University of Fashion Blog

Posts by: Kara Laricks

Kara Laricks is a regular contributor to the University of Fashion. She’s also a New York based women's wear and accessories designer. As the first winner of NBC's Fashion Star, Kara has designed collections for H&M, Macy's and Saks Fifth Avenue. Her masculine meets feminine line, Kara Laricks, debuted at New York Fashion Week in 2012 and her S/S 2013 collection sold exclusively at Saks Fifth Avenue. Kara's designs have been featured on the Today Show and HBO's True Blood as well as covered in Women's Wear Daily and on Style.com. Kara holds Master's degrees in both Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Kansas and in Fashion Design from the Academy of Art in San Francisco. An educator turned designer, Kara is dedicated to supporting emerging designers and inspiring others to follow where dreams lead.

Making the Mundane Meaningful at MoMA

T-shirts. Jeans. A little black dress. Underwear.

Not exactly garments you might think worthy of the MoMA’s first fashion exhibit in 73 years, and only second fashion exhibit—ever.

However, items many of us have had as staples in our own closets over the years are exactly the garments sparking current conversation in the fashion and art world since this collection of seemingly mundane clothes and accessories opened to the public on October 1, 2018. Read More

Milan’s Mix and London’s Lot – Spring 2018 Fashion Weeks Continue

- - Fashion Shows

With so much unease in the world today, we can’t help but cover fashion weeks around the world with a different lens.

Sure, we will always have our eyes peeled for trends, cut and construction. But this season, the motivation behind designers’ offerings seems to take center stage. From resistance to nostalgia, ignorant bliss to clothes built for battle, designers in Milan have made their messages known.

For Spring 2018, fashion’s heavy hitters (read: well-known names, save a few like Emporio Armani and Tommy Hilfiger (who decided to show in London this season) landed in Milan, while lesser-known designers made London their home base. As we review fashion week in Milan, allow us to introduce you to London’s up-and-comers as well. Read More

Field Trip: Irving Penn at the Met

- - Field Trip

When you think of iconic fashion magazine images, which favorite shots come to mind?

Ethereal, natural, almost dream-like images shot by Annie Leibovitz? Maybe bold, bright shots by Mario Testino? Perhaps the tongue-in-cheek, sexy, playful images by Cass Bird?

These prolific photogs share something in common. No matter the celebrity, product or scene they are shooting, they do so through their own recognizable lens.

Irving Penn is one such master at putting his spin on a photograph regardless of the subject—and is a recent subject himself of an exhibit at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. The exhibit marks the centennial celebration of Penn’s birth, and we were lucky to get a few of our own photos of this artist’s expansive body of work over a career spanning almost 70 years. Read More

Models Who Move Us

- - Women in Fashion

Let’s face it. We look forward to “the new face of”… fill-in-the-blank.

The face of Dior’s new scent campaign.

The Alexander Wang ‘It-girl’ who overlooks Manhattan from a Times Square billboard.

The newcomer set to open the first show of couture week.

Models often make the brand. Their contribution to the fashion industry cannot be denied. Yet many models make their mark well beyond the runway. From switching careers entirely to using their model fame to contribute to worthy causes, we salute these game-changing women. Read More

The Impact of Immigrants on American Fashion

This 4th of July has stirred up mixed feelings.

Through the excitement of fireworks, friends, star-spangled fashion and food, we are celebrating living in the land of opportunity.  However, we can’t help but think about how the current political climate threatens the fabric of the US fashion industry. And as we honor those Americans who have come before us and have paved the way for successful lives and businesses in America, we are concerned about the future lives of those who make American fashion possible. Read More

Celebs Turned Designers – A Fresh Perspective?

Several years ago when it seemed that every celebrity under the sun was starting a clothing line, we gave the dramatic of-course-she-did eyeroll. As designers and educators, we know what it takes to draft a pattern and how many muslin samples we must sew to get an immaculate fit. The thought of some untrained celebrity waltzing into a boardroom and lending her name to a collection developed by hard-working no-name designers in an effort to make millions off consumers made us cringe. Read More