an open source architectural beadwork project from Kate McKinnon and a worldwide team of innovators

May 21: Fashion Institute of Techology

On May 21, 2014, Kate will be giving a free talk and photographic presentation at the Fashion Institute Of Technology, supported by the Bead Society of Greater New York. After the talk, there will be a live runway show; gorgeous models will walk some of our most striking work for Kyle Cassidy, photographer extraordinaire from Philadelphia. Fancy and costume dress encouraged (but not required, of course). The theater holds about 700; we have room for you. if you are not a member of the bead society you will need to be guestlisted, which is fine.

We encourage you to submit photographs for pieces to include in the show.  We are looking for beautifully crafted work, and it needs to be big and bold and dramatic- this is FASHION.  Email submissions and guestlist requests to Work needs to be in Tucson, AZ, by May 10 and will be returned by June 1. Yes! There will be an exhibition catalogue!

Becks wearing Robin and Karen, by Ali Megan

Becky Pattowitz, wearing Karen Beningfield (bracelet) and Robin Douglas (collar)
photograph by Ali Megan
Chevron minidress by Missoni, overshirt by Betsey Johnson

About katemckinnon

Kate McKinnon has devoted herself to the study of how things are done, and how they could be done better. Find her at or on some city street, walking fast, smiling at strangers.

16 comments on “May 21: Fashion Institute of Techology

  1. For the FIT show, are you looking for geometric beadwork or all kinds

    • katemckinnon
      April 20, 2014

      Just geometric, architectural, ideally CGB-inspired. : )

  2. Patricia Wren
    April 10, 2014


    …and for those of us unable to attend the Event in person, how would we obtain copies of the Catalogue? This is a rare opportunity and experience… what about a DVD or YouTube video of it? or…

    Yeah, I and many others would sure love to be there and share the stupendous… but reality raises its head and I stay here. I’d be happy to pay a reasonable fee for Catalogue, DVD, etc.

    • katemckinnon
      April 10, 2014

      I suspect we will have some video, and the exhibition catalogue will definitely be available for a free download, or to buy a professionally printed copy.

      : )

      • Patricia Wren
        April 11, 2014


    April 9, 2014

    Hi Kate–Can you also bring copies of your books for us to buy after your talk???? That would be lovely and I know there will be lots of other members of the NY Bead Society who will purchase your books.

    Thanks so much.

    Susan Spalter

    • katemckinnon
      April 9, 2014

      Oh, absolutely! Books and probably kits, too. Thank you for asking.

  4. moonrae
    April 9, 2014

    How exciting!!! Congratulations

  5. IrinaKanngiesser
    April 9, 2014

    OMG, this is my birthday! I so wish I could be there…

    • katemckinnon
      April 9, 2014

      You could wear your fabulous creations!

      • IrinaKanngiesser
        April 9, 2014

        Yes, that would be so much fun! But sadly it’s not possible at the moment…
        Your blue nail polish is gorgeous : )

  6. Ruth Bernstein
    April 9, 2014

    CONGRATULATIONS! Well deserved girl!

    • katemckinnon
      April 9, 2014

      It’s kind of the Bead Society to host. I’m looking forward to it with great delight.

  7. sciwriter2013
    April 9, 2014

    I’m a member of the Bead Society of Greater New York as well as an admirer (and owner) of Contemporary Geometric Beadwork. I was wondering if the pieces you will show during the fashion show at FIT have to be made with the patterns from the book or if other work would be considered?

    I love the book (volume I, looking forward to volume II) and I’ve experimented with the patterns. But mostly I’ve been inspired by the work growing out of the patterns—many beaders, many variations. I generally create my own designs but I’ve incorporated elements from the patterns.

    I’ve been especially inspired by the “cones” which led me to do a series of pieces using square stitch. I’ve started these pieces with a tubular form—adapted from the “cone”—but my pieces become circular or curved. I’m amazed by the versatility of square stitch and the “cones” led me back to it.

    Looking forward to your talk and fashion show.
    Kind regards,
    Barbara A. Tokay, MS

    • katemckinnon
      April 9, 2014

      Hello Barbara! I look forward to meeting you at the talk! I do welcome geometric and architectural beadwork made with other styles, and other designer’s patterns, and if we walk those sorts of pieces they will be fully credited to maker and designer in the catalogue. Send photos, definitely! Email is

      I’m excited to hear that Cones brought you home to square stitch again. It’s one of Dustin’s and my favorite stitches. You will LOVE the Elegant Guide Round if you haven’t seen it yet, as it features a sneaky and astonishingly (literally: astonishingly) versatile additional round put on with square stitch that slips effortlessly between peyote stitches. Definitely, watch this video! It’s an excerpt of a longer piece, but I think you’ll get it if you’ve made one of our peyote forms.


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