TWENTYTEN: department pushes fashion forward

Nick Bonadies

Staff Writer

The department of fashion will present their annual juried fashion show, TWENTYTEN, May 7 at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. The show will be the first non-museum-related event hosted by the gallery. Usually the event takes place on the department’s home turf at the University Student Commons Ballroom.

“The venue has so much to offer our show this year because it has this clean-lined futuristic look–extravagant, tall ceilings. It really goes with our theme,” said Director Emily Perkins of the VMFA’s newly built Louise B. and J. Harwood Cochiane Atrium.

TWENTYTEN seeks to examine the present and future of fashion, featuring such categories as “Personal Space,” “End of the World,” and “Japanese Anime,” in addition to the usual segments like Menswear and Eveningwear. According to Perkins, TWENTYTEN is light years ahead of MUSE, last year’s VCU fashion show in forward thinking design.

“(MUSE) was very cultural and kind of history based … but TWENTYTEN is really looking toward the future. It has this really cool overall message of looking at the year 2010 and what it means and where we’re going.”

High-profile industry specialists, VMFA representatives and VCU fashion alumni working in the field were flown in from New York and surrounding areas. The professionals have juried in approximately 125 pieces by junior and senior fashion design students.

“Usually we like to have designers (as judges),” Perkins said.  “They’re the best judge of what a good garment is, or what a garment should be.”

Alumna and Harper’s Bazarr executive Patricia Honeycutt Cantor, for example, will serve as the show’s commentator.

Perkins and Greer said they were glad to bring visibility to VCU designers, despite the unremitting effort it has required.

“We spend every waking moment not doing school and work doing the fashion show,” Greer said. “We’re already sold out, and we’ve only had tickets on sale for 10 days, not even 10 days. … This is something people are excited for, every year, and it’s just good to keep putting it out there, to be our own thing, and true to what we are.”

“It’s really about educating the community about what we’re about, and what we do,” Perkins said.

Greer added, “And how great the designers are. They’re amazing. I mean, I could never do … what they do.”

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