MusiCouture expresses Gallatin style, music

February 21, 2013

Design by Tori Holbrook
Photo by Rachel Cabitt/WSN

The creative spirit of NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study was in full force Wednesday night at MusiCouture: The Gallatin Fashion Show, which explored the relationship between music and fashion.

For Gallatin’s third annual fashion show, the event committee chose to look at how the two artistic fields have influenced each other throughout history. From delicate Paris ballet-inspired tutus to hippie tie-dye frocks, the show examined all genres of music with unbound creativity.

The event was buzzing with the energy of a true New York Fashion Week moment, complete with luxe swag bags, a lit catwalk and a crowded venue.

Nine designers, from Gallatin freshmen to alumni, presented their mini-collections to an eclectic musical beat. Gallatin senior Thulasi Sivalingam was inspired by Maurice Ravel’s classical rendition of the piece “Pavane Pour Une Infante Defunte” for her first collection, a blend of ’60s silhouettes in rich silks and decadent gilded embellishments.

“I was imagining what [’60s ladies] would have worn to the philharmonic or the opera to listen to this song,” Sivalingam said. “I’m a magpie and a history nerd. It’s me in a collection.”

Gallatin junior Priya Bhikha designed a dark and seductive collection inspired by Lana Del Rey. Bhikha’s favorite songs are mysterious and sexy. This aesthetic translated to black silks, metallic gold and her signature duct tape bodice. She said she works best under pressure, so she drapes and pins her garments seconds before the models step out onto the runway.

“Your whole self is focused on one thing so you get the best part of you in it,” Bhikha said.

Judy Harinarain, who graduated from Gallatin in 2012, drew inspiration from Euterpe, the Greek goddess of music. She infused Greek elements of gold-braid detail and draped silhouettes into her line — she loved her finished product.

“It’s been cool to manifest your ideas into textiles and something you can actually touch,” Harinarain said. “It is a lot like art.”

Alex Chernow, a Gallatin senior who has exhibited in all three of Gallatin’s fashion shows, said she hit her mark this year with an all-black and on-trend collection suitable for a classical concert or punk rock fest.

Executive producers Rachel Plutzer and Theresa Anderson, who are in charge of all Gallatin special events, could not have been more proud of the talent showcased last night. They began working on this year’s show during the summer in an incredibly collaborative process.

“I love the way Gallatin people think magical unicorn things and then they pull it off,” Plutzer said. “I never would have been able to do that when I was their age.”

Despite the fact that most designers had never designed a clothing line before, the show exhibited a kind of artistic creativity that can only be found at NYU.

“I was very astonished at the level of talent,” Gallatin freshman and attendee Brennan Kilbane said after the show. “I thought it [had] more creative expression than what you see at Fashion Week, which I thought was a cool thing.”

A version of this article appeared in the Thursday, Feb. 21 print edition. Hilary Presley is a staff writer. Email her at features@nyunews.com.

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