Pratt Institute’s senior fashion students presented their final collections to a sold out crowd at its 114th annual fashion show on April 25, 2013, where renowned American fashion designer Thom Browne received the 2013 Pratt Fashion Visionary Award from Vogue’s International Editor at Large Hamish Bowles. Browne, who was chosen by Pratt for his highly conceptual designs and impeccable craftsmanship, was celebrated immediately after the show at a cocktail benefit at The Top of The Standard. The event, which can be viewed on Pratt’s YouTube page, exceeded its fundraising goal, with proceeds benefiting student scholarships and Pratt’s Department of Fashion.
The show provided 17 graduating students with a platform to design, produce, and present cohesive and progressive collections that were pre-selected by a panel of industry experts. Representing a myriad of designs with distinct voices, collections ranged from five to eleven looks; all textile prints, surface applications, and embellishments were designed and hand-applied by each student. Structured silhouettes, futuristic patterns, and unique fabrics appeared on the runway and displayed technical and creative strength.
One outstanding graduating senior in the fashion program was recognized with the “Liz Claiborne Award – Concept to Product” at the end of the show. Presented to Madeline Gruen by Department of Fashion Chair Jennifer Minniti, this $25,000 award, funded by the Liz Claiborne & Art Ortenberg Foundation, will support Gruen’s creative entrepreneurial activities and help cover the costs of developing a collection post graduation. Gruen also received the Pratt Fashion Entrepreneurship Award, a new recognition that will provide the student with a studio in the Pratt Design Incubator rent-free for one year with ongoing mentorship at the Incubator. As part of this award, Gruen will be able to attend classes, tuition free, at Pratt’s recently launched Design Entrepreneurship program.
Gruen’s womens and menswear collection combined impeccable tailoring and imaginative patterns into classic formalwear. Standout pieces included an Elizabethan gown with exaggerated accordion pleating in organza, a hand-beaded all white three-piece suit, and a romantic floor-length navy tulle dress with a beaded white mock neck that dissolved into the dress.
Pratt annually honors distinguished individuals in the industry at its fashion show. Past recipients include Fern Mallis (2012), Hamish Bowles (2011), Catherine Malandrino (2010), Ralph Rucci (2009), Carmen Marc Valvo (2008), Narcisco Rodriguez (2007), and Diane von Furstenberg (2006).
Funding for the 2013 Pratt Fashion Show was awarded in part through a competitive grant presented to Pratt Institute by the Importer Support Program of the Cotton Board and by Cotton Incorporated.