September 29, 2023


Shopping, Clothing & Fashion

VCU trend design and style college student breaks limitations, wins structure scholarship

VCU vogue design and style senior Michael Robinson, wears the “Nazar dress” that he walked in in the course of the Good Arts and Flowers show at the Virginia Museum of Fantastic Arts on Oct. 23. Picture by Kaitlyn Fulmore

Sahara Sriraman, Spectrum Editor

Michael Robinson always understood he required to pursue a vocation in vogue design. At any time considering the fact that he was younger, fashion has generally been a form of expression and empowerment.

“To be in a position to develop off my have ordeals to assistance other individuals, but also to bridge communities and develop that intersectionality amongst various cultures is an exciting detail about manner that I really appreciate,” Robinson said. 

Now, he’s equipped to don his possess styles and showcase his expertise.

Robinson, a VCU trend style senior who makes use of each he/they pronouns, showcased his perform in the Fantastic Arts and Flowers show at the Virginia Museum of High-quality Arts on Oct. 23, exactly where he walked in the exhibit wearing his personal design and style in entrance of judges. 

Nineteen other VCU trend style and design pupils showcased their types throughout the present out of all the VCU trend college students who showcased their work, Robinson was one of only two who gained a scholarship for the greatest patterns at the display. He was awarded the scholarship alongside with junior style structure college student Zoe Pettit, as made a decision by the judges.

“Being that it was my very first scholarship achievement in the section, currently being identified for a little something that I hand painted and labored so challenging on just genuinely felt good to encounter,” Robinson claimed.

The distinct piece Robinson wore throughout the trend demonstrate was what he calls his “Nazar dress,” a hand-draped tent gown with a hand-painted evil eye pattern, which he labored on in the course of the pandemic. 

Robinson mentioned in an supplemental electronic mail interview that the COVID-19 pandemic authorized him to additional uncover his passion as a designer, as he’s now developed and capable to broaden his creativeness as a designer. Not too long ago, he’s been making use of eye motifs, as they translate to safety from evil energies.

“To incorporate this motif to symbolically shield the wearer in this dress is a concept I have been fascinated in producing into my senior thesis of transforming and creating shapes from within shapes,” Robinson mentioned.

Robinson said creating has also been a sort of self-expression for him, and going for walks in the display was “empowering.”

“To be appreciated and celebrated for the 1st time in the manner dept. for something I designed from get started to finish was extremely gratifying,” Robinson stated. “Not to mention the fact I was donning and represented my piece for all that it is and far more.”

In the foreseeable future, Robinson desires to style for folks who occur from equivalent backgrounds. He mentioned he wants men and women who sense like outsiders, specially “young Black queer boys,” to locate consolation and representation from his layouts.

“Being in this posture and just recognizing the endless alternatives of where by I could go with my occupation is just so exciting,” Robinson mentioned. “There’s normally some thing new I can implement in my individual design and aesthetic.”

Kimberly Guthrie, associate chair of the vogue design and style and merchandising office, said in an electronic mail that Robinson is a “unique” university student and designer. His perform at the trend clearly show was based mostly on Robinson’s revolutionary and inclusive approach to vogue.

“He/they appreciate shade and is not fearful to be bold with their colour decisions and mixtures and artistic particulars,” Guthrie said. 

Guthrie mentioned that Robinson is also capable to implement his possess experiences into his get the job done even though celebrating individuality. 

Guthrie mentioned that she’s proud that Robinson was a person of two college students who won a scholarship at the celebration, as she’s seen how difficult they’ve worked this past