Runway ready: It was the first time that Paris Fashion Week was held for the master’s degree students in Fashion Design and Knitwear Design at the Institut français de Mode. Emotions were on display as 25 young creatives escorted models down the catwalk for the finale. Some were nervous, others were visibly moving.
The latter sentiment was shared by program director Leila Neri, who later wiped her tears backstage. It’s a matter of strength and motivation and hard work,” she told WWD. Some are far away from their families and some have not been able to see them since COVID-19,” she explained.
Despite the tension, runway flair was tangible among the students of the grueling two-year course, showcasing their upcoming graduation collection to the Parisian fashion universe inside IFM headquarters.
The program has 118 students from 23 countries.
The collection on display was diverse enough to blur the boundaries between genre and technique.
“Each has its own universe and its own personality,” says Neri.
“We never push them stylistically. Sometimes when you look at a collection you can tell which school it is. We try not to. Diversity is a priority.” Yes, and they are all in their own world.”
Highlights include intricate jacquard knits such as the wide, whimsical knitted dress by French-Chilean designer Shannon Poupard, which opened the show, and the destroyed denim pieces exhibited by China’s Ju Bao. Korea’s Gookhyun Lee’s moody broad-shouldered design “Romantic Army” is adorned with moon-shaped detailing in 3D fabric, while compatriot Chaewon Song’s 3D knits look like vintage Missoni. and updated with tons of 3D loops.
Young designers have just one month left to complete their graduation collections. Graduation collections will be presented to a professional jury. They also often have to write a research paper before joining his six-month internship at one of the major fashion houses. According to the IFM, about 95% of students in the program find employment within six months of graduation.