Parsons Puts On A Runway Show And Names Student Designers Of The Year

In the world of fashion education, Parsons The New School for Design is the Harvard of burgeoning fashion designers. With competitive entry and a rigorous curriculum, it is held in high esteem for producing world renowned fashion designers like Donna Karan and Marc Jacobs. Every year, the Parsons graduating class puts on a runway show to showcase the next generation of design talent, and three lucky students are crowned Designers of the Year in the respective fields of Womenswear, Menswear, and Children's Wear. I was completely BLOWN AWAY by the work of these talented students. There was children's wear made of the most insanely—yet beautifully—structured knits. Layered menswear with way oversized messenger bags drew gasps while look after look of mega tailored noir womenswear kept everyone bobbing their heads like at an intense tennis match. All in all, it was something truly special to behold and begs the question: Which one of these up-and-comers will be the next Alexander Wang or Prabal Gurung?

JIN KAY

Runway looks from student Jin Kay at the 2012 Parsons Benefit Runway Show.
Photo: Dan Lecca/Courtesy of Parsons The New School for Design

The title of 2012 Womenswear Designer of the Year was awarded to Jin Kay from Seoul, South Korea. Kay's cohesive collection of all-black structured looks were both dramatic and wispily feminine. The entire collection was wearable, covetable, and just what you might imagine a downtown gal wearing to her boyfriend's gallery opening. Every look accentuated the body in a chic yet subtle way, and though you can't tell from these photos alone, the craftsmanship was bonkers. These looks need to be on racks, red carpets, and upon my person immediately. I have a good feeling we'll be hearing more about Mr. Jin Kay in the future.

CHRISTY JEEHYUN LEE

Runway looks from student Christy Jeehyun Lee at the 2012 Parsons Benefit Runway Show.
Photo: Dan Lecca/Courtesy of Parsons The New School for Design

To put it mildly, Christy Jeehyun Lee's collection made me school girl giddy—like pixie sticks washed down with a liter of Kool-Aid giddy. I'M OBSESSED WITH THIS COLLECTION. San Francisco-native Lee was named the 2012 Menswear Designer of the Year for her incredible mix of country-slash-urban-slash-professional menswear that was all about zig-zags, oversized man bags, and red roosters. Not only was her take on menswear gleefully over-the-top, it made sense in the cosmopolitan landscape. Men want to look professional yet cool, sophisticated yet still laid-back, and some dudes just wanna have fun with their wardrobe. Lee's collection hit all of these marks from the giant puffer trench coat to the layered knits and hints of cray-cray patterns. #LoveIt

GIULIANA RAGGIANI

Runway looks from student Guiliana Raggiani at the 2012 Parsons Benefit Runway Show.
Photo: Dan Lecca/Courtesy of Parsons The New School for Design

Boston's Giuliana Raggiani was awarded the 2012 Children's Wear Designer of the Year for her vibrant and masterful collection of knits for both boys and girls. Youthful in color and spirit, the mishmash of Fair Isle knits with hints of neon were adorable as were the double-layered grey sweats topped with a two-tone parka-trench hybrid. Though this is sportswear for tweens, I hope Raggiani makes grown-up versions someday, too, because I want this. All of it. And that boy jumper with the red arms, cowl neck, and baby blue martians marching across the front? Yes, please.

JANELLE ABBOTT, NINA NA NI, AND CHRISTINE HAMER

Runway looks from student Janelle Abbott, Nina Na Ni, and Christine Hamer at the 2012 Parsons Benefit Runway Show.
Photo: Dan Lecca/Courtesy of Parsons The New School for Design

Other standouts from the show were Janelle Abbott's voluminous quilted layers of grey, blue, and pink fabrics all of varying weights and textures. Nina Na Ni made a jaw-dropping cream coat that was intricately detailed and well-structured over a cream turtleneck and muted trousers. And Christine Hamer's bleached, stone-wash-looking dress with giant rolled-up arms seems perfect for right now. Though I long to show looks from every collection, my guess is that we'll be hearing much more from the 2012 Parsons graduating class. Also, perhaps, more from a certain young male model who stole the show in gingham, suspenders, and patched pants from designer Emily Hudson. Bravo!

A young model wearing Emily Hudson's children's wear collection at the 2012 Parsons Benefit Runway Show.
Photo: Dan Lecca/Courtesy of Parsons The New School for Design

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