2018 Parsons Paris Festival

The New School Parsons Paris is proud to present the 2018 edition of its annual Parsons Paris Festival, including a 3-day exhibition of work from graduating students, the Parsons Paris Fashion Show and the Commencement Ceremony for 2018 graduates.

The graduation exhibition will take place at the Mona Bismarck American Center, 34 Avenue de New York, 75116 Paris, a historical 19th-century Parisian townhouse overlooking the Eiffel Tower, where over 800 square meters are dedicated to showcasing the final projects of Parsons Paris 2018 graduates, including selections from 14 fashion capsules, fashion studies and design history research, immersive and interactive installations, sound art, video and more.

The exhibition will launch with an Opening Night on Friday, May 18, 7-11pm, then continue throughout the weekend and the Nuit des Musées, and will close on Sunday May 20, 2018. Both the exhibition and Opening Night are free and open to the public. The Fashion Show and Commencement Ceremony are invitation-only.

Highlights of this year’s Parsons Paris Festival include:

–      The New School Parsons Paris 2018 Commencement Ceremony speaker: Tim Porter

Tim is a trustee of The New School. He was formerly Senior Counsel and later Chief Client Relationship Counsel at Proskauer Rose, a global law firm. Prior to joining Proskauer, Tim worked at AT&T, where for ten years he was Vice President – Law, Chief Counsel for Labor, Employment and Environmental Matters. Tim is a trustee of Newark Public Radio (WBGO), and the National Jazz Museum in Harlem. He is a former board director of the YMCA of Greater New York, and a former trustee of Holy Cross College, his alma mater. He received his JD degree from New York University, School of Law. In addition to his many civic involvements, Tim is an accomplished mandolinist, jazz recording producer, and author.

–      Graduate Show at Elysée Montmartre

The New School Parsons Paris defines fashion as a bridge between cultures and encourages emerging designers to promote diversity through their work. Most of the 2018 graduates explored personal cultural memories and issues of displacement and hybridization. Renowned designers Maurizio Galante and Tal Lancman joined the Parsons Paris faculty in September 2017 as senior thesis supervisors. They strongly encouraged students to find their own voice and integrate the rare know-how of some of the best artisans in France. For the first time, Parsons Paris is collaborating with Institut National des Métiers d’Art, allowing a unique exchange between 14 rising designers and 12 masters of art.

     First MA Fashion Studies graduating class in France

The New School Parsons Paris is the only school in France to offer a Master of Art in Fashion Studies, and will graduate its first class in 2018. This year’s graduates are critically exploring issues such as the use of race as a discourse for labelling fashion designers, the role of public policy in sustainable fashion practices, the construction of masculinity and gender stereotypes in magazines, and the use of fashion as a political tool to reinforce discourses on colonialism in contemporary Shanghai’s French Concession.

–    Barricades and Chandeliers, the politics of exhibiting design history

The curating of design is often limited to the display of rare and valuable objects of elite consumption. While these objects bear witness to aesthetic excellence, they also materialize the cultural values of the ruling class. They were made to be displayed. They tell history from above. By contrast, the material culture of history’s underclasses has often gone uncollected, unpreserved and excluded from the making of history. These objects do not lend themselves easily to the fetishizing format of the exhibition. They resist. For their collective exhibition, the graduate students in the History of Design and Curatorial Studies have researched the construction, history and cultural significance of a recurring object in the material culture of social movements: the barricade. The display strategies they have developed seek to address the ongoing challenges of exhibiting an object of struggle.

–     MFA and BFA Transdisciplinary Art and Design Graduation Exhibition

The New School Parsons Paris Design + Technology and the Art, Media and Technology programs generate new forms of inquiry and making by focusing on the fertile areas between new and established zones of creative practice. The transdisciplinary learning experience emphasizes art and design production that is grounded in the social and the political. The work of our 2018 graduating class is exemplary of this diversity and encompasses art and ethnographic documentary, critical design and environmental justice.

Florence Leclerc-Dickler, Dean of The New School Parsons Paris, expresses her enthusiasm about this year’s graduates: “I am extremely proud of the work of The New School Parsons Paris 2018 graduates. Our students come from many different countries and cultures, and their work shows an understanding of the local-global tensions that lie at the heart of today’s numerous societal challenges.”