Stylist, advisor and Interview journal’s artistic director Mel Ottenberg helped critique seniors’ work at his alumni Rhode Island College of Design.
Returning to Rhode Island for the primary time since 1998 was a little bit of a tradition shock, he stated, “Back then they did it in the RISD auditorium. The models were on stage. You were at a microphone speaking to the critics. It was very formal,” he stated. “The reason I went to RISD is because I wanted to find myself outside of New York City. I wanted to figure out what I was about, before being drenched in the world and what everyone else was doing. The students are so different now because of the Internet. They’re really seeing everything the world has to offer all the time.”
However sure talent units keep on. “The thing I am most proud of going to RISD for is the insane work aesthetic of the people who come out of that school. You really have to be able to work really, really hard to survive there. In general, people who go there have fun working really hard. I certainly do and I feel that I learned that there,” stated Ottenberg, including that this yr’s seniors confirmed the same work ethic.
The undergrad technical coaching proved to be helpful for Ottenberg in consulting, costume design, styling and collaborating. Creativity can be extra embraced. “They’re talking about their identities as people, and as designers. But they’re really talking about their life experiences,” he stated. Masha Kurguzkina, for instance, designed a print with a mind scan for her assortment to discover her expertise with epilepsy. “It didn’t matter that it was about a difficult hardship. The clothes looked cool because they had soul to them,” Ottenberg stated.
Francis Balken created “a whole universe of mixed-up, funky, really well-styled world of her friends that looked like me and my friends in the Nineties in Providence, but done in a really cool fresh way today. I really expect to see things from this kid,” he stated. “I clocked a very clear Providence off-the-grid vibe that was so great to grow up in.”
The austere denim and white cotton shapes by Elizabeth Campos, whose commentary was about migrant staff, was one other favourite. Levi Campello’s leather-based harnesses earned reward from Ottenberg, who plans to make use of a pair of his leather-based shorts. Alex Riddle’s “lumberjack mountain environmentally focused collection” additionally stood out in his thoughts.
RISD’s Attire Design division head Lisa Z. Morgan challenged seniors to contemplate how their collections would odor in the event that they have been a fragrance or scent. The concept of scent as a place to begin is one thing he has skilled in Ottenberg’s profession. For an Equinox challenge final yr, DNA from Kathrine Switzer, the primary lady to run the Boston Marathon in 1967, was used for a perfume in a bottle designed by Structure at Giant’s Rafael de Cárdenas, one other RISD grad and buddy. Steven Klein shot the marketing campaign. “Shepard Fairey graduated before me, but I knew him. He was 100 percent around. Rafael de Cárdenas was way older but we were good friends. Dan Colen, the painter, was 18 and somehow I was friends with him when I was a senior. It was a really fun mixture of people that you would know there,” he stated.
Ottenberg stated of his personal profession path. “I, 100 percent, wanted to be a fashion designer. I wanted to be like Marc Jacobs. Then the second I moved to New York I didn’t want to do that at all. I started working for Katayone Adeli. I was the trims guy and I hated it. I just wanted to go out every night in New York, which I was. I was like, ‘Oh my God, I can’t focus on something for six months. A collection takes so long. What’s a job that I can do for one week, three weeks, a month, but not this?’ I thought I’ll never find that job. Then styling fell into my life maybe a year later.”
Ottenberg stated he has “good fashion show stuff coming up including a few big shows,” and is at work on the 50th anniversary problem of Interview journal. He styled a shoot for Woolrich Friday. He will even be talking at The Metropolitan Museum of Artwork’s “College Night: Notes on Fashion” Thursday evening with @everyoutfitonsatc’s cocreators Chelsea Fairless and Lauren Garroni. Having styled Rihanna and lots of different celebrities for the Met Gala by means of the years, he’s proper at dwelling on the Met. Camp, the theme of this yr’s exhibition, would be the foremost level of dialogue. “The fact that the world stopped and talks about it means it is really a success for the museum,” Ottenberg stated.