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The Best of the 2011 Parsons The New School for Design BFA Show

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Looks from Katherine Kim and Paige Kettering (Photos: Parsons)
Looks from Katherine Kim and Paige Kettering (Photos: Parsons)

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Yesterday afternoon, 34 Parsons students from the senior fashion design class presented their collections to a packed house of faculty, fellow students, fashion people, and of course, their parents, at Pier 60 in Chelsea Piers. (A space tucked along the Hudson, which we located by following just about every fashion student in the city and their trail of designer bags.)

The show kicked off the first annual Parsons Festival, and in the past, the Parsons BFA show has shown work from the likes of Marc Jacobs and both Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez—so needless to say, to show is to be honored. But we will say this: In addition to featuring some seriously impressive collections (that were praised by guest host Reed Krakoff), the student show was an endearing one—one of the designers actually stood in line at check-in in front of us until he was told that he, of course, didn't have to wait.

The show was pleasantly diverse, which is always a good thing for a show that is going to go on for an hour. And the highlight may have happened first thing. The presentation began with three children's collections from Serena Chang, Jessica Klinger, and Karen Han, with models that were just as cute as those Fendi kids. When the first boy, no older than twelve, stomped out in a neon yellow jacket, we melted. And when an even younger girl with a slick bob stomped out with a leopard print backpack and sunglasses, we wished we could someday be so cool.

We did see a few similar themes: At least two different collections featured drapey hooded capes, several of them felt a lot like Helmut Lang or Rick Owens, and a few featured full, pleated skirts—a spring trend we've already expressed our excitement over. The rest was a lot of neutral colors (though neon popped up on more than one occasion), a lot of sheer fabrics, and a lot of young talent.

To make it easier to digest for those who didn't see all 34 up close and personal, here's three of our favorites:

Paige Kettering: For lack of a better word, the skirts in Paige Kettering's collection were kind of mindblowing. There was a light gray printed silk one that seemed to just flow open at every angle as if you were draped in a bedsheet on the cover of a romance novel, and then—on the completely opposite end—a structured sheer organza skirt with horizontal paneling of even more sheer organza.

Katherine Kim: What did it for us here were the seafoam green and rust prints that seemed to cover just about every decade, all different enough to be admired one right after the other. And a forties-style cocktail dress with a full skirt and red latex gloves lets you be like Betty Draper without being Betty Draper.
· Parsons Festival [Official Site]