Members of the public have one more reason to drop in at Msheireb Downtown Doha (MDD) – to view the collections of this year’s graduating class of fashion design students from VCUarts Qatar, captured in eye-catching, themed, boutique-style window-displays in the heart of the world’s first sustainable downtown regeneration project.
In a shift from the annual fashion show being a one or two evening runway-based presentation, the University’s Fashion Design department joined hands with Doha Design District (DDD) – managed by two VCUarts Qatar alumni Shaikha Al Sulaiti and Naila Al Thani – and MDD, to celebrate the designs created by the Class of 2021, with the wider community. The display – titled Class of 2021 Senior Graduation Fashion Design Showcase – will be on view near the intersection of Wadi Musheirib Street and Al Khail Street.
Four of the five window-displays feature the collections of senior students Ryan Basilio, Safa Al Hadithi, Dana Ahmed and Sidra Sohail, and revolve around the theme ‘Third Culture Kids’. The fifth window-display offers an exciting glimpse into the creativity of the Class of 2022 fashion design students set to graduate next year.
Visitors will also be able to scan a QR code adjacent to each display to access a video that further explains the theme and concept behind each collection. The videos were created in collaboration with Doha Film Institute.
“This year, we were very excited to involve the public in celebrating the work of our senior students, who each in their own way have the potential to lead Qatar’s fashion industry,” Christopher Fink, Chair of Fashion Design at VCUarts Qatar, said. “Msheireb Downtown Doha seemed the perfect spot to realize that plan. And with the generous support of Doha Design District, we were able to secure prime locations that allow the community to view our installations at their leisure.”
Fink further noted how the project, from conceptualization to final implementation, reflects the cosmopolitan and collaborative spirit that defines the community in Qatar today.
“Growing up in Qatar, yet coming from different backgrounds and cultures, each of our four graduating seniors capture and express their personal experiences as third culture kids in the designs of their individual collections. These talented designers were further supported in the visual presentation and branding of their windows by students from our graphic design department, a creative collaboration that helped crystallize their themes of ‘Vulnerability’, ‘sMoL’, ‘Blurred Lines’, and ‘Recollection’ into five unique yet equally striking window displays,” he added. Two VCUarts Qatar Interior Design alumni, Luma Mansi and Dana Abuhejleh, designed the sets and had them built.
"We are delighted at this opportunity to join hands with Doha Design District to present our senior fashion collection at Msheireb Downtown Doha," VCUarts Qatar's Dean Amir Berbić said. "It is a privilege to be able to showcase the creativity of the upcoming generation of designers for the public who have been supporting and inspiring us for years.
And, he added: "The changes that the world has recently witnessed is a call to re-examine the way in which we articulate and share ideas, and this latest edition is a creative outcome of collaborating with the wider community to celebrate our individual achievements.”
On a parallel track, VCUarts Qatar’s Fashion Design department also announced the recipients of its annual awards. The Golden Needle award for Most Outstanding Senior went to Sidra Sohail, Class of 2021. Najla Al Eida bagged the Golden Needle award for Most Outstanding Junior, Class of 2022, while the Golden Needle award for Most Outstanding Sophomore was awarded to Class of 2023 student Tiaba Nazir.
Photographs by Raviv Cohen.