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July 26 2014

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3 posts tagged "Patricia Mears"

A Prize for Fashion’s Foreign-Born Creatives in the U.S.

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Vilcek prize

If you or someone you know has continued to demonstrate great promise and achievement in furthering the future of fashion—whether in design, styling, hair and makeup, image making, curating, or writing—and is a foreign-born immigrant (yes, Canada counts) currently residing in the U.S. who is under the age of 38, this open call is for you.

The Vilcek Foundation’s 2015 Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise in the Arts has chosen to honor contributions to fashion for the coming year, and enlisted the help of Shelley Fox, the Donna Karan Professor of Fashion at Parsons and the director of the school’s MFA in Fashion Design and Society, to assemble the prize jury. “If you’re in the industry, you often know the other people [behind the scenes], but the wider public often doesn’t have a clue how the whole fashion system works…I was trying to peel away the layers of all the creatives who were involved in this entire process.”

One Vilcek Prize of $100,000 will be awarded to an established artist in fashion, following a discretionary deliberation process, while three emerging talents will receive the Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise in the Arts of $50,000 each.

Applicants ranging from the fashion curator and the stylist to the animator, photographer, historian, and critic are all encouraged to apply. The spectrum of professions is similarly echoed by the jury of judges Fox has brought together, including Thom Browne; Patricia Mears, deputy director of The Museum at FIT; and Jeff Ng, founder of communications agency Staple Design, among others.

What will they be looking out for? “Someone who’s developing a craft and a vision of where they’re going,” says Fox. “And perhaps they’re not being recognized because they’re still under the radar. It’s just about bringing them to the front of it more than they might be, with some extra mentoring, money, connections, and contacts.”

The open call for applications will close on June 10, 2014, and the winners will be publicly announced in spring 2014.

Photo: Courtesy Photo 

Fully Prepped

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While a flurry of New York editors head to Europe, another style set is focusing stateside. Ivy Style, which opened this week, is the latest exhibition at the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), centered around that oh-so-American way of blue-blooded dressing. “When looking at images from the twenties and thirties, most of the chic and progressive people were college students from Ivy League schools,” says Patricia Mears, the museum’s deputy director, who co-curated the exhibit, which tracks the growth of collegiate dressing from the early twentieth century to present day. “Back then, men’s fashion magazines would tell readers, ‘If you want to see what’s cutting-edge, go watch a game at Princeton.’ “

To that end, the room’s vibe reads like a secret society meeting rather than a historical retrospective, dressed as a university quad and filled with Shetland tweeds, oxford button-downs, polo coats, and the emblematic prep apparel—the navy blazer. “Pre-World War II was more of a formal era, so it was necessary to dress well within a certain social context,” Mears told Style.com, citing that avant-garde students would rebelliously pair cricket sweaters with sports jackets in the classroom. The show’s centerpiece? A raccoon fur coat styled over a tweed suit—a look popular in the 1920s and even heralded by Miles Davis, who would get his clothing tailored at Charlie Davidson’s famed Andover Shop in Boston. (Mears juxtaposed the fur and tweed ensemble with a Perry Ellis women’s suit circa 1970 to highlight the former’s influence.)

“Today the term ivy means something different,” mused Mears, who peppered the exhibition with contemporary ensembles including a Thom Browne studded suit circa 2009 as well as looks from Michael Bastian, Ralph Lauren, and Tommy Hilfiger. “Preppy has become a fashion term, which we think of as youthful and brightly colored, but back then, it was much more formal and influenced some of the coolest, hippest dressers ever.” Ivy Style runs through January 5 at the Museum at FIT.

Photo: George Chinsee / WWD

Inside Impact

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The CFDA is celebrating its 50th anniversary with an exhibition at the Museum at FIT, and tonight is opening night. Preparations, of course, are full steam ahead for New York fashion week, but you can count on seeing plenty of boldface designers at the party. Many, if not all of them, contributed images as well as personal statements to the show’s accompanying book, Impact: 50 Years of the Council of Fashion Designers of America. We’ve collected some of the tome’s most striking photographs here. To read Patricia Mears’ history of the the organization—from its birth in 1962 to the genesis of the CFDA Awards in ’80 to the creation of the Bryant Park tents in the early nineties (the catalyst: a ceiling that started to cave in at a 1991 Michael Kors show)—you’ll have to buy a copy.

CLICK FOR A SLIDESHOW of images, and check back tomorrow for our report on the party.

Photo: Courtesy of Antoni Bernad