This is not a Goodbye…but a See You Later

Only days until graduation and I am still in shock…..that we actually we made it! we did it….we didn’t give up and finally the moment to collectively say “hooray!” has come before us. It hasn’t soaked in yet but I am sure it will after we toss our caps in the sky at graduation together. For most of us….this will be the end of school and its such a humbling moment to say “I completed my college degree”.  The late nights and long hours to complete our work has come to a stop just for a moment before we continue on our journey… wherever it may take us!
There are a few things I want to say to my group of FIT fashion design graduates!….first and foremost, please trust me when I say this… YOU MATTER! your creative vision is valuable and you must believe it! Life will take you in various directions and there is no right or wrong direction, just trust in your ability in any and every situation [be courageous]. Always try to be happy about the decisions you make and be grateful for all you have and have accomplished [its only the beginning]. FIT was a safe environment for us..[believe it or not..we were babied]..we got a chance to learn and develop ourselves inside the walls of FIT. We were able to make mistakes and figure out our routine and what worked for us. Thank you FIT for aiding all of us in comprehending the way of The Industry and how we must meet up to its standards in order to thrive and innovate. The obstacles may seem high and unreachable at times but honestly I believe what will get us to the next level will be us believing that we already have enough to win…[truly believe that you are  where you need to be in any moment to succeed!] Also, As we enter the “real world” I believe its important that we remember why we started this path…what made us hungry for more and what made our hearts warm inside. Lets use those thoughts to drive us to greatness! It may be scary to leave college [our comfort zone] and enter unknown territory but that’s okay….& the door may close a hundred times but never give in, always keep banging those doors down until you find a way in! BUT when you find the way in…always remember to help others cross over by remembering to keep the doorway open behind you to support your fellow classmates too!
[sidebar] here are some favorite quotes that I love to look at! 
“If you just keep moving forward, you’ll amaze yourself”
 
“always invest in yourself”
 
“be present”
 
“remember why you started”
 
“if you think it, you will have it”
“I am dope!”
From the bottom of my heart, I wish you all the best in life….When I look at the class of 2015..I only see winners! Please keep your head high and push yourself…..the time is NOW!
[MAKE THOSE PIECES WERK!]
With Love,
Travis Dean Pereira

“Always challenge yourself”…Meet Julia

Our special occasion class would not be so special without this next designer! Her unique personality, and intricate yet sensual creativity has inspired me in many ways! Julia Kuturov is smart, kind-hearted and hard-working. She has worked tirelessly to succeed in the presidential scholars organization while being on the executive board for the chabad club at FIT! I wanted to hear a bit more about her experiences and ask her some interesting questions! 

 

Here's Julia

Here’s Julia

Here is our interview:

Please share a little bit about where your from and what made you want to be a designer? 
 I originally hail from Flushing, Queens, and I first knew I wanted to

 

Sorry Mrs OBAMA…There’s a new FLOTUS in town!

This next girl I’m about to present is literally the most peppiest, happiest, most-likely-to-work-as-a-news-anchor person I have ever met @ FIT! She smiles like a ray of sunshine and literally can write a new york times best-selling book on what ladies do and dont do! Her name? Marisa Thompson…Her classic swagger and feminine fashion sense has given her the crown of FLOTUS in our class! Teaser: 3 things Marisa loves 1) fresh floral arrangements 2) Chantilly lace 3) Le Bain

 

Marisa Thompson

Marisa Thompson

Okay…now the interview you all have been waiting for..here’s our interview…hope you enjoy!

Please share a little bit about where your from and what made you want to be a designer? 
 
