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Today we’re thrilled to welcome Samantha Brunson to the pages of MDK. Samantha is a keen observer of knitwear on the runway, and we look forward to seeing high fashion knits through her eyes. Meanwhile, let’s tag along with Samantha to view some recent student work at the Fashion Institute of Technology. 

—Kay and Ann


Hello, I’m Samantha Brunson and I’m a knitter, crocheter, and yarn-obsessed elderly millennial. I run a knitting and crafting community in New York City called *Bobble* Club House. I’m still in my first year of running Bobble, but I’ve been a knitter for close to ten years. Before this I worked in the fashion industry running my own knitwear business, where I got the chance to help craft knitwear for designer runway shows.

To say that I’m intensely focused on fashion is an understatement. Every time I begin to become a little jaded by the fashion industry, something pulls me back in like a moth to a flame. The most recent flame was the recent end-of-year student fashion exhibition at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York.

I stumbled into it. I had no idea that anyone can walk in off the street and see the student exhibit. I was trying to go to one of their fashion exhibits, which are free by the way—I highly recommend going the next time you are in New York. I made friends with the security guard who unintentionally sparked my new favorite field trip. I’m definitely going back next year!

I walked into the room and right off the bat I saw this knitted outfit by Ivy He. As I am a true advocate for the return of the fanny pack,  this instantly became my favorite look of the day. The attention to detail that went into this outfit brought a smile to my face that didn’t leave until I left the show. The top was hand knit using lattice stitch with a bobble stitch on the sleeve. The shorts were hand loomed and the fanny pack was hand crocheted. There wasn’t any information on the glove ribbing, but it appeared to be a hand made 1×1 rib. Maybe I’ll find a way to work a single knitted boxing glove into my everyday wardrobe.

Coral Avgi (who wisely attached her instagram handle @coco_coral to her mannequin) created the macramé dress and purse set, using blue silk rattail cording and Swarovski crystals. Coral was one of the few students I noticed hovering by her work making connections with her cards in hand. So basically she’s ten steps ahead of where I was when I graduated. I think we are going to see big things from her in the future.

In the center of the room was a podium where the award-winning garments stood on display. I don’t know how the judges picked between this group of talented makers. But one of the ones that stood out to me was from Jesse Doherty. I could look at this for hours. It wasn’t until later that I remembered how little time these student have to make their collections. Plus they are doing this on top of all of their other school work. Jesse Doherty was the Critic Award Winner in the knitwear category. If you look closely you can see that in addition to about five different crochet techniques, the dress also has beadwork.

I saw many people walking right past this next one, by Tilbe Tuna Mert, without realizing the amount of time and patience that goes into something like this. Going down the sides of her silk blouse (a material which is already a challenge to work with) was pristine, white, handmade lace! Lace work is always a show stopper for me and this time was no different. Her information card was printed in all caps, a completely appropriate reaction to have to this work.

All of this was before I even made my way over to the dedicated knitwear section.  Having to pick out my favorites from this area is an impossible choice. The great thing about student shows is that they don’t have to worry about “how is this going to do in a retail market,” “what are the current trends in the industry,” and “how will someone wear this in real life.”They are just making what makes them happy and expressing themselves.

One of the cleanest and most polished looks was from Thanh Lam. The coral coat was hand-knit with cables and a herringbone stitch. There was also something really special happening with the double breasted lapel. On the outside it’s a 2×2 rib and on the inside it’s a herringbone stitch. The body suit underneath is a hand-loomed spiky stitch using short-row technique and a 1×1 rib. The mustard sweater that’s covered with cables is from the same student.

The student who made me the happiest was Aldrian Diaz. My inner 90s child was over the moon when I saw these looks. In two garments they referenced Rugrats, Bratz dolls, scrunchies (woven into the pink sweater), over the top and yet somehow familiar prints, and sticky hands. The look with the pink sweater was another Critic Award Winner in the Knitwear category.

There’s a real sense of freedom in all of these garments. The students have years ahead of them to make more practical pieces. This is about having fun with yarn work. I think it’s clear that they all did that. I can’t wait to see what all of these newbies are going to do after this! But for now they should probably take a few days to catch up on the months of sleepless nights they just endured to get to this point. I think they’ve earned it.  


About The Author

Samantha Brunson is the owner of, a knitting and crafting blog that chronicles the crafting community with stories from a diverse group of makers.

A self-proclaimed elderly millennial, Samantha is always looking for new ways to share her love of knitwear and crafting with the world.


