Life Imitates Art: Runway 27’s Artistry Show Encapsulates What It’s Like to Be a Young Artist

Any artist or creative can agree that the most challenging part of making art is the beginning—the beginning of a project, an idea, and maybe most significantly, the beginning of a career.

Fashion has long toed the line between business and art, but its duality makes these beginnings no less complicated. I’ve been thinking about this for almost a week, ever since I attended FIT’s 6th annual Runway 27 runway show. Not because the show reeked of ameteurism—in fact, quite the opposite—but because it reminded me why being a young creative is so special.

models backstage
photo by Leah King @leahbphotography

The show had a strong sense of optimism and imagination, even while being the “beginning” for so many members. A majority of stylists backstage were freshman, who had never styled a model before. Others were trying their hand at modeling, or makeup, or involved in organizing the show itself. No one here was a professional, and it was refreshing to see what such a collaborative group (of 200+ members! Crazy!) could draft up from a blank canvas, speaking of which….

Their theme was aptly named Artistry, an umbrella term into an exploration of four different art genres, from minimalist Blank Canvas to Rococo, then to colorful Pop Art and sleek Contemporary. 

Stylists could choose to style their looks into any of these categories, pulling from FIT student designers to popular New York brands from Jovani to Tommy Hilfiger. The show was over 200 looks in total, pulling an average of 60 from each part of the show. 

The show started with a video, the thesis for the show, which perfectly encapsulated the essence of the club itself. It was chalk-full of vision, creativity and plain fun. It didn’t try too hard to be serious, and embraced a student-made feel, packing an impactful punch. I guess, simply put… it made me feel good! Which is truly the basis of good fashion. The actual show was a perfect representation of FIT as a whole: Really adventurous, with a strong can-do mindset at melange of styles and tastes. No one was turned away, no models or stylists; Anyone could participate. 

models about to walk
photo by Leah King @leahbphotography

Runway 27’s executive members teach their team not to fear beginnings, but embrace them. “I just joined, like, a week ago. It’s a brand new community, but they’re super accepting, and really nice to each other… Being surrounded by these kinds of people, who like to be involved in creative projects, is really awesome.” Says Colleen Gruszecki, a senior AMC student and model. “The coodinators are super dope, and the executives even better. It’s a bunch of really nice people, all doing something really creative and really collaborative. I’m really happy I got to be apart of it.”

Feature image by Cat Trzaskowski @cattrzaskowskiphoto