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Calvin, Carolina, Narciso, And More Celebrate Fashion’s New Class

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It’s that time of year when the fashion world pauses to honor the great established designers of our time, like McQueen at Monday’s Met gala and Marc Jacobs at the upcoming CFDA Awards ceremony. It’s also the season that provides a glimpse into the industry’s future. Graduating fashion design students of Pratt Institute showed their collections last week, and Wednesday night, the students of the Fashion Institute of Technology had their time to shine in front of Calvin Klein, Carolina Herrera, Narciso Rodriguez, and Norma Kamali, all of whom are serving as mentors to the program.

“There was a lot of very strong talent here tonight,” said Klein, an FIT alumnus. “I especially loved the knitwear, the lingerie, and the sportswear.” Klein and his fellow mentors pitched in to help judge the evening’s awards: Klein and Rodriguez for sportswear (Calvin chose Hwayoung [Jo] Cho’s black cocoon dress and charcoal leather pants; Narciso selected a scuba body dress by Juliette Kim, left, with the designer), Herrera for evening looks (a silk gauze gown dotted with Swarovski crystals by Tatiana Baibabaeva). “Sometimes, they can be bit over-the-top but then I tell them to calm down, it takes time,” Herrera said of the advice she gives to students. “If you’re going into the fashion business, it has to be for real people and fantasy—and if you don’t do that, you go nowhere.”

Going somewhere, perhaps: a few of the kiddie models who walked in the childrenswear presentation. “How adorable were those little kids?” Klein said. “Some of them really knew how to walk.”

Photo: Matthew Septimus

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