by Stephanie Kraeutler, Fashion Publishing
Twice a year, once the fanfare of grown-up Fashion Week subsides, children walk the runway for petitePARADE and Vogue Bambini. The showcase allows children’s wear designers to promote the fashions they will soon offer to store buyers. During each Fall presentation, a select group of Parsons students can display their theses collections on the runway. The elaborate event introduces their graduate work to the entire children’s wear community, including press and stylists (click here for day 1 and 2 highlights)
A kid’s fashion show looks much like the adult ones, except for the unabashed excitement that permeates the audience (and the squeezable apple sauce snacks). Children of all ages, in full hair and make-up, strut in mini versions of ready to wear. The creations of Parsons students and their professional counterparts are astounding in their high quality and detailed workmanship. A coat tossed over the shoulder, a hand on the hip while dramatically pausing for photos, a calculated spin in the middle of the catwalk, creates the feeling of professional models, while parents and agents cheer from the sidelines. PetitePARADE includes brands from JC Penney and Babies “R” Us to Bonnie Young and Lamantine Paris.
Parsons inclusion in the Parade came about through veteran professor, Francesca Sammaritano. Professor Sammaritano utilizes her contacts in childrenswear to expose students to industry professionals who critique thesis work and provide the opportunity to show at Petite Parade/Vogue Bambini Kids Fashion Week. This season, the six collections on the runway were designed by Julia Passafiume, Nicole Monfils, Talia Handler, Aracely Santamaria, Ariana Breall, and Paige Fleming. Aracely Santamaria described the show as “Amazing…everyone was friendly and they treated the Parsons designers as if we were big shots.” Paige Fleming also gushed about her experience. “PetitePARADE and Vogue Bambini were all great to work with!” BFA Seniors spend two semesters creating a cohesive statement with a minimum of five looks. In general, 90% of students enter Parsons’ design programs with an eye towards women’s wear. Yet, those who pick children’s wear are “Happy with their choice,” according to Professor Sammaritano. And to top it all off, “99% of the graduates in children’s wear are working!”