Pratt Fetes Francisco and Tomorrow

Pratt Fetes Francisco and Tomorrow

Pratt Honors Calvin Klein's Francisco Costa and Celebrates Its Senior Class

Pratt Honors Calvin Klein's Francisco Costa and Celebrates Its Senior Class

Text: Aria Darcella

What does the word “visionary” mean to Francisco Costa? - a must-ask question for the man who was honored with the 2015 Fashion Visionary Award from the Pratt Institute last night. “It’s having a pulse on the future” he answered, “but being relevant in the present.” A fitting response, considering the partnership of present and future became an underlying theme of the night.

While Pratt's senior fashion show, which, titled Labratory, was held at Chelsea's Center54, the Fashion Visionary Award allows the institution to toe the line of future and present, and align itself with some of the most influential and important people in the industry today. “I think he’s hitting a real stride now, and creating some really fantastic things.” Says Fern Mallis, creator of New York Fashion Week, and a past recipient of the award of Costa. “I think what he’s been doing on those red carpet dresses [is] unexpected and beautiful. He deserves to be honored.”

Actress Rose Byrne was on hand to present the award to Costa. Byrne, who wore a Costa-designed Calvin Klein laser-cut leather dress to the Met Gala, first met the designer in 2008 when he dressed her for the Emmy awards. “He’s obviously got an incredible sense of how to dress a female body, but he’s also a lovely man,” she said during her speach. “He’s kind and gentle, with a great temperament. [It] is such a pleasure to collaborate and work with him.”

After celebrating the achievements of an established designer, it was time to celebrate those just entering the industry. The level of talent in the graduate show was breathtaking. Stephen Isban, who presented a menswear collection, noted the work the school put in. “All my friends have shows, but it’s nothing like this. People really want to come to our fashion show. It’s an honor.”

Unlike major designers and houses, which show multiple times a year, schools have one shot to present the talent they have fostered in a graduating class. Each student was able to show off his or her entire collection, with musical interludes that showcased their work as individuals, not as a group. Speaking after the show, many of them realized this was an opportunity most young designers do not get.

“A full-fledged fashion show is something that’s really expensive, and often not what happens when you’re a young designer, so that’s really exciting,” offered Sophie Andes Gascon, whose collection was backed by a scholarship from Cotton Inc. “I know that real life is not going to be like this. This is the greatest time that everyone is backing you up, and is really supportive, and wants you to succeed.”

“I couldn’t have done any of this without the school,” said Claire McKinney after winning the $25,000 Concept to Product Award from Liz Claiborne and the Art Ortenberg Foundation. “A beautiful curriculum, a beautiful group of instructors that inspire us every day, and push us, and make us stressed out, and worry - but in the best way possible.”

Credits: IMAGES COURTESY OF PRATT

UP NEXT

Animal Attraction