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Check Out the Designers of the Future at FIT's Graduation Show

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Photo credit: Lorenzo Ciniglio

While graduating students at most colleges worry about final exams or writing a thesis, seniors at the Fashion Institute of Technology cross their fingers that the garments or accessories they've created will make it into the school's final runway show—and possibly win a prize. This year, the school's The Future of Fashion show included more than seventy student designs, ranging from the gorgeous to the "What were they thinking?"

Although this is a student show, it's in New York, at a school that many top designers attended, so Wednesday night's front row included Dennis Basso, Josie Natori, Nanette Lepore, Elle's Joe Zee and Amsale Aberra. But despite all these impressive talents, our focus kept getting pulled to one of the true icons of American fashion, FIT alum and mega-donor, Calvin Klein. The perfectly graying Klein kept a stoic "I'm not wearing Anna Wintour sunglasses so I'd better hide my reactions" face on for most of the evening.

We're guessing that was difficult, because the show included some really interesting looks in five design categories: Sportswear, Special Occasion, Knitwear, Intimate Apparel and Children's Wear. Each category was judged by a designer from that field—including Amsale Aberra, Josie Natori, and Diane von Furstenberg, and each designer's top choice won a Critics Award. There were also three Cotton Incorporated cash awards given to the designers who made the best garments from cotton. (We were surprised how sexy cotton lingerie can be.)

Many of the designs that walked the runway were extremely impressive. Much of the knitwear was stunning—incorporating creative and unique patterns and beautiful textures. We were also blown away by the intimate apparel, in particular by one of Lorna Laurentino's two winning looks, a glamorous black and silver lace bra, panty and waist cincher set, which we'd really love to own.

The category which got the most "Oohs" and "Aahs" of the evening, however, was children's wear. Judged by Milly's Michelle Smith, who designs the adorable Milly Minis line, the show's pint-sized chic yet fun designs made everyone smile. Yes, even Calvin Klein couldn't hide his amusement when a diminutive model in a poufy (and award winning) party dress did a little dance at the end of the runway.

If FIT's The Future of Fashion runway show is an accurate representation of where design is headed, then fashion's future is going to be in some very talented and creative hands. Check out the gallery above to see photos of all of this year's award-winning student designs.
· FIT [Official Site]

Josie Natori

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