  • Hi Samantha – I love everything about this! Thank you for sharing. I’ve tried sparking interest in including knitwear in an annual local fashion show (Rochester, NY) that benefits homeless and at risk youth. Think I’ll send them this post. 🙂

  • What a fun way to start my day. These amazing creations made me smile, especially Aldrian Diaz green v-neck. I could just see my 79 year old self walking into our next family party wearing it and the looks on everyone’s faces. I am in awe of the talent of these young folks.

  • I love the imagination it takes to create these pieces!

  • Wow. Thanks for writing this! Such skilled execution, but above all, creativity. I really needed to remember that was possible, instead of following all the rules. 🙂

  • Hi Samantha, if you are an elderly millennial than I am a very young really old person. I like your perspective. Thank you for providing the names of these students. So we can say we knew their work when. Enjoyed this very much and looking forward to more.

    • Yes, I agree about providing their names. And thank you so much for sharing this, I never would have thought of checking out FIT for their shows. It wonderful!!

  • Wow – the kids are definitely alright. What an inspiration. Off-the-chart coolness.

    • I saw this collection and thought Jen must be loving this,

  • Love all the bright colors and the creativity!!! Thanks for sharing!

  • Amazing!! All are fabulous, but that macramé dress – wowza!

  • Love seeing these. Love this post!

  • Oh my goodness, I love that coral coat by Thanh Lam!

  • Okay, I have to ask – next to the Rugrats picture sweater, there’s an intriguing vertically-textured t-neck pullover under a bright yellow oversized cardi. What is the technique of that textured striping, and whose work is it?

  • WOW …….. What a show……!

  • Need help with a term… what is “hand loomed”? Also, how cool to incorporate ponytail binders! I am totally adding that to my idea book. Thanks!

    • Hand-loomed usually means it was hand-woven on a small loom. I’m guessing the designer wove the panels and then seamed them together, but I have only done a little bit of weaving so I’m not sure exactly how.

      • That’s what I thought too- but the pieces referred to in this way are clearly knit fabrics. So it must have another meaning too.

  • I am an adjunct instructor at FIT ( not in the design area). Thank you for highlighting the work of our FIT students, it is encouraging to see how talented they are. And, thank you for also mentioning the FIT museum which as you said is free and open everyday except Monday. I am a committed knitter so to see the next generation create in this medium is indeed inspiring.

    • @jevelyneliebmann As an adjunct professor at FIT, YOU play a role inspiring the next generation so kudos to you!!

  • Is there any grumbling about a knitwear award for crochet work, or do I just not understand the parameters? Thanks so much for a delightful read!!!

  • Thank you for sharing this. I loved seeing the creativity of these very talented youngsters. That coral coat with cables and herringbone stitch- swoon!!!!

  • I love all the texture! Tell me, are the designers required to knit and crochet their own entries? If so, does that limit the student designer pool? Ropey cables forever!

  • So much fabulousness! But also, so much hard work. Herringbone stitch!!—it’s almost impossible and here’s a coat lined with it. Amazing.

  • Thanks for introducing us not only to Samantha Brunson, but also these talented young designers! I am really intrigued by the pointy texture on the grey-blue onesie under the coral coat (which is spectacular in its own right). And while I’m not usually drawn to lace, I have to admit the version on the sleeve of that blouse is just lovely.

    I hope we’ll see many more articles from Samantha, too!

  • The FIT Museum is one of my favorite stops, and it’s open late (or later than 5, at least) some evenings so you can fit it in before catching a train. One highlight of the many shows I’ve seen over the years was an exhibit of Bob Mackie designs, which included the clothes he did for the Carol Burnett Show. There it was In the main window: THE Scarlett O’Hara “just something I saw in the window and couldn’t resist” curtain dress, complete with curtain rod through the shoulders. Very fun to see that in person. The shows vary widely from very historic to very modern. They have an amazing collection for their students to study.

  • Those are hilarious! But the lacework is beautiful.

  • I’m coveting the spiky blue body suit- so original!

  • I am surprised by how popular knitwear has gotten. My wife would like to wear knitwear in the future due to winter weather. I will be looking more-so into knitwear and make sure that she will be able to purchase the knitwear clothing that she wants.

  • Oh Samantha! These gorgeous knits are like reinventing the wheel and are inspirational. I start with a pattern then decide changes as i go. Now I’m going freestyle from now on. Thank you!

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