On May 7, 2015, the Pratt Institute presented a sold out runway show to nearly 400 guests from the fashion industry who gathered to see curated looks by graduating senior fashion students at Center548 in New York City, where Calvin Klein Collection’s Women’s Creative Director Francisco Costa received the 2015 Pratt Fashion Visionary Award.
Mr. Costa was feted immediately after the show at an exclusive cocktail benefit at Dream Meatpacking District. The 2015 Pratt Institute Fashion Show + Cocktail Benefit raised nearly $235,000, with proceeds benefitting Pratt scholarship funds and the Institute’s Department of Fashion.
Actress Rose Byrne, who attended the 2015 Costume Institute Benefit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art with Costa earlier in the week, presented his award. Ms. Byrne wore a forest and black patchwork leather sleeveless dress and forest woven leather sandals from the Fall 2015 Calvin Klein Collection.
Two students’ collections were highlighted during the Fashion Show. Sophie Andes Gascon, who was awarded a scholarship from Cotton Incorporated as part of a junior design competition, debuted the senior thesis collection that the scholarship helped to support. Titled “Miss Coari 1969, 1993,” the inventive collection explores different ways of working with cotton and found materials through the cultural lens of Gascon’s hometown of Manaus, Amazonas.
Graduating senior Claire McKinney was recognized with the “Liz Claiborne Award – Concept to Product,” a $25,000 award that is funded by the Liz Claiborne and Art Ortenberg Foundation that will support McKinney’s creative entrepreneurial activities and help cover the costs of developing a collection after graduation.
McKinney’s collection was inspired by nostalgia for the past and desire for the innovative and fresh, which she represented by using denim and unconventional materials to create oversized smock dresses, deconstructed jeans, voluminous white shirts, layered aprons, and jumpsuits.
Gascon and McKinney were among the group of 16 graduating students who were chosen by a panel of industry experts to present their cohesive and progressive collections for the show, titled Laboratory. The designers showed eight to 13 looks per collection, putting their distinct voices on display. A common thread that ran through the collections was student experimentation with unconventional draping, cutting, and construction techniques.
Founded in 1887, Pratt Institute is a global leader in higher education dedicated to preparing its 4,700 undergraduate and graduate students for successful careers in art, design, architecture, information and library science, and liberal arts and sciences. Located in a cultural hub with historic campuses in Brooklyn and Manhattan, Pratt is a living lab of craft and creativity with an esteemed faculty of accomplished professionals and scholars who challenge their talented students to transform their passion into meaningful expression.