Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar presented its Thirteenth Annual Fashion Show, Arabesque to full houses - a ladies only audience on 18 April, as well as to the general public on 17 and 19 April, 2012.
‘Arabesque’ showcased the work of VCUQatar fashion design sophomores, juniors and four seniors – Marion Sanguesa, Mona Al-Ansari, Sara Al-Thani and Yang Soon Ju – featuring a range with components of the traditional, handcrafted, modern, eclectic, architectural and glamorous.
The senior thesis collection was an eclectic mix of day to evening looks and consisted of a minimum of 12 looks that reinforced the individual vision, creativity and styles of the young designers. Through her collection ‘Diptera’ inspired by flies, Marion Sanguesa created garments that people would want to wear “inspired by a creature they would normally find repulsive.” Interior design and fashion design double major Mona Al-Ansari’s innovation in fashion ‘Edifice’ focused on exaggerated architectural forms with haute couture directed designs “fashioned to hone any evening.” Sara Al-Thani’s feminine, classy yet edgy collection ‘To Catch A Thief’ was inspired by Grace Kelly and the glamor of the 50’s and the shapes of the skyscrapers in Doha’s dramatic skyline was the inspiration for Yang Soon Ju’s powerful, contemporary ‘Doha Baroque’
The sophomore children’s wear collections, ‘Art & Fashion’ found its inspiration from art and artists throughout history. Each student chose a specific art movement to exhibit their individual creativity focusing on complementing the child’s personality and style. The junior sportswear ‘Formal Informal’ collections played between the boundaries of formal and casual, glamour and comfort, creative and classic within the unique individual aesthetic of each designer.
Madagascar-born guest designer Eric Raisina’s collection highlighted his brilliant use of natural materials, such as silk, raffia, sisal, linen and cotton and the more recognizable Silk Fur and Natural Raffia – textures created by him. Slagjana Cvetkovska, Miss Macedonia 2007 first runner up, Miss Model of the World 2007 and Top Model of the World 2010 was the guest model for the show.
The Golden Needle Awards were presented during the show to fashion design students – Nada Taha for Best Children’s Collection, Hisham Dawoud for Most Creative Sophomore Collection, Rabab Abdullah for Best Double Major, Marianne Bermejo for Most Outstanding Sophomore, Oulla Al-Samarrae for Best Junior Collection, Dana Masoud for Most Outstanding Junior, Yang Soon Ju for Most Outstanding Senior and Mona Al-Ansari for Most Outstanding Senior Collection. The W Doha Fashion Award was presented to Mona Al-Ansari by representatives of the W Doha Hotel. The show also acknowledged the contributions of VCUQatar fashion design alumna and owner of the Sara’s Secret boutique, Sara Abdulghani, who was presented with the Friends of Fashion award. The award is given annually to individuals or organizations who have made significant contributions to VCUQatar’s Fashion Design department.
The fashion show is part of the annual activities of VCUQatar’s fashion design program, to develop the country’s growing fashion industry, with support from Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development. ‘Arabesque’ was the culminating academic project for Fashion Design students at VCUQatar, and every aspect – from the jury-selected student designs and model try-outs to show production – reflected their academic and creative efforts while launching senior fashion students from student life into successful careers. This celebration of fashion brought together spectators, friends, and fashion enthusiasts from the region, not only to judge and/or admire the collections of the students, but also for the unique atmosphere of this grand defilé.