REVIEW: PARSONS GRADUATES, LOOK OUT THIS IS THE NEW
Milk and MADE Fashion Week hosted Parsons School of Fashion And Design first ever fashion week show. A tour-de-force by the brilliant talent on Parsons MFA Fashion Design and Society course. Interestingly the world’s most famous fashion professor, Central Saint Martins’ Louise Wilson, was front row checking out their designs. Parsons is plowing its own course, the clothes were reasonably of this earth unlike those of Walter Van Bierendonk’s students at Antwerp, and there seemed to be more variety of ideas than is usual at any individual Saint Martins show.
Standouts included Talia Shulvalov who hails from Australia and Dutch student Elisa Van Joolen. Shulvalov’s collection came mostly in tones of light gray, gray marl with watery blues, greens and jade accents, and was constructed from recycled vintage tees, not that you’d know. This resulted in easy-to-wear but hyper lux separates. Van Joolen showed de-constructed sportswear and startling PR savvy. Her pages in the Parsons show notes featured a reproduced gmail of an interview transcript in a nod to the current trend for lo-fi internet graphics. She simultaneously marketed herself as a ready-made media story. Other images were accompanied by their j-peg file names and her show track also included clips from an interview. Less hard-edged but just as good were Jie Li’s sweet pastel coral, unfinished chiffon and tulle dresses complete with customised My Little Pony headphones. All in all probably the most fashion forward collection at the show.
After the show, the endearingly passionate Dean of Fashion at Parsons, Englishman Simon Collins said, "this is the first ever class from our MFA in Fashion Design and Society. We give young designers the skills they need to realize their vision. We teach them to ask smart questions and create beautiful solutions. The Old is dead. Our students are creating the New. They don’t know what is was like before and they don’t care. They are charging forward in every sphere and creating new models, new innovations and new languages." He signed off "Look out!". Fashion world consider yourself warned, Parsons has just shifted up a gear.