VCU fashion design student breaks barriers, wins design scholarship

VCU fashion design and style senior Michael Robinson, wears the “Nazar dress” that he walked in throughout the Good Arts and Bouquets demonstrate at the Virginia Museum of High-quality Arts on Oct. 23. Picture by Kaitlyn Fulmore

Sahara Sriraman, Spectrum Editor

Michael Robinson always knew he desired to go after a job in vogue layout. At any time because he was youthful, fashion has always been a kind of expression and empowerment.

“To be capable to build off my very own experiences to aid other folks, but also to bridge communities and construct that intersectionality among diverse cultures is an enjoyable detail about style that I actually take pleasure in,” Robinson said. 

Now, he’s equipped to don his own layouts and showcase his talent.

Robinson, a VCU vogue style senior who employs both he/they pronouns, showcased his work in the Fine Arts and Bouquets display at the Virginia Museum of Fantastic Arts on Oct. 23, the place he walked in the clearly show carrying his individual layout in front of judges. 

Nineteen other VCU manner layout pupils showcased their layouts during the exhibit out of all the VCU fashion pupils who showcased their work, Robinson was one particular of only two who received a scholarship for the finest styles at the demonstrate. He was awarded the scholarship together with junior manner design and style student Zoe Pettit, as made the decision by the judges.

“Being that it was my initial scholarship achievement in the division, becoming acknowledged for one thing that I hand painted and worked so hard on just truly felt great to experience,” Robinson said.

The particular piece Robinson wore all through the manner clearly show was what he calls his “Nazar gown,” a hand-draped tent dress with a hand-painted evil eye pattern, which he worked on through the pandemic. 

Robinson mentioned in an supplemental email job interview that the COVID-19 pandemic allowed him to additional find his enthusiasm as a designer, as he’s now grown and capable to increase his creativity as a designer. Recently, he’s been making use of eye motifs, as they translate to protection from evil energies.

“To include this motif to symbolically defend the wearer in this dress is a idea I’ve been fascinated in acquiring into my senior thesis of transforming and building styles from within just shapes,” Robinson stated.

Robinson said designing has also been a form of self-expression for him, and going for walks in the exhibit was “empowering.”

“To be appreciated and celebrated for the first time in the vogue dept. for anything I designed from start out to end was really gratifying,” Robinson stated. “Not to point out the point I was donning and represented my piece for all that it is and extra.”

In the foreseeable future, Robinson would like to layout for persons who arrive from very similar backgrounds. He said he wishes persons who feel like outsiders, primarily “young Black queer boys,” to locate convenience and representation from his styles.

“Being in this placement and just being aware of the limitless alternatives of where I could go with my occupation is just so remarkable,” Robinson said. “There’s generally anything new I can carry out in my personal layout and aesthetic.”

Kimberly Guthrie, affiliate chair of the manner style and merchandising department, mentioned in an e-mail that Robinson is a “unique” college student and designer. His work at the manner demonstrate was based mostly on Robinson’s innovative and inclusive tactic to manner.

“He/they adore colour and is not concerned to be daring with their color options and combinations and creative specifics,” Guthrie stated. 

Guthrie said that Robinson is also in a position to put into practice his own ordeals into his work even though celebrating individuality. 

Guthrie mentioned that she’s proud that Robinson was a person of two pupils who won a scholarship at the party, as she’s seen how tough they’ve labored this previous year. She mentioned that Robinson will increase a new point of view to the vogue market. 

“My hope is that Michael [Robinson] will deliver a newness and freshness to the sector, not just as a designer but as a citizen,” Guthrie stated. “They/he will absolutely be an inspiration to the students in the department.”

Hawa Stwodah, a VCU assistant professor of fashion style, has had Robinson as a university student for the previous two many years and describes them as a quite considerate and progressive designer. 

“At a individual level, I like a large amount of the matters he’s exploring, he likes to discover identities and he likes to increase a minimal into the metaphysical,” Stwodah reported. “He enjoys pushing standard strategies.”

She mentioned Robinson is extremely connected to his perform and the designs he generates, building his parts a lot far more meaningful. She said he has a unique eye for styles and colours when placing collectively parts that make his style capabilities exceptional.

Stwodah explained she appreciates how Robinson’s designs are typically motivated by expertise.

“Again, it has to do with that authenticity,” Stwodah stated. “I value how he’s creating with a human in mind and he’s making use of his have variety of vessel, his very own physique, to be the a person who’s displaying you, ‘This is what it looks like.’”

She stated she thinks his involvement putting on his very own trend pieces at the VMFA’s Fantastic Arts and Bouquets exhibit is just the 1st action in his manner style vocation.

“There’s nothing at all actually holding him again, I assume he’s likely to be leaping entire drive into it,” Stwodah explained.

Katheleen Knopf

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