Parsons Disappointed: FIT Wins Fusion Competition
This is the 11th year that the Fusion Fashion Show has taken place. Fusion is an annual competition between the top two fashion schools in the country, Parsons and the Fashion Institute of Technology. Parsons has won six out of the 10 past years. Who will be crowned the 2010 modista?
James Ramey, the creator of Fusion, said, “I used to be an R.A. in Loeb Hall, and one day I thought, wouldn’t it be great to have the best fashion schools in the country compete against each other?”
Ramey explained that Fusion is an opportunity for young designers to “get a taste of something they’ve always dreamed of." 15 designers from each school were selected and brought to the runway. Each designer showcased five different looks.
2009 Parsons winner Eunsol Ansley Lee opened this year’s show with her 10-piece collection of flowy flamingo-colored dresses that transformed the runway into a rose parade.
The panel usually includes five judges from various professional fields. Among this year’s judges were Mary-Kate Steinmiller, editor from *Teen Vogue*, and designer Nicolas Putvinski, an F.I.T. alumni, former Fusion winner, and "Project Runway" contestant. Past Fusion participants include world renowned designers such as Parsons alumni Chris Benz and Alexander Wang.
F.I.T.’s collections entered the runway first with a number of outstanding designs. There were many cotton two-piece suits stylized with knits, luxurious dolled up taffetas, intricate male vests decorated with fur, and elegant silver buckles; suits with stripes or rain forest colors that matched feathered hats; black and white cocktail dresses; patterned chiffon; and wools.
Parsons had a staggering variety of styles. The first collection presented an extravagant display of denim. Ruffles and layers dominated the runway. Materials included a combination of nude-colored wools and sleek black leather. Also shown were over-the-top dresses made of organza, some of which transformed into other shapes on the runway, and while some had fitted silhouettes, the predominant fit was loose, layered and bulky.
Edwin Mohney’s collection, titled “Decay,” was one of F.I.T.’s highlights. All of his models were rendered faceless by a sheer black fabric accessorized with sculptures. His designs incorporated dresses with seams that became buttoned-up shirts using silk chiffon, polyester, and soothing colors.
Parsons student Meghan Spielman composed her collection like a narrative, where each look corresponded to a different character of the collection’s story. She said, “I really wanted to work with all wool. I wanted my collection to be a fairy tale, a bed time story.” Her playful knitted hats, crowns, and animal-looking headbands immersed the audience into a whimsical world.
And the crown for best designer went to ... Mackenzie Sam from F.I.T., making F.I.T. the winning school. Meghan Spielman won best designer honorable mention for Parsons.
The winner got a significant discount from Mood Fabrics, who also sponsored the show.