LIZ CLAIBORNE AWARD: CONCEPT TO PRODUCT

Pratt Institute Fashion Design

Five years of Pratt Fashion students recognized for their skill and creativity

Liz Claiborne Award & Pratt Fashion

The Liz Claiborne Concept to Product Award was awarded to one senior graduating from the Pratt Institute Fashion Design program each year from 2012 through 2016. The $25,000 award was funded by the Liz Claiborne & Art Ortenberg Foundation to support the students' creative entrepreneurial activities and help cover the costs of developing a collection after graduation. Students were selected in recognition of the exemplary work and vision shown in their senior thesis collections. Winners were announced at the end of the annual runway show each year. The winning students included Kelsy Parkhouse (2012), Madeline Gruen (2013), Julia Wollner (2014), Claire McKinney (2015) and Jihyun Kim (2016).

2012: Kelsy Parkhouse
Kelsy Parkhouse was the inaugaral Pratt recipient of the Liz Claiborne Concept to Product Award for her 2012 senior thesis collection. Her 2012 collection was inspired by americana and the geological forms and color story of the West. Her founding collection drew inspiration from the handmade American quilt, a textile that continues to inform her aesthetic both visually and metaphorically. She utilized traditional quilting and patchwork techniques to create her looks and sourced vintage textiles to add a range of colors, patterns, and as a sense of nostalgia to the collection. She used the award money to expand her original five-look collection and found her own line, Carleen. The line has enjoyed multiple mentions on Vogue.com and a pair of denim trousers from the Fall '14 collection were modeled by Kendall Jenner in the January issue of the magazine. 

Kelsy Parkhouse's award winning thesis collection was presented in the 2012 Pratt Institute Fashion Design Show on Thursday, April 26, 2012 at Center548 in Manhattan.

Kelsy Parkhouse founded Carleen in May of 2012 after receiving positive reviews for her thesis collection at Pratt Institute and receiving Liz Claiborne Concept to Product Award. Carleen is a Brooklyn-based womenswear collection that draws influence from Parkhouse's Southern California upbringing, folk-art motifs, fine art inspiration, and commitment to domestic manufacturing.

A patchwork skirt from Kelsy Parkhouse's final thesis collection photographed for the 2012 Pratt Fashion lookbook

A quilted vest by Kelsy Parkhouse's final thesis collection photographed for the 2012 lookbook

Clip from an article about Kelsy Parkhouse's career and clothing line, Carleen, from Brooklyn Magazine

Thank you letter written by Kelsy Parkhouse one year after receiving the Liz Claiborne Award

2013: Madeline Gruen
In 2013, Madeline Gruen received the Liz Claiborne Concept to product award for her senior thesis collection of formalwear looks for both men and women. Her looks combined precise tailoring, patterned textiles, and detailed embellishment in a color story of indigo and white. Some notable pieces included an Elizabethan-style gown with voluminous accordion-pleated organza, a hand-beaded all white three-piece suit, and a floor-length navy tulle gown with a beaded white mock-neck that faded down the shoulders. In addition to the Liz Claiborne Award, Madeline Gruen was also the the recipient of the Pratt Fashion Entrepreneurship Award to help support the start of her career. The Entrepreneurship Award gave the young designer one year of free access to the Brooklyn Fashion and Design Accelerator. 

A menswear look from Madeline Gruen's final thesis collection photographed for the 2013 Pratt Fashion lookbook

A beaded menswear look from Madeline Gruen's final thesis collection photographed for the 2013 Pratt Fashion lookbook

A beaded menswear look from Madeline Gruen's final thesis collection photographed for the 2013 Pratt Fashion lookbook

Madeline Gruen's award winning thesis collection was presented in the 2013 Pratt Institute Fashion Design Show on May 1, 2014 at Center458 in Manhattan, New York.

Madeline Gruen walks down the runway with a model wearing a beaded gown, the final look from her 2013 thesis collection.

Madeline Gruen hugs Pratt Fashion Chairperson, Jennifer Minniti, while receiving the Liz Claiborne Award at the finale of the 2013 Pratt Institute Fashion Design Show.

Thank you letter written by Madeline Gruen one year after receiving the Liz Claiborne Award

2014: Julia Wollner
Julia Wollner is an artist and fashion designer based in Brooklyn, New York. In 2014 she graduated from Pratt Institute and was that year's recipient of the Liz Claiborne Award. Her collection drew inspiration from personal experience and a struggle with Bell's Palsey. She showcased garments that re-created the feelings of sterility and constraint through the use of clean lines, innovative silhouettes, and inventive fabrication. Wollner created her own textiles to help shape the distinctive looks she was trying to achieve by printing onto organza that she stiffened with iron-on vinyl. 

