With fashion industry leaders, media and influencers watching, a pair of University students showcased their work at the Designers’ Premier show as part of New York Fashion Week. Fashion design seniors Vanessa Fath and Allegra Pronesti shined as the only student collections included in the Feb. 9 show at the Prince George Ballroom.
“Showing at NYFW is an incredibly unique opportunity and one that very few designers ever get to experience, let alone student designers,” said Carly Kusy, fashion design instructor at Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University). “It’s a really exciting moment for them and a proud moment for faculty as well. We’re always amazed by what our students create.”
Fath hand-printed portraits of sexual-assault survivors and their allies using cyanotype and platinum/palladium processes on her “I Believe You” menswear collection. Working with upcycled denim, she was inspired by the mosaics in denim’s origin city of Nimes, France, and the Denim Day movement to end sexual assault.
“These looks are the intersection of people’s stories, pieced together to make their mosaic, and show support in being an ally for unity, the end of rape culture and conscious clothing,” she said.
Pronesti’s “Family Values” fall/winter collection reflects the love and strength of queer and trans people within their chosen families. Each look responds to a different 1950s nuclear family archetype, and the collection uses leather as a key material and features exaggerated silhouettes, including large suit shoulders and long sleeves.
“Ever since I was little, I really just wanted to see my garments go down any kind of runway,” Pronesti said. “The fact that this is New York Fashion Week is honestly a dream come true.”
Fath added, “It’s an honor to represent myself, my work and this school at such an incredible venue.”