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Mark-Evan Blackman, Menswear Faculty

At first, students think about a collection in only one way: I like this, I donít like that. They have to learn thereís more to it.

In June, I took a group of first-year students, all Menswear Club members, to LA to see different lines, including Dries Van Noten, Paul Stuart, Jeffrey from Project Runway, and Ben Sherman. They ranged from street wear to young menís to high end. I asked the students, "Whatís the color range, the price point, the finishing details? This jacket has full detailing, a nice lining, and grommets, so the price point is here. The other one is crazy and wonderful, just to get your juices going, but there are only three on the rack. Why is that? A collection needs little ancillary items, too."

They had never thought about how pieces work together in a line, that it takes a concept to sustain it over six looks or 12 or 50. Now they understand that for a portfolio you need more than pretty pictures. What makes a good designer isnít just the ability to design great stuff, but the ability to edit what is there.

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