by Katie George
Congratulations, Fashion Design Majors: You Are Eligible For An Upgrade!
Released from the confines of a small five-story building in midtown, the fashion design students at Parsons The New School For Design are immersed in a polar opposite world known as the University Center. After fifty years of calling the David M. Schwartz Fashion Education Center home, these students are re-locating to join their downtown counterparts. What was appropriately nicknamed “the dungeon,” will now be a clean, real school atmosphere. Some were initially skeptical about the fashion program leaving its historic roots in the Garment District. However, such arguments are temporarily rendered irrelevant while these students take in their spacious, new work environment.
There is already a sense of lightness and anonymity among the previously tight-knit, high-strung group. Previously, it was hard not to see someone you knew while filing through the old building’s claustrophobic hallways. Now, there is a sense of indefinite possibility with whom you will come in contact with in a single elevator trip. Even with the cloudy weather outside, a flood of natural light from floor-to-ceiling windows on the second floor cafeteria wriggles smiles from the weariest of fashion design majors. Like freshman all over again, they gawk at the sheer open spaces, and even snap a few Instagrams of fresh food coming from the gourmet kitchen.
“Its so weird with the fashion kids here,” says a passerby, probably an architecture or communication design major. As if on cue, an obvious fashion student with a grin, says, “Its very weird here.” “Weird,” in a good way it seems, is perhaps the only way to describe what these aspiring designers feel as they become lost for the first time in a while. The New School, known for its conceptual academic approaches, has pulled a fast one on these particular students. Rather than telling them to get out in the Garment District, it’s told them to simply get lost. In their work, of course.