By  on April 6, 2009

NEW YORK — On Thursday, 12 graduates from Parsons the New School for Design got a taste of what it was like to showcase their wares in a Madison Avenue flagship, courtesy of Calvin Klein Collection.

As part of the Parsons Fashion Benefit pre-party, which was held at the Calvin Klein Collection boutique that night, students Kristina Mkrtumova, Yun-Sook Shin, Jenny Chung, Nanae Takata, Sarah Lee, Dylan Kawahara, Jonathan Cohen, Robert Fitzsimmons, Sun Kyung Lee, Kirsten Geiger, Lee Anderson and Virginia Burris were able to exhibit one of their best looks. “It’s such a great experience for students,” said Simon Collins, Parsons’ dean of fashion. “They got their garments shown in the Calvin Klein store. This is their dream.”

From this year’s 179 graduates, the students themselves narrowed down the 12 looks. “It was completely democratic,” Collins explained. “We loved the idea of the students selecting the looks.”

The event was a warm-up of sorts to the 2009 Parsons Fashion Benefit, which takes place April 29 at Cipriani Wall Street and honors Calvin Klein Inc.’s Tom Murry and Francisco Costa, as well as New York Times fashion critic Cathy Horyn.

The party drew a crowd that included Dree Hemingway, Lydia Hearst, Alexandra Richards, Poppy Delevingne, Steven Kolb, Adam Lippes and Olivia Chantecaille, as well as CKI’s Italo Zucchelli and Kevin Carrigan.

Prior to the party, Costa had spent some time talking through each look with each of the designers, and he was impressed by the enthusiasm the students exuded about their designs. “It’s so genuine,” he said.

Leighton Meester, who had taped “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” earlier in the day, sported a sculpted look from Costa’s spring collection. The “Gossip Girl” star was particularly impressed with the seeming simplicity of the garment, and kept her accessories choices to a minimum. “I feel like I don’t want to complicate this dress,” Meester said.

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