Mary, or my better half, has been a good friend of mine all year and most of my posts on this blog usually include her in some way. Though we lived on the same floor at Loeb Hall freshman year, we didn’t really get to know each other until we worked at The New School Welcome Center – it was friendship at first talk of the 90s. Besides hanging with me, Mary just accomplished her senior year at Parsons as a Fashion Design major and now entering her fifth year as a senior at Eugene Lang. When she’s not dual degreein’ she’s a tour guide at The New School Welcome Center! So last night, I made Mary’s dream come true – a spotlight on the Parsons Admissions Blog. So here she is in all her glory answering a couple questions just for you!
Name: Mary Economides
Major and School: Dual-Degree BA/BFA program: Parsons BFA-Fashion Design, Lang BA-History
Representin’: really Katie?- Bethesda, MD
Favorite Designer: Miuccia Prada
Favorite place on Campus: 12th floor drawing studios in 2 W 13th St. (impromptu solo dance sessions with speakers after 9pm)
Best Class you Ever had at The New School: You can only ever have one first class – 3D
Special New York Spot: Tacky, but the shaded benches in SE corner of Washington Square Park
One Item of Clothing you Can’t Live Without: Summertime – my jelly sandals even though they leave me with a T-strap tan; all other times I CAN live without pants
Best Teacher You’ve had so far: pre-fashion: Paul Corio (2D), Fashion: Chris Musci (Fashion Digital)
What other schools did you apply to and why did you choose The New School?
My parents really wanted me to go to business school so it was a 50/50 split. Maryland, GW, NYU and Parsons, Pratt, FIT. I knew it had to be New York and as much as I could see myself going to business school, I knew I really wanted to learn technical construction and design concepts. Parsons has the one program that would push me into both, so I felt I wasn’t losing either 3D or 2D design. I stress that no matter the program at Parsons there is always some mixture of 3D/production/materiality, thoughtful concept design, and 2D computer skills.
I kind of chose The New School a second time sophomore year when I decided to enter the BAFA program. It turns out my indecisiveness could be accommodated when I fell in love with an elective History class at Lang.
Putting together a portfolio for Parsons is always hard, any tips or advice you would give to prospective students?
GO TO NATIONAL PORTFOLIO DAY. If not, don’t worry I am here to tell you exactly what they told me. First things first, Foundation Year is a jump start for a majority of the majors so you should keep your portfolio general fine arts. 50% should be technical work like a still life, self-portrait, or landscape and 50% should be whatever you sketchbook about. The main point is to make your portfolio personal so it’s more important for the concepts in your work to show through than for your work to be mistake free.
What are the five things you take to school everyday and why?
1. Olfa Knife – the Parsons pocket knife
2. Moleskine landscape journal – fabric notes, doodles, class notes, great way to document all PROCESSES.
3. Sewing pack (bobbins, mini scissors, three black thread spools) – lifeline
4. Lots o’ Books – insanity
5. Coffee – duh
Fashion is known for being a tough major, what advice would you give to the up-and-coming fashion majors of the world?
Every year gets harder. You will get more independent with every class you take but the next one will always challenge you more than the previous. I have gone on so many interviews that love a strong aesthetic portfolio, so enjoy the time in school to be as creative and independent as possible because after you graduate you might be working for someone else and their aesthetic.
Describe the best class you ever had and the worst class you ever had while at The New School:
I critique good classes by the number of times I feel like I am in an inspirational movie – therefore, I leave it to the quotes…
BEST: Fashion History with Patrick Michael Hughes “You are designers, design your life.” Fashion Drawing with Glenn Tunstull “How many of your parents said you HAD to go to design school? (no one raises their hand) Sometimes it’s hard but remember why you love it.”
Worst: The worst classes for me were always the difficult ones that pushed me out of my comfort zone, and because I had to work ten times harder, I usually made my best work and really learned something. For me, these were the digital classes.
When you’re out of school, what’s your favorite thing to do besides hanging out with me (Katie)?
Fantasy – rollerblading, reading, going during pay-what-you-wish Guggenheim hours Reality – complaining, talking about food, hoarding
Any other tips or comments?
DO NOT close your laptop with a pen on the keyboard, you will break your computer screen. LOVE YOUR HARDWARE. (4 years of Parsons and I broke my Macbook Pro with a New School pen.)