I grew up in Phoenix, Arizona.  Both of my parents worked so I went to Grandma and Papa’s house almost everyday!  When I was very young, 4 or 5 years old, I was exploring grandma’s closet and found her silk nightgowns from the 50s and 60s.  I was immediately obsessed as I had never seen anything as beautiful as these gowns. Each one was floor length, some bias cut, with some sort of delicate embellishment such as Chantilly lace appliqué or floral embroidery.  Although I didn’t appreciate or understand these techniques at the time, I knew they were special.  My fascination with these nightgowns continued so grandma taught me how to sew.  Ever since then, designing is all I’ve wanted to do!  I’m so lucky to have such a loving and supportive family that always encouraged me to follow my dreams!
 
who have you interned/worked for ?and tell us about your experiences there ?
 
My first internship was with the design team at Rosie Pope Maternity.  After working at the storefront of the corporate office for a few months, Rosie asked me to design a dress for the spring 2014 collection.  I was able to be a part of the entire process. Sketching, flats, tech packs and many rounds of fittings!  My next internship was with the alterations department of L’Fay Bridal.  Taking gowns apart and then putting them back together taught me so much about construction!  In addition to alterations, I did lots of beadwork!  While interning at L’Fay, I met Jaclyn Jordan of Jaclyn Jordan New York.  I began making veils and sashes for her, eventually made a small collection of boleros and most recently a wedding gown!  I still freelance for her and plan to continue post graduation!  My 8th semester internship was at Oscar de la Renta and it was a dream!  The design team was very small so I was able to work on many different projects in many different departments.  Some days I made embroidery samples, some days I worked with knits and some days I worked in the atelier!  
 
What was your inspiration for your thesis project? 
One of my art projects last semester was inspired by vintage tea sets!  I loved that although the shape of the tea-pot and cups didn’t change much, the floral motifs made each set look so different.  Through additional research I developed my thesis which involved simple silhouettes with intricate floral beadwork and lace manipulation!
 
You have this FLOTUS style and personality about you…what are 3 tips that a lady should always be?
 
1.  A lady must always be presentable as you never know who you are going to run into or meet!  It is easier to put on a dress than it is to put on gross sweatpants and a t-shirt.  There is a huge difference between casual and sloppy!  “Sweatpants are a sign of defeat.  You lost control of your life so you bought some sweatpants.” -Mr. Lagerfeld
2.  Ladies don’t take straight shots!  Grandma always said that nice boys don’t like drunk girls and I completely agree!  BFA standard is one cocktail ladies!
3.  A lady shares her love and happiness with those around her!
 
 
we are about to enter the small but ever so large fashion industry. What makes you stand out from the rest of the hundreds of senior graduates that are going to be applying for jobs?
 
Definitely my positive attitude!  We are all talented and graduating with beautiful portfolios and impressive resumes.  What sets me apart is my ability to remain my abnormally happy self regardless of the situation!  A positive work environment is a productive one!
 
Choose 4 people to join your dream fashion squad? (alive or dead)
 
-Mr. Valentino Garavani
-Francois Lesage
-Carolina Herrera
-And if I’m really lucky, one of the incredibly talented 2015 FIT fashion design graduates!
 
What motivated you to stick the course and graduate FIT?
 
The past 4 years have been extremely challenging.  I remember being told by admissions that the program was tough but I never imagined it would be this tough!  Sleepless nights, a nearly impossible workload, nights spent in the computer lab and embellishment books are some of the many things that caused me to sometimes doubt my ability to complete the program.  The same things motivated me to not give up!  By completing challenging projects and meeting impossible deadlines I have learned that anything is possible!  Designing and making beautiful things is what I love to do and I can’t imagine life any other way!
 
Whats next for you in 2015?
 
I’m not sure what I’ll be doing after graduation!  Designing bridal / special occasion has always been the plan but after taking intimate apparel classes, I am very interested in designing lingerie!  Studying embroidery at Lesage has always been a dream of mine! I am looking forward to the future! 

Marisa I wish you all the best my dear!

With Love,

Travis Dean Pereira

She’s a winner..and her name Caroline

Not only is her name used in the hit song Roses by OutKast this girl is pretty cool [ she has a pet hedgehog! ] Let me introduce to you all my fellow classmate…Caroline. Caroline is hard-working, has the ability to stand up for herself, be creative, and focused. Her garment which was white as snow and decked with ostrich feathers won the People’s Choice award with thousands of likes. Our class was so excited to hear that one of us made it through! Caroline, please continue to “feather” the world with your creative talents and passionate soul! Here is our interview! I hope you like it as much as I do!

