RISD at NYFW17
The Apparel Design department of the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) returned to New York Fashion Week this week with a refreshing showcase of Summer Spring 2017 thesis collections. Hosted by Fashion-leaders and school alumni Mike Eckhaus, Robert Geller, Sally LaPointe, Zoe Latta, Rachel Mansur and Nicole Miller, and sponsored by Tommy Hilfiger, the runway show presented portfolio pieces by 12 emerging talents. The works shown revealed a keen sense of material experimentation and fearless expression. Many challenged the very archetypical forms of clothing we are accustomed to. Perhaps untainted by the industry relatives, these collections demonstrated a true sense of craftsmanship, intuitive leaps, and even artistic message. The medium of fashion itself seemed to have been expanded beyond practical application in the speculative and conceptual realms.
Outgoing department head Niel Gilks suggested “This year’s graduating cohort proved that there is a powerful movement of designers emerging from American schools. The RISD standard is not only one of creative relevance and desirability, it can also question many of the social and political injustices that are globally apparent, offering distinctive artistic voices with ability to insight discussion and action change.”
Still, many of the graduates have also been able to segue into the professional sphere. Abigail Griswold will channel her athletic background working a Reebok in Boston while Kylie Mara is currently an assistant designer at Club Monaco. Jamall Osterholm is on the fast track to establishing his own label. His garments have featured prominently in the press and have been worn my top celebrities.