Lights, Camera, Action! Runway 3.0 Models Take the Catwalk

After the swirl of the backstage, it was almost a relief to find our seats and watch the show.  FRI student intern Heather Sloma (she did some great work with us this semester which we’ll show very soon) joined us after pitching in to get Missy’s models properly bedazzled.

Missy’s demi-collection of three pieces was shown early in the show, with Britt’s senior collection closing the senior group.  We’ll start with Missy’s models, with her Virtual Runway avatar models shown on the large screen behind her live models.

Backstage Action at Runway 3.0 and Virtual Runway™

Not all the action takes place on the catwalk at a runway show.  In fact, all the preparation goes on backstage whether for a physical runway show or a Virtual Runway™ event.

We arrived in Buffalo at the Peirce-Arrow Building shortly before the first show, at 4 pm, so we missed the initial madness of hair and makeup.  We did, however, get pressed into service before the 9 pm show, where the models had to be fully prepared for the catwalk.  We had one of our other interns, Heather, join us to help backstage in getting our other two interns, Britt and Missy, ready to go.  Big thanks to Heather for jumping right in to help! Later she joined us front row for the show itself.

Both Britt and Missy opted for additional body makeup for their models, so that meant a little extra work in applying gold foil and rhinestones.  Eyelash glue is a godsend! Britt applied crushed gold foil selectively to the faces and bodies of her models, and Missy opted for rhinestones applied on the faces and in lieu of necklaces. Here we see one of the models with her necklace half-applied:

Each of Missy’s three models had a different design on both face and for the necklace.  Stunning!

Britt’s models have gold foil application well under control:

Here we see some of Britt’s models in the foreground, with Missy’s models up on the risers.

In stark contrast to physical runway show, preparing for the Virtual Runway™ presentation was a snap.  For one thing, avatar models do exactly what you tell them to, and the clothing always fits!  Plus, adding additional makeup options is very easy; we created custom makeup and skin tones for all nine of the interns’ models in less time than it took for one real life model to be made up…and we didn’t have to do retouches.

Once the models were dressed and their hair, makeup and shoes chosen, they lined up and just….waited…for their cue to strut the catwalk.  This is of course, very different from the swirl backstage at the students’ physical show. One might almost say it was serene.

Dressed and ready to go in our private OpenSim-based Fashionable Grid™: They await a simple command to strut their stuff on the catwalk .  Once we had the avatar models queued up and dressed, then we brought the students in to watch before we shot video for the screen at Runway 3.0.  The avatar models allowed the students to see their work before their physical runway show.  It was a great experience with them, since runway is usually a very expensive and gruelling experience. In comparison, Virtual Runway™ was a breeze with our students selecting from more than 800 billion customization options for their models.  they got exactly what they wanted on the runway, when they wanted it.  Tomorrow: Virtual Runway™ videos of the student interns’ work.

We are currently accepting applications for our Summer internship program. We have space for 5 more students. To apply, please send email to admin at by June 1, 2010 for Summer 2010 semester.

FRI Student Interns Take Manhattan: Day Four

The Train Station at Poughkeepsie

Farewell From The Train Station

The Fashion Research Institute interns from Buffalo State University, Missy & Britt, rounded out their visit on day four.  After a long day in the City the previous day, everyone was a little hard to rouse.  We put some mileage in, criss-crossing the rag district  and searching out the last nuanced trim and detail for their collections.

Packing up, we managed to get everyone into the car and to the train station with 15 minutes to spare – only to discover that the train was running 20 minutes late.

Hosting our interns was a delight.  We were very pleased to meet these two charming young women in person.  We are looking forward to their Spring break, when they will return for help with their final run-up to turning in their collection.

Our interns had the opportunity to learn first hand about New York, the fashion capital of the world and about how the apparel industry works;.  We had a chance to make sure they located everything they needed for their collections; and they had in-depth tutoring on developing their portfolio for future endeavors.

It was a great trip, and we were very sorry to wave good-bye at the train station.

Of course, now the fun (or hard) part begins: constructing the garments for the two versions of Runway 3.0 and developing the visual story for their portfolios.  Britt and Missy will be back in six weeks for their Spring Break, where we’ll help with the technical design of their collections.

Missy Doesn't Want to Go

FRI Student Interns Take Manhattan! Days 1 and 2

Britt & Missy: Seasoned commuters coming back from their event at NY Fashion Week.

Our student interns, Brittany and Melissa, arrived at Poughkeepsie station via Amtrak on Wednesday, February 10th for a four-day experiential.  Britt and Missy are students at Buffalo State University, interning with Fashion Research Institute.  They’ve been working with us since their Fashion CAD course in Spring 2009.  Their professor, Elaine Polvinen, has been instrumental in helping Britt and Missy get the days off from their regular classes to come to New York City and have the opportunity for first-hand apparel industry exposure.

We’re working on a special project with Britt and Missy this semester.  We are helping them take their real life, senior fashion collection, which we are helping them develop for their senior runway show (Runway 3.0).  We will then help them develop the same collection as virtual fashion in OpenSim where they will show it on programmed models in a special runway setting.  We invited them to New York to source for their real life collection.

We had a full line-up of activities planned for them, not just sourcing, and we also built in a bit of down time.  On Wednesday afternoon we worked on collection development for their senior runway show and drilled into their portfolio development.  After spending several hours sketching and planning, we were ready for a break: appetizers of baked brie, bacon-wrapped filet mignon, & scampi and raspberry martinis in front of the fireplace.

Thursday was a big (and long) day for them.  We had arranged for them to work at a New York Fashion Week event sponsored by Nolcha Fashion Business Services.  Kerry Bannigan, CEO of Nolcha was instrumental in helping us to arrange this for them.  It was a typically long fashion day: they had to leave our home in the lower Hudson Valley at 5:30 in order to be on site by 8 am; at the end of their day we picked them up at the station at 11:37 pm.

They were providing a range of services at Nolcha’s event, held at the Bo Concept Studio on West 18th Street: acting as a product spokesmodels, serving drinks, stuffing swag bags, and generally assisting the designers at the event to get set up and help display their work to the visitors at the event.

At the end of the day, they were very happy to come back to snacks and treats.  Lessons learned: how to commute (toasted bagels with a schmear of cream cheese, go-cups of coffee, have your ticket ready); how to navigate the subway system; Avenues run north and south, streets run east and west; traffic heads north on the even avenues, south on the odd; that the trains in New York leave on time and wait for no man, woman or intern; fashion seems very glamorous, but there are actually a lot of long hard hours involved.  All good lessons, some of which we would use on Day 3.  More about that later.  For now, pictures from the visit.



Not too tired to vogue!

Britt & Missy in the Fashion District on 7th Avenue