At Pioneer Works in Brooklyn this week, Pratt Fashion held its 122nd annual runway show, highlighting the work of the Insititute’s graduating class of fashion design students. Titled “ASSEMBLAGE,” this year’s showcase included 172 looks from collections made by 21 graduates — all of which offered a “glimpse into what our future of fashion looks like,” per Pratt Institute President Frances Bronet.
For the event, which housed more than 350 guests, each designer presented eight to 10 looks, complete with signature accessories and carefully selected background music. Among them were Camille Bavera, Cameron Bourne, Justin Cavone, Zoë Crane, Dominique Fiorino, Mekinsa Emi Firth, Shuming Gu, Kristin Guo, Jo Lu, Yichen Lu, Annie McWilliams, Phoenix Mei, Mackenzie O’Mara, Heather Ortiz, Aimee Schmale, Haozhe Wang, Mingyi Teresa Wu, Peiling Helen Wu, Yue Wu, Eden You and Xiran Zhao.
Pratt Fashion Chair and inaugural Jane B. Nord Professor of Fashion Design Jennifer Minniti said, “This year’s class is the first to have completed the foundational years of their studio education remotely, learning how to cut patterns and sew on Zoom. Many students were half-a-globe worth of timezones away from each other, necessitating the program to develop a sense of communal flexibility, students and instructors alike.”
“Despite these challenges, students devised techniques that push the boundaries of the textiles with which they work,” she added, “such as using 3D knitting machines to create garments out of technologically-enhanced recyclable fibers, and explored sustainability as a guiding design principle, combining innovation with traditional craft methods, such as quilting.”
Elsewhere, the event honored The Washington Post critic-at-large Robin Givhan with the 2023 Pratt Fashion Visionary Award, for “her thoughtful criticism, her expert eye, her unwavering celebrations of diverse voices and perspectives in fashion design.” The esteemed journalist’s longtime peer, Teri Agins (a former fashion reporter for The Wall Street Journal), presented her with the trophy.
“I want to accept [this honor] on behalf of all the journalists that the fashion industry welcomes into its midst, knowing that sometimes the stories will be critical, or skeptical, or tough. And I thank you for that generosity and graciousness,” said Givhan. “Fashion has never been more powerful as a form of communication. It helps people tell their stories when their voice fails them, or when society simply doesn’t want to listen to their words. Fashion helps us sort out our identity, define our power, and find our place in the world. And we all need a little bit of fashion… But we also all need to understand it.
See the highlights from each of Pratt’s graduating designers’ collections in the gallery above.
In more fashion news, Acne Studios introduced its new Platt Crackle Bag for SS23.