Fashion’s big night – VCU News

 Fashion’s big night – VCU News

In an evening of celebration and friendship, the Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts Department of Fashion Design + Merchandising last week held their first in-person fashion event since 2019. The fashion show, #PROCESS2022, showed diligence, talent and creativity of students in the department.

This year’s event was held at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts on May 11. #PROCESS2022 featured a runway show, reception and fashion exposition, as well as a meet-and-greet with senior designers.

“Our goal is to pull the curtain on fashion and show the design and marketing process and how they work together to create‘ fashion, ’” said Deidra Arrington, chair of the Department of Fashion Design + Merchandising.

Michael-Birch Pierce sitting behind the sewing machine.  A sat across from Pierce, holding up a five -minute picture they had taken.
VCUarts alumnus Michael-Birch Pierce, a member of the VCU faculty and renowned fiber artist and fashion designer, created five-minute drawings of a continuous line of sewing machines. (Photo by Allen Jones, University Marketing)

The runway show featured 75 garments from sophomore, junior and senior student designers and included design exhibits with illustrations, draping and embroidery. Merchandising exhibits on line development, branding, forecasting and promotion show how creative has become fashionable.

“I love seeing all the models’ clothes, because it gives them life … especially with open arms, ”said Jaeden Wells, a senior designer featured on the runway show. “Being able to move and see how they move the body is a completely different way to see clothes and experience them.”

On the theme, Wells ’collection draws from her conception a“ fairy goddess-gardenscape ”and she focuses on adaptability and sustainability.

“I try to play with ease of adjustment and be able to fit different sizes,” he said. For example, a dress she designed for her resource class is made of recycled and economical materials and has a corset, loose jacket and slits in the dress.

Fellow senior designer Stuti Epari created a zero-waste design reminiscent of the Maratha warriors of the Maratha Confederacy in 18th-century India. “I was inspired by the armor they used,” Epari said. “I am [wanted] to make the body a weapon. ” Epari uses chainmail and reflective fabrics in their design to mimic the look of the armor.

A fashion model wearing a pink and purple dress with white sandals walking a fashion runway surrounded by people at vmfa
VCUarts ’2022 annual fashion runway show showcases 75 garments from sophomore, junior and senior student designers. (Photo by Allen Jones, University Marketing)

This year’s event includes a fashion exposition featuring live dressmaking, custom fashion illustrations by alumna Jen Paxton, and sewing machine-made images by alumnus Michael-Birch Pierce, a VCUarts faculty member and renowned fiber artist and fashion designer.

“Portrait embroidery is a great show,” Pierce said. “My subject sat across from me and I drew them using a sewing machine, in a continuous line, in less than five minutes. I have conversations all the time. For me, it’s about having these close connections that are facilitated by a completely unexpected use of a machine. The art is in the experience, not really the finished product. This is my full-time job other than teaching. I travel around the world taking photos of parties and events like the Oscars and Super Bowl.

Pierce, who teaches decorations and print design at VCU, is excited to improve the fashion show experience for their senior students involved in the event and their families.

“I didn’t do much to prepare or practice before each activity but my sewing education from VCU plus the 11 years of events since developing this technique in grad school was a lot of preparation,” he said. nila.

The event was a collaborative effort, starting with design students ’studio work and produced by the fashion event planning class. This year’s event was especially moving with the attendance of Mary DePillars, wife of the late Murry N. DePillars, Ph.D., VCUarts dean from 1976 to 1995, who inaugurated the annual fashion show.

Jen Paxton sitting at a table with a pink cloth drawing in front of a student wearing a gray hoodie.
VCUarts alumna Jen Paxton creates custom illustrations of trendy members of the fashion show audience. (Photo by Allen Jones, University Marketing)

After the runway show, senior designers gathered with their models-wearing pieces from each other’s collections-for a meet-and-greet. During this time the designers talk directly to the visitors about their designs, experiences and creative processes.

“The best students in our country, eager and enthusiastic, come to Richmond, Virginia, from all over the country. And they are coming to learn, to reflect, to create, ”said Carmenita Higginbotham, Ph.D., dean of VCUarts. “These students show their work, breadth and unique creativity. We see this in the materials they use, in their constructions and in the underlying aesthetics of their products.

“I believe this event, #PROCESS2022, is an indisputable proof of success, not only at the school, but important to our faculty and staff and – as we saw here tonight – our students.”

Left to right: Deidra Arrington and Carmenita Higginbotham holding each other and holding papers while laughing
Deidra Arrington, chair of the VCU Department of Fashion Design + Merchandising, and Carmenita Higginbotham, Ph.D., dean of VCUarts at the 2022 annual fashion show, #PROCESS2022. (Photo by Allen Jones, University Marketing)