The recent Pratt Institute Student Fashion show, held at Center 548 in Chelsea, featured a sea of graduating students and their families — as well as Angela Bassett, who presented the Pratt Fashion Visionary Award to the designer Byron Lars.
The few dozen student thesis projects that followed — each with a handful of looks — was an exuberant affair. These are young designers as yet unfettered to the exhausting show-season cycle or the demands of a fashion house. Designers who don’t yet have to worry about what is going to sell or how to be commercial. No, the slate was clean — and their diverse mini-collections reflected that. Many focused on minimalism, presenting monochromatic pieces, like long, cream jersey sweaters dip-dyed in paint over column skirts and cropped, transparent shell-like tops over high-waisted pants. They experimented with texture rather than color, with one student, Kay Frank, making pockets out of transparent plastic.
There was, of course, a wide variation of ideas — between Neil Grotzin’s intricate silk pieces with hand-beaded embellishments and Juliana Horner’s wildly experimental and architectural collection that closed the show. Click through the slideshow to see highlights from this year’s students.