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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

The Raise The Roof Concert, held at Christ Church on Nov. 9, was an intergenerational event to benefit the Life Enrichment Center of Oyster Bay’s seniors.

Board member Suzanne Paolucci explained the center’s wish to get iPods for the seniors as a source of musical therapy. She brought the idea to the center from a talk by social worker Dan Cohen, the founder of Music & Memory. He has produced a film, Alive Inside, that tells the story of music as being restorative. Music is like therapy for the elderly, in particular for those with dementia, as it has been shown to awaken memories of happier times in life, when energy and enthusiasm were boundless.

Driving rain and an early start time did not deter 600 people who arrived at Crest Hollow Country Club recently to celebrate the Women’s Fund of Long Island’s 20th year and to honor four exceptional women.

The breakfast started with a meet and greet and a chance to showcase Women’s Fund contest winner Patti Hogarty, designer of “Women as Bamboo.” Inspired by her neighbor’s bamboo, she entered the contest drawing a design of the bamboo, which Ambalu Jewelers of Roslyn then turned into various pendants of which 40-percent of the profits would go to WFLI. Hogarty wrote a short essay comparing women to bamboo in that they are strong and can weather difficult storms, yet remain graceful and continue to grow sending out new shoots.


Sports

On the weekend of Nov. 8, the Oyster Bay High School Boys and Girls Cross Country teams traveled to the State University of New York at Canton just a few miles from the Canadian border to compete in the New York State Cross Country Championships.

Alex Tosi became the first Bayman since Joe Jazwinski and Justin Nakrin (2008) to become All-State, placing 16th with a time of 16:53. Most runners ran about 20 seconds slower than their Bethpage times because of the muddy conditions on the course. Tosi’s time was basically equivalent to his best Bethpage time, as he powered through the toughest parts of the race. He led the Baymen to a seventh place finish in the Class C race, an improvement from their 11th place finish last year, which ties the highest place at the New York State Championships of a Baymen team since 2009.

In the history of Oyster Bay High School athletics, no one has ever won a Girls’ Tennis New York State Championship. Celeste Matute and Courtney Kowalsky became the first when they won the 2014 New York State Doubles Championship in Latham on Nov. 3. What makes this tremendous achievement even more remarkable is that Matute is a junior and Kowalsky is a sophomore.

The girls, who are usually singles players, teamed up to take on the very best players in Nassau County and New York State. They won all 10 matches in the section XIII and NYSPHSAA tournaments and left Latham as the 2014 New York State doubles champions.


Calendar

Annual Turkey Trot

Thursday, Nov. 27

Turkey Detox Workshop

Friday, Nov. 28

East Norwich Holiday

Sunday, Nov. 30



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