Fashion department’s annual show hits the runway on May 5

Samantha McCartney
Staff Writer

VCU Fashion Department’s fourth annual end of the year juried fashion show opens on May 5.

“Catalyst,” this year’s theme for the 2013 VCU Fashion Show, is meant to showcase the evolution of fashion as the enlightenment of how garments revolve into a work of art, according to VCU fashion interim department chair Donna Reamy.

Juniors and seniors within the department submitted their pieces to a jury that then selected, after a critical analysis, which pieces would appear in the show. This year’s show will consist of over 18 segments, 15 designers and more than 100 handcrafted garments.

“As sophomores, we were dressers backstage for the show, so this year I feel like a VIP. I get to watch the show from the audience and enjoy my work,” said junior design student Jamét Jackson, who can attest to the strenuous, yet rewarding experience of having garments in the show. “When I first found out all of my pieces were selected, I breathed a huge sigh of relief, choked up a little bit and thanked God.”

Planning for the show began at the commencement of spring semester, with fashion department professor Deidra Arrington and her Fashion Show Production students taking the reins of this year’s show. The students took a trip to Middle of Broad and Storefront, an experimental design lab where students construct projects and experiment with their creativity through works of art.

Middle of Broad aided the promotion committee for “Catalyst” by providing graphic concepts to help promote the 2013 VCU Fashion Show.

The fashion design students have been working all semester in the hopes that all of their hard work would pay off. Jackson, a first-time selected designer, appreciates the outcome of her experience.

“The most exciting thing is probably getting to put your garments on an actual person. It’s like the culmination of all your hard work,” Jackson said. “You see your inspiration and design mind come together to make this tangible wearable art. It’s magnificent.”

“Catalyst” will be held at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, a tradition that has allowed for the show to flourish tremendously within the past four years.

The show isn’t until May 5, but tickets went on sale on April 1. They were completely sold out within the first few days, even with two separately timed showings.

As per tradition, the show will be held outdoors and will host a variety of audience members including students, faculty, local Richmond fashion enthusiasts and fashion industry insiders. Thalhimer’s, a department store in Richmond, provided the fabric used to make the garments and has even produced and sold some of the designer’s creations in their store in the past.

The annual juried fashion show has put VCU School of Arts on the map even more with its acceptance into The Council of Fashion Designers of America. This prestigious honor puts VCU Fashion Department in the ranks with top schools like Parsons New School of Design and 400 other American designers and fashion programs within the U.S.

Membership is by invitation only, and from this comes many benefits, including access to contests, scholarships and the chance for senior design students to have their work displayed during New York fashion week.

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