The third With Love Halston scholarship awards took place on May 15 at a select gathering at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT). The scholarship, founded by the late American fashion designer Roy Halston Frowick’s niece, Lesley Frowick, to celebrate and honor his fashion legacy, launched in spring last year with a glittering affair at NYC’s National Arts Club. That inaugural event brought together members of Halston’s family and inner circle including designers Naeem Khan and Ralph Rucci, Halstonettes Pat Cleveland and Karen Bjornson, students from FIT and the illustration community of Fida whose members had created Halston-inspired artwork especially for the event. Since then the With Love Halston scholarship has been awarded to students at Istituto Marangoni Miami last November before making its return to FIT last week.
Members of the jury tasked with selecting the winning looks included Ken Downing, Creative Director of Halston; Fern Mallis, the mastermind behind the creation of New York Fashion Week who revealed that she lives on the street where Halston’s famous store was located; Halston’s first and last in-house illustrators, Audrey Schilt and Nancy Stone respectively; Halston’s workroom manager, Fred Rottman; and academics from Fashion Institute of Technology among others.
The designer’s language of Ultrasuede, languid American glamor and Studio 54 lives on through the creations of the 8 students. Downing in his introductory remarks expressed his excitement at seeing how a new generation would represent Halston and capture the zeitgeist through a contemporary lens of Instagram, TikTok and celebrity culture. Lesley Frowick commented on the generosity of Halston both as an uncle and and as the director of his atelier and the With Love Halston non-profit functions to carry on this spirit of giving.
FIT preserves Halston legacy for new generation of fashion designers
Throughout the design process the students benefited from their access to FIT’s impressive Halston archives as they worked with yardage donated by Toray of the late designer’s favorite fabric Ultrasuede. Other sponsors of the event included Nando and Elsa Peretti Foundation and Tiffany & Co. As each student described their work they made references to the shirtwaist, sophisticated minimalism, and how the fabric cuts like butter with no fraying. Student Cher Mouradzadegun’s floor-length caramel-colored flared shirtdress with crisscrossing overlays at the bust was inspired by a dress the designer had created for Grace Kelly whereas Nuo Cheng approached Halston’s legacy through his lens of working in a vintage store. With his caped ensemble in a sophisticated platinum hue accentuated with a floppy-brimmed hat he hoped to capture how Halston created a total vision for women, accessories included.
The students were asked to step out of the room while the judges examined the garments up close, deliberated and made notes. After an intensive 45 minutes a decision was reached and the announcement was made by Dr Joyce Brown, FIT’s president. In third place, winning 1000 dollars was Daniel Bochokov; second place went to Cher Mouradzadegun who won 2000 dollars and the winning look earning the 5000 dollars top prize was Nuo Cheng.
The next With Love Halston scholarship event is planned to take place in Paris to commemorate the historic fashion showdown of 1973, the Battle of Versailles, which pitted American and French designers against each other, culminating in a victory for the US.