sound a little bit funny. I am very interested in Japanese culture and collected ball-jointed dolls for more than eight years. Originally, I wanted to make clothes for my dolls. Then suddenly I fell in love with Japanese Lolita fashion when the doll line collaborated with a Lolita fashion brand. I started to dress myself up like a Lolita doll. Lolita fashion is inspired by French Rococo style. I have always loved the drama and femininity of this style, and it inspired me to choose evening wear as my specialization. I wish to continually create breathtaking dresses that reflect what I love and connect with people who have the same aesthetic as me.

Greeshma Chenni VeettilGreeshma Chenni Veettil

Kerala, India

I arrived at fashion design through solving countless physics problems. What I once thought to be a part-time obsession turned into something that needed serious consideration. The decision to follow my creative inclinations led me to FIT. The one-year program was a perfect way to gain a good footing and to understand more where this career change would take me. Three years into it, and I couldn’t have been more right. Designing is becoming a language that tries to give clarity to an illusory idea. It is my way to interpret images I conjure up in my mind.
Getting into fashion design, I fully understand what it will take to make a viable business. I want to create demi-couture ready-to-wear, which is why I chose special occasion. But ultimately, I want to elevate designing to the level of art—a true form of artistic expression, free from the constraints of labor.

Julia CorkJulia Cork

Ottawa, Canada

Since I can remember, fashion was my every thought. As a young girl, I used to sketch and design gowns, and then when I was thirteen, I signed up for sewing and drawing lessons. Upon my arrival at FIT, I was fascinated by all categories of fashion design and it wasn’t until my involvement in the bridal industry that I knew I wanted to be a bridal designer. As a bridal designer, my aesthetic is new, modern, chic, and edgy. For me, there is something so special and invaluable about creating a dress for a bride to wear on her special and unique day. To conclude, I design because it’s what I love; and doing what you love is the greatest gift life has to offer.

Lauryn DuncanLauryn Duncan

Raleigh, North Carolina

Hello, my name is Lauryn! My journey to become a fashion design major has been long and extensive. My grandmother would use sewing as a way to keep us occupied as children and the hobby just never ended. I was given my first bridal magazine when I was nine and fell in love with idea of bridal design and wedding gowns. When I graduated I went the safe route and began to pursue a psychology degree, but by 2013 I was ready to take the risk and applied to FIT. I came to the school with a special occasion degree in mind, and I’ve never looked back. My design aesthetic is almost a whimsical Charles James, but I’m still refining it. Bridal is hard work and a very pricey endeavor, but I would never pass up all the invaluable lessons I’ve learned.

Kaitlin GermainKaitlin Germain

East Northport, New York

Ever since I was little, I knew that I would have a career in art. I was always drawing, taking art lessons, and making crafts. I would cut up my dad’s big white T-shirts to make clothes for my dolls and try to dye them by dipping magic markers in water. Creating art that served a purpose was exciting. As I got older, performing as a ballroom dancer and seeing the competition costumes helped inspire me throughout middle and high school to draw hundreds of dresses with glitter glue and sequin embellishments. I chose special occasion as my specialization because I love creating things that are feminine and beautiful with a hint of sparkle.

Meredith GillMeredith Gill

East Moriches, New York

I was a designer before I even realized it. I design for the simple purpose of expressing the ideas I get from the countless sources of inspiration that I see every day. Being able to take ideas or pieces of history and recreate and transform them into my own interpretation of them is the reason I love designing. Creativity doesn’t stop, which means your mind doesn’t stop. I love making designs that look as if they are floating; a very soft and whimsical feeling with drapes and flares would be my main aesthetic. However, I can branch off and become more structured and constructed to challenge myself and to experiment. That’s why I chose special occasion as my specialization. It was the only specialization that really let me show my passion and feel free.

Natalia Herrera CardozoNatalia Herrera Cardozo

Bogotá, Colombia

Growing up in a country that has so much diversity and culture like Colombia shaped my aesthetic in that it made me think of beauty in terms of colors and textures. I started to reinterpret the idea of beauty that I had in my mind in the way I dressed. It was during this time that I realized that fashion was the only medium that allowed me to not only tell my story, but to shape the archaic preconceived notion of femininity that surrounded me. Consequently, movement, delicacy, and romanticism with a dose of edge have been the predominant elements of my aesthetic. I chose special occasion as my specialization as it allows me to work with the concept of a rustic take on romantic clothing.

Angelia LinAngelia Lin

Brooklyn, New York

Growing up I was always an artistic person, and fashion has always been how I express my artistic abilities. It has all the technical elements that I love, as well as the creative elements that allow me to create just about anything. I consider my aesthetic as being very architectural and sculptural. I like to create garments that play with the lines of a person’s body and to manipulate the fabric so that it complements and molds to the body. I chose special occasion as my specialization because of the delicateness, detail, and precision that are all put into a single garment. I love the idea of working on a single garment for hours, putting a lot of handwork into that garment, and then stepping back and seeing a masterpiece.

Candy LowenCandy Lowen

Ambridge, Pennsylvania

I began creating embroideries and garments at a very young age. When I was growing up, my mom was a quilter and I would use her supplies and sewing machine. Later when my brother graduated and got a career, he encouraged me to pursue fashion and move to New York City to attend the Fashion Institute of Technology, which had been a dream of mine. I design because it’s how I naturally express my creativity and also to convey a message to those who encounter my work. I think my perspective, due to things I have experienced throughout my life, is what is unique to me as a designer. I have a deep appreciation for couture design, which led me to choose special occasion as my specialization. I would say my aesthetic is a raw and slightly edgy elegance.

Kimberlei McNamaraKimberlei McNamara

Glenwood Landing, New York

I have a love and appreciation for couture, bridal, and evening wear. I chose special occasion/bridal as my specialization and took extra classes to receive my certificate in haute couture. I love designing and creating. I love making something out of nothing—starting with a sketch or a swatch of fabric and then creating something totally unique and original. I love seeing a project through from start to finish and the sense of accomplishment I feel when I create something beautiful. My aesthetic is dramatic and over the top, and I love feathers, beading, lace, and leather. But what I really love is that there is no right or wrong in fashion, that every person has his or her own idea of beauty. Fashion is a part of me; creating fashion and art is a part of who I am.

Sandra MunizSandra Muniz

Buena Park, California

It certainly has been quite a journey, trying to become a fashion designer. It was something that I never actually thought about until my senior year in high school. I’ve always been a creative person, whether it was visual or performing arts, so I knew I wanted to pursue something creative as a career. When I started looking for career options during my senior year, fashion design came up. I was immediately drawn to it, despite my limited knowledge of the field. I decided to go to fashion school (FIDM) to understand more about fashion design and ended up loving it. I can’t imagine myself doing anything else. As for my design aesthetic, I love bridal. After interning at a bridal company, I knew this was the field I wanted to work in. I love the freedom of bridal design.

Olivia OrtegaOlivia Ortega

Miami, Florida

I’ve always wanted to be a designer, and I knew that at a young age. I know, another “ever since I was baby” story, but honestly, yeah. I remember looking at Swedish fashion magazines when I was a baby. At six, I progressed to making clothes for my Barbies. I would be constantly drawing sketches, day and night. At fourteen, I knew I was put on Earth to create clothes. To be a designer. I have pursued my dream ever since. I fell in love with making beautiful things that speak to others. That’s why I fell in love with bridal: I would be part of someone’s life, making her special day even more special and helping her feel confident and beautiful. I chose special occasion because that’s where my aesthetic fits best. I’m all about soft colors, beading, couture, magical/whimsical feelings—very much an ethereal, soft, and romantic aesthetic.

Carolina SanzCarolina Sanz

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Born and raised in the Dominican Republic, I always dreamed of having a fashion business back home. I’ve always been a creative person, and I found that the best way for me to express my creativity was through fashion and design. I have a passion for critique, not only of clothes but also of works of art that celebrate the human figure. I chose special occasion as my specialization because my personal aesthetic is to try to achieve unique, one-of-a-kind pieces that show both great attention to detail and intricate techniques that are out of the ordinary.

Isabella WoodsIsabella Woods

Buffalo, New York

I’ve always had a natural curiosity about the arts and started pursuing design at a young age. I’ve had my sights set on FIT since middle school, so during my summers in high school, I attended FIT’s Precollege Programs to better understand the school. FIT’s reputation preceded itself—it was everything I wanted out of a college and more. Even before enrolling at FIT, I would always design evening wear, so when it came to choosing a specialization, special occasion was the obvious choice. I design for myself; my designs reflect my mood at the moment of the collection. I’m not afraid to push the boundaries with my designs; they tend to be more avant-garde and are neurotically detailed. I’ve been contracted by several clients to produce specialty garments due to my attention to detail.

Jeremy YouJeremy You

Paramus, New Jersey

I chose fashion design because I wanted to create and express myself in an artistic manner that ordinary people could relate to. I want to express my vision as a designer through clothes and fashion. What makes me unique is my attention to details and holistic approach to design, as well as my modern applications of traditional techniques. FIT was the most logical choice for me because it provides an equal balance of technical and artistic instruction. I chose to follow the path of special occasion because of my love of couture details and clothes with dramatic impact. I consider my design aesthetic to be dark yet romantic—perfected imperfection.

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