Pratt Institute Fall 2024 Ready-to-Wear Collection

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There was a refreshing sense of lightness, and a nice balance between design and materiality, in the show that presented the work of 20 students graduating in Pratt’s Class of 2024. As a whole it felt more “fashion,” than the understandably navel-gazing student shows that marked the pandemic. Don’t get me wrong, these students aren’t looking at the world through rose-colored glasses, but there is a renewed sense of confidence and purpose, especially when it comes to environmental issues and size inclusivity. (The latter was a focus in the collections of Zoe Knaack;Madison Newcombe.

Show opener Shayna Block focused on the intersection of craft and machine, showing both programmed knits and handmade ones that contained the detritus of a digital life, such as parts of keyboards, charging wires, and headphones. Other types of connection, to heredity and home/place, were explored as well. Inspired by the fishing town of his Rhode Island youth, Sean McGiveney;gave an elegant workwear twist to American sportswear, while the designs of Junxuan Guo were an amalgam of his impressions of New York, Hong Kong, and Shenzhen. The global popularity of performance wear shows no sign of slowing down, and was represented in the lineups of Scott Junjie Wang and Anna Felton. Clothes for a more apocalyptic world were shown by Malek Rasmussen.

Zhouyi Wang’s collection, which was inspired by monks, exuded serenity, while Brendan Sheerin’s work had the rigor and charm of Shaker stoicism. Quiet seemed to be the new loud for a good number of students (see Dayeon Jeong and Jen Sohyun Park), but there were notable exceptions to that rule. As its title—Falling Stars and Other Heartbreaks—suggests, Eiligh Orff’s designs played with a hyper-femininity and had a cheery fairytale quality (in contrast to Shutyan (Jane) Jin’s more sinister Rapunzels.) Emilio Pompetti, a soccer player-turned designer, was at the top of their game with a colorful, graphic-rich lineup of casualwear that scored him the Christopher Hunte “On Point” Award, recognizing design excellence.

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