10 undergraduate collections we love

As the last looks step off the student runways, we’ve rounded up our favorite collections from undergraduate fashion showcases across the States. From Elizabeth Hilfiger’s sporty separates at RISD to Nicole Rodriguez’s insanely strong 90s patch game at...

by Emily Manning
04 June 2015, 7:45pm

Image courtesy RISD/Matt Francis

Elizabeth Hilfiger, Rhode Island School of Design: She may be Tommy's daughter, but RISD Apparel Design major Elizabeth Hilfiger is making her own name in the fashion industry. "My original concept was about the idea of mixing fast-fashion materials with traditional materials and also mixing those techniques," she told style.com of the six sporty pieces she displayed at the school's senior showcase.

Image courtesy RISD/Matt Francis

Erato Hadjiyianni, Rhode Island School of Design: RISD has a track record for attracting some of today's most innovative designers (see: Eckhaus Latta's Mike and Zoe and, briefly, Mary Katrantzou) and Erato Hadjiyianni is poised to continue that legacy. As Visionaire reported, the Apparel Design major "created garments by bonding contrasting materials to create a crackle effect and then shaving shearling and embroidering patterns onto it."

Image courtesy SCAD

Olivia Latinovich, Savannah College of Art and DesignVivienne Westwood might have been the toast of SCAD's most recent student show, but Olivia Latinovich was channeling different industry titans in her knockout collection. The senior's pale pink, two-dimensional look is nailing some recent Junya Watanabe vibes, but with just the right pinch of Prada. According to Fashionista, SCAD trustee André Leon Talley was quite taken with her designs, too.

Image courtesy SCAD

Nicole Rodriguez, Savannah College of Art and Design: We want to go to whatever party girls are wearing Nicole Rodriguez's dresses at. For her standout thesis look, the SCAD senior created a structured strapless scarlet situation layered over a pair of poppy joggers and a lace-sleeved tee. She also incorporated some totally rad 90s iron-ons. From the requisite smiley faces and peace emblems to green glitter dollar signs, Nicole's patch game is v strong, and offers a delightfully fresh take on mesh applique.

Image courtesy BFANYC/The New School

J Lyn Rhew, Parsons School of Design at The New School: The South Korean designer has already landed a spot on T Magazine's Ones to Watch list, and considering her daring proportional play, it's easy to see why. Rhew's extra-long slim sleeves emphasize the collection's varied use of zig-zags (like the ones she stitched into a cream cable-knit we're sure Mary-Kate Olsen is presently trying to buy). Factor in those pops of pink and Rhew's daring discord is hitting all the right notes. Jacquemus, you might want to snap this one up fast.

Image courtesy BFANYC/The New School

Jon Max Goh, Parsons School of Design at The New School: Jon Max Goh's intriguing layered looks garnered him a finalist slot in Parsons' and Kering's collaborative Empowering Imagination initiative, and helped the Brooklyn-based talent nab Parsons' Menswear Designer of the Year Award. Jon's process-driven approach to design stems from a deeply personal quest for understanding. "I'm interested in asking why and how we design the way we do—and answering these questions by designing in a way we don't," he writes on his website.

Image courtesy BFANYC/The New School

Ethan Hon, Parsons School of Design at The New School: It's been said before, but we'll say it again: Ethan Hon truly was born to design. The Hong Kong native made his first dress at the age of five using only a garbage bag and a pair of scissors, and by 14 he had already banged out a 15-look collection inspired by his younger sister. The rising star told Bullett his thesis series is based on the transformative power of clothing, particularly in Japanese superhero cartoons: "I'm always fascinated by the idea of clothing and how it can change someone's status or cover their real identity."

Photography Lorenzo Ciniglio, courtesy FIT

Ting He, Fashion Institute of Technology: Vancouver-born Ting He brought home FIT's Critic Award for Knitwear at the school's annual Future of Fashion showcase. She was inspired by "the irregular shape of landscapes and the undulating planes of the countryside," she told The Daily Beast. Her winning look layers clusters of textural knits over a streamlined, pleated white bottom, serving up a tactile juxtaposition we just wanna run our fingers through.

Photography Fernando Colon/Pratt Institute

Sophie Andes Gascon, Pratt Institute: In her junior year at Brooklyn's Pratt Institute, Sophie Andes Gascon was awarded a scholarship by Cotton Incorporated to help support the creation of her whopping 13-piece senior thesis collection. Titled Miss Coari 1969, 1993, Sophie's deconstructed designs were partly inspired by her Northern Brazilian hometown of Manaus, Amazonas.

Photography Fernando Colon/Pratt Institute

Chantal Galipeau, Pratt Institute: Chantal Galipeau's collection, Team Vacation, is seriously getting us ready for summer. The former Maryam Nassir Zadeh intern works with a pastel color palette — pale blues, canary yellows, dusty beiges — and we're all about her gender-bending sporty separates. Transparent mesh camisoles, sleek leather dresses and super cropped spaghetti strap halters for men? We're there. 


Text Emily Manning

Pratt Institute
Rhode Island School of Design
Fashion Institute of Technology
Savannah College of Art and Design
chantal galipeau
elizabeth hilfiger
erato hadjiyianni
ethan hon
j lyn rhew
jon max goh
nicole rodriguez
olivia latinovich
sophie andes gascon
ting he