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Pratt Fashion Student’s Work On View

Katharine Gahagan from Bayville is one of the chosen few fashion students at Pratt Institute lucky enough to show her design talent in an exhibition taking place this week. The exhibition, “Organic Matter: Woven Artwear by Pratt Fashion,” is dedicated to the unexpected possibilities of knitwear design by Pratt students at Ralph Pucci International’s Gallery Nine in Manhattan.

Fashion students at Pratt Institute were challenged to re-think the form, function, and design of knitwear as fine art for this innovative exhibition, which is free and open to the public.

“My class was sitting and watching him; I actually saw Ralph Pucci stop and look at my piece and take a picture. It was very exciting,” says Gahagan, who is starting the spring semester of her sophomore year at Pratt.

The Portledge School graduate says she has been interested in art her entire life and her love of  fashion began around age 9 or 10.  In high school, she took summer classes at Pratt, an experience that she says made her realize “this is what I want to do”  in addition to helping her develop her art skills. She says that, while the application process to art schools is more involved since a portfolio is required, she even enjoyed the process.

Her piece —a Victorian-inspired black mohair, white cotton lace apron dress—is inspired by the yarn, and she went off on the design based on the yarn used.

“Most people think of big chunky sweaters when they think about knitwear, but that’s not my style,” says Gahagan, who has a particular love for Victorian and romantic style clothing, with an interest in evening wear and bridal wear.

“I like looking at the little details of a garment that make up the whole piece,” says Gahagan. “All of the aspects that really exemplify the fine hand work and details of the garment.”

 She describes her work as delicate and elegant while still considered knitwear.

Pucci, a Pratt Institute Trustee renowned for his high-end mannequin, lighting, furniture, and sculpture company, partnered with Pratt and worked closely with Fashion Chair Jennifer Minniti and Assistant Professor Susan Cianciolo to select top projects. The students worked exclusively with neutral-colored yarn to complement Ralph Pucci’s classic MANNEQUIN collection in matte grey.

Of the more than 90 projects considered for the exhibition, 27 works will be on view in “Organic Matter,” and each design illustrates a forward-thinking approach to knitwear. The partnership of Pratt and Ralph Pucci provides a rare opportunity for students to create works of art that will be on display in a commercial gallery.

Among the many diverse works featured in Organic Matter are: a knit corset and crocheted mesh shrug dipped in beeswax; a large-gauge knit tee of panty hose, and knit skirt with leather suspenders;  a crocheted coat featuring a stuffed-dog doll collar, and a caged sphere head piece and skirt with a crocheted bodysuit. The yarns for the student projects were donated by Lion Brand Yarn.

“I’m excited to see it all put together...there are a lot of beautiful pieces,” says Gahagan.

Students at Pratt regularly have their work on display, though it is mostly within the school setting. Being a part of an exhibition like this is not something everyone gets to partake in.

“It’s still hitting me; it feels exciting and surreal...I’m realizing everything that comes along with this," says Gahagan. "It’s really exciting to have the opportunity to have my name out there and meet people, since having connections is so important in this industry. I’m starting to become aware of everything that could open up for me.”

The exhibition runs through Jan. 28; gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Gallery Nine, 44 West 18th Street, New York.

News

A lot of people think that our world would be better off without all of the insects in it. Not so, according to Lois Lindberg, volunteer naturalist at the Sagamore Hill National Historic Site. Lindberg and fellow naturalist Wendy Albin gave a presentation about the importance of butterflies and insects in our ecosystem at the site of Theodore Roosevelt’s former home on Saturday, Aug. 23, from 1 to 2:30 p.m.

“Butterflies and other insects are very important in nature,” said Lindberg. “People see bees, wasps and ants and other insects as pests, but they actually contribute to our ecosystem by each doing their own unique job. They pollinate the flowers and fruits and without them we would not be able to eat a lot of the stuff we eat every day.”

Building J at Oyster Bay’s Western Waterfront is again up and running as the Ida May Project builds the 40-passenger oyster boat that will be operated by the WaterFront Center. The Ida May Project of the Christeen Oyster Sloop Preservation Corp. is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization whose mission is to preserve Oyster Bay maritime heritage by involving the community in traditional boat building.

Bill Shephard, Herb Scheirhorst, President Clint Smith and Project Manager Hank Tiska were there on a recent Thursday. Smith had left at around 2 p.m. to get a part he had at home they needed to fix the tractor they use to move the logs they cut to size in their saw mill. Fixing their equipment and cutting logs are some of the many projects that encompass the work.


Sports

Picture-perfect weather was on board for the Mill Neck Family of Organizations’ Third Annual Sail the Sound for Deafness Regatta on Thursday, Aug. 7. The event, featuring an evening race of yachts, followed by a cocktail party, was held to benefit the organization that serves individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have other special needs.

In this year’s race, fifteen sailors took to the waters of Oyster Bay Harbor; three aboard their own boats, others on several boats provided by Oakcliff Sailing Center. The WaterFront Center’s oyster sloop, Christeen and two vessels from Oyster Bay Marine Center, brought a total of 45 spectators out to watch the race.

Kevin Mercier, 39, of Oyster Bay, led a large contingent of local runners in the Lynne, Gartner, Dunne & Covello Sands Point Sprint 5 Kilometer Run, held on the grounds of Nassau County’s Sands Point Preserve on Saturday morning, Aug. 9. Mercier was the 18th finisher overall and third in the 35-39 age group with a time of  21 minutes, 7 seconds.

Other local runners winning awards at the Sands Point Preserve were Nicholas Cuddy of Oyster Bay, who earned first place honors in the Clydesdale Weight Division with a time of 25:53, Joanne Gallo of Oyster Bay, who  took home the first place award in the women’s 65-69 age group with a time of 28:11, and Anja Hermann of Oyster Bay, third place woman in the 20-24 age group, who finished in 28:47.


Calendar

Movie at the Library

Thursday, August 28

Sagamore Hill Walk

Saturday, August 30

Hooks and Needles

Tuesday, September 2



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
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