A dress and jacket from Julia Wollner's final thesis collection photographed for the 2014 Pratt Fashion lookbook

A top, shirt, and pants from Julia Wollner's final thesis collection photographed for the 2014 Pratt Fashion lookbook

Julia Wollner's collection was presented in the 2014 Pratt Institute Fashion Design Show on May 1, 2014 at Center458 in Manhattan, New York.

Julia Wollner hugs Pratt Fashion Chairperson Jennifer Minniti while receiving the Liz Claiborne Award at the finale of the 2014 Pratt Institute Fashion Design Show.

Thank you letter written by Julia Wollner one year after receiving the Liz Claiborne Award

Photos of a new sewing machine and Julia Wollner's process journal show the trajectory of her work after receiving the Liz Claiborne Award

An article about Julia Wollner's thesis collection and award published on fastcodesign.com after the 2014 Fashion Show

2015: Claire McKinney
The 2015 recipient of the Liz Claiborne Award was Claire McKinney. Her 2015 thesis collection was inspired by her family's farming history and by the aesthetics of rural and urban workwear. To create her looks, she deconstructed and re-imagined utilitarian garments and non-conventional construction materials like used denim jeans, a blanket from the Salvation Army, or Tyvek-like fabric that she had seen used to cover plants on a farm in Sweden. Through material research and experimentation, she turned these into oversized smock dresses, dismantled jeans, voluminous white shirts, layered aprons, and jumpsuits for her ten-look collection. After graduating from Pratt in 2015, McKinney showed in the Ralph Pucci Showroom during New York's Fall Fashion Week and joined the design team at Creatures of Comfort.

A deconstructed denim and white top from Claire McKinney's final thesis collection photographed for the 2015 Pratt Fashion lookbook

An oversized denim dress from Claire McKinney's final thesis collection photographed for the 2015 Pratt Fashion lookbook

Re-worked denim jeans and a white top from Claire McKinney's final thesis collection photographed for the 2015 Pratt Fashion lookbook

A canvas and denim apron smock dress from Claire McKinney's final thesis collection photographed for the 2015 Pratt Fashion lookbook

Claire McKinney's collection was presented in the 2015 Pratt Institute Fashion Design Show on May 7, 2015 at Center458 in Manhattan.

Claire McKinney walks down the runway with a model wearing a denim jacket and Tyvek jumpsuit before receiving the Liz Claiborne Award during the finale of the 2015 Pratt Institute Fashion Show

An article written about the inspiration and aesthetic behind Claire McKinney's collection in New York Magazine in fall of 2015

2016: Jihyun Kim
Jihyun Kim was the 2016 recipient of the Liz Claiborne Concept to Product Award for her senior thesis collection. Through her collection, Kim explored depictions of femininity, power and beauty. Kim was inspired by portraits of women painted by master artists like Matisse and Picasso but looked at them with a critical eye, noting that many male artists garnered fame and recognition through their depictions of female beauty. She wanted to create a collection with the feel of fine art created from her unique perspective as a female designer that would be empowering to women. The looks presented pouf-sleeved pink dresses, exaggerated silhouettes that reshaped the figure, and painterly brush strokes applied directly on the textiles. The models were accessorized with plastic bags hanging from their wrists and necks. Inside each was a vintage glass doll, another historical representation of women and femininity.

Top and skirt from Jihyun Kim's final thesis collection photographed for the 2016 Pratt Fashion lookbook

Dress from Jihyun Kim's final thesis collection photographed for the 2016 Pratt Fashion lookbook

Jihyun Kim's award winning collection was presented in the 2016 Pratt Institute Fashion Design Show on May 5, 2016 at Spring Studios in Manhattan.

Jihyun Kim walks down the runway with a model wearing a white dress with painterly embellishment, the final look in her 2016 collection

Jihyun Kim hugs Pratt Fashion Chairperson Jennifer Minniti while receiving the Liz Claiborne Award at the finale of the 2016 Pratt Institute Fashion Design Show

Credits: Story

Exhibit designed and edited by Etta Sandry, Assistant to the Chairperson, Pratt Institute Fashion Design 2016-2017

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
Translate with Google
Home
Explore
Nearby
Profile