When Tziporah Salamon opens her closet in the morning, she doesn’t see racks of impeccably tailored designer garments, over-the-top hats and pristine pumps. The legendary fashion icon sees infinite opportunities to bring her art form to the streets of New York City.
“The essence of my being is that I dress,” the iconic fashionista told the audience who came to hear her speak at the RISD Auditorium on Thursday. “It’s what I do.”
As she twirled a vintage Asian parasol, the self-made Israeli-born stylist performed The Fabric of My Life: A Sartorial Autobiography. In the one-woman show, Salamon recounted her experiences growing up the child of Hungarian Holocaust survivors and moving to the United States at the tender age of nine.
“I quickly came to hate the first day of school,” remembered Salamon. “I couldn’t spell my first name in English. Everyone made fun of it. But as I grew older, I found that it fit. I was unique.”
Salamon’s special sense of style frequently catches the eye of the New York glitteratti. She’s often featured in On the Street, Bill Cunningham’s ever-popular style blog. “Notice that every outfit has a hat,” she said, as she took off a shiny black cap and pointed to photos of herself as a small girl. “As you can see, that trend continues today.”
The one-woman show was co-sponsored by Clad in Providence (a women’s clothing boutique managed by Leslie Grant 79 AP) and the Apparel Design department.
As designer Sally LaPointe 06 AP scrambles to finalize her Spring 2014 collection, The New York Times ran a great story in its Countdown to Fashion Week series. Titled Thank the Deli for That Dress, the Times story focuses on the inspiration the New York-based designer found by buying flowers at her corner deli and leaving the bouquets in their cellophane wrappers, documenting the process of decay via daily photographs.
Though Style.com has called her “a high priestess of goth opulence” and Lady Gaga helped strengthen her reputation for “somber lyricism,” LaPointe’s latest collection is shaping up to be lighter and more about color and texture – even if her notion of floral focuses on decay and evanescence rather than budding optimism.
The Times story points out that RISD “brought out the tougher, more structured side of [LaPointe’s] aesthetic” and that given the exaggerated geometry and signature somber palette, her designs “have been called aggressive.”
“But I’m O.K. with that,” LaPointe told the Times. “It’s an extension of a part of myself…. I don’t like anything that’s vulgar, showy, too fussy or difficult to wear. My style is a lot about what isn’t there.”
Check out the accompanying New York Times video interview for more.
The Ivy League athlete submitted stills of 18 Minutes, a luxurious collection of women’s wear that includes thick cardigans, floor-length coats and versatile sweaters. The sophisticated garments were inspired by the sinking of the RMS Lusitania, a British ocean liner that was torpedoed by a German U-boat off the coast of Ireland in 1915.
Snyder first unveiled 18 Minutes at Collection 2013, RISD’s annual runway show featuring a mélange of clothing designs by sophomores, juniors and seniors.
If his romantic looks are chosen, the promising young designer’s collection will be featured in VOGUE Italia. His collection will also be manufactured and marketed through MUUSE, a Copenhagen-based fashion label that features fresh garments by visionary artists.
The public is encouraged to vote for their favorite designers online until the contest closes at noon this Monday, August 26. Sara Maino, senior fashion editor of VOGUE Italia and VOGUE Talents will then chose the ultimate winner from a pool of the top 10 finalists.
A month before graduating from RISD’s Apparel Design department, Morgan Selin 13 AP (pictured above) and Hannah Soukup 13 AP were already dreaming up chic looks that will debut at Lincoln Center in early September during the height of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, one of the most celebrated events for designers and industry insiders.
Chosen to compete in the Supima Design Competition, the two new alums are each creating their own collection of elegant evening wear using premiere pima cotton fabrics: denim, twill, corduroy, sheeting and jersey. The final looks will be judged by a panel of influential style experts during the runway show in September.
Still hard at work in the Apparel Design studios, Selin is hand-knitting pieces of cotton to add a layer of sophistication to a voluminous garment. And to give some of her fabric a metallic sheen, she’s experimenting with foiling techniques. “I want to give some of my dresses a painterly look,” she explains, while checking the feel of one of her swatches.
Soukup is also spending long hours in the studio crafting a nude and icy-hued haute couturier collection inspired by microscopic images of human cells. “I’m interested in examining our innards – the parts that can’t be seen with the naked eye. It’s a metaphor for the pieces of ourselves we hide away.”
Come September the recent grads are looking forward to getting some great press coverage. Images from the invitation-only runway shows will be posted to popular fashion blogs and splashed across the glossy pages of top style magazines. Plus, the winning designer will be awarded $10,000 to launch his or her own line.
“It’s such an honor to be included in this competition,” notes Selin. “To be showing [my work] at New York Fashion Week is just entirely unexpected and incredibly thrilling.”
For Noah Berch 15 AP, the cobblestones that line RISD buildings are just another catwalk. Since last summer, the sophomore has been writing about RISD street fashion for CollegeFashionista, a popular blog that showcases glam style trends on campuses around the world.
Each week, Berch takes a snapshot of a fashionista/fashionisto with an interesting look to post to the site. Who makes the cut? Students donning fun coats, playful textiles and accessories that pop. He strives to “provide an inside look at what people are like here [at RISD],” the apparel designer tells The All-Nighter, the school’s student online newspaper.
Can’t get enough RISD street fashion? See CollegeFashionista.com for more chic stylings.
The Designed By: RISD capsule collections students created in collaboration with Urban Outfitters (see video in previous post) launched last week at the UO flagship store on Broadway as part of NY Fashion’s Night Out.
Amanda Goss 12 AP, Helen Wu 12 AP and Emily Shaw 12 AP were excited to attend the opening and see how great their work looks in the store.
photos courtesy of Jaime Marland
A couple of years ago Ryan Novelline 12 IL drew from his childhood memories of Golden Books to design and make this wonderfully gaudy gown from repurposed copies of the kid-lit series. But back when he was scrambling to complete the project for a RISD Apparel Design studio, he didn’t quite realize it would have lasting pay-off.
After riding a wave of national publicity around the project in 2011 – Style Italy called the dress “jaw-dropping” and Random House Kids proclaimed its love by noting: “Golden Books transform into a couture gown even Cinderella would envy!” – Ryan recently found out that his Golden Book Gown will be included in Avant-Garde Fashion, a French book due out next year. It features work by “the 100 finest designers from around the world.”
A RISD/Brown Dual Degree student has won the first-ever scholarship competition from The Limited stores. Colin MacGregor 14 AP, a sophomore studying Apparel Design at RISD and Economics at Brown, was thrilled to win the $5,000 award, which was presented to him last Thursday by Jim Bennett (right), director of Economic Development for the city, and Kayla Molis, store manager at Providence Place.
In his winning essay, Colin defined personal success and the role of passion and hard work in enabling talent to flourish. Linda Heasley, CEO of The Limited, commended him on his eloquence, noting that his essay “truly stood out.”
She went on to note that the local college community is brimming with talent in the fashion sector, which is why The Limited chose Providence to launch its first scholarship. In addition, many RISD Apparel Design faculty members – including Tina Lutz, Elizabeth Bentley and Donna Gustavsen – have included The Limited among their clients.
Providence Mayor Angel Taveras noted, “I am thankful that The Limited recognizes the creative potential of our students. I congratulate Colin and look forward to keeping him and many of his classmates in Providence to help us grow our creative economy.”