Caroline Vagnone

Caroline Vagnone

Please share a little bit about where you’re from and what made you want to be a designer?

 

I was born and raised in Wantagh on Long Island. Ever since I was little, I was always interested in fashion, and I always had a sketch book on hand. Art was always my passion, but I didn’t truly know what I wanted to do with it. One day, when I was sitting in a fashion class at another school, I really started to develop a sense of what I wanted to do with my life. The thought of designing clothes became such an exciting concept to me, so I took the plunge and trusted my instincts.

who have you interned/worked for ?and how was the experience…was there something specific you learned?

I have interned for a couture evening wear company called Rene Ruiz for two years now. It is such an amazing company and just a great place to work in general. I started working with them before I was even accepted into special occasion, so I really learned what went into making something beautiful and one of a kind.

What was your inspiration for your thesis collection? what references intrigued you?

I really didn’t have one inspiration if I’m completely honest. It was sort of everything that inspired me while I was designing each look! I did however watch a lot of fantasy films like Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter while embroidering my first look, and I think that fantasy feeling came out pretty strongly in the end.

If you could visit any place in the world, where would you go and why ?

I would absolutely love to go to Egypt and study the pyramids. I think it would be really inspiring for a future collection! Ancient civilizations have always fascinated me.

Any regrets? Is there something you wish you could turn the hand’s of time backwards to do related to your college experience?

I definitely don’t regret anything, but if I could go back in time I would tell myself to enjoy myself more, and to be less stressed about things.

If you had 1,000,000 dollars to give away, how would you do it?

If I had 1,000,000 dollars I would distribute it amongst my family and friends that have supported me this far and if there was any left to give away I would probably just surprise strangers that do kind deeds for others every day and ask for nothing in return.

What song best describes your college experience at FIT?

Whenever I had to get a project done I would always listen to Gotta Get Thru This by David Bedingfield…I know it’s a pretty old song but it’s my anthem!

If you did not choose fashion, what other industry could you see yourself working in?

I was actually pretty close in choosing marine biology as a carrier. Thankfully I was a liberal arts major at the previous college I attended, because I was able to take both biology and fashion classes.  I’m really glad I chose fashion design.

What motivates you to stick in there and keep moving forward?

I think it’s more so who then what…a support system is a major motivation boost. Whenever I’m feeling defeated my boyfriend Brenton is always there to pick me up with his words of encouragement. He always reminds me to never give up and to keep pushing for my goals.

If you knew you could not fail, what would you do?

If I knew I wouldn’t fail, I would start a bunch of companies, First and foremost my own couture evening wear line. I would then branch off into other things, kind of like what Vera Wang did.

What are your plans for 2015?

In 2015, I plan to continue working for Rene Ruiz in their New York showroom. A little later in the year I will relocate to Miami, Florida where I will then work for the same designer where they design and produce all of their garments.

 Check out her work by clicking link below!

http://carolinevagnone.wix.com/carolinevagnone

With Love,

Travis Dean pereira

swatch books!

Making swatches is a key part of the creative development process in knitwear. It allows you to play with different yarns, textures, and stitches. Although technical, it still allows for tons of creativity. With knitwear, not only do you design the silhouettes but you essentially create your own fabric as well. We get double the work!

What I personally love about knitwear is that the possibilities are nearly endless. You can do the same kind of stitch but use different yarns and each time get a completely different look and feel and vice versa.

Over the course of our senior theses we’ve done a lot of swatch development. One of our final projects was to compile them into a portfolio book, so here’s a peek of mine as well as a few other students! Our swatches were made on a variety of machines: the Stoll computer machines, Brother machines, Dubied machines, and hand knit!

 

Til next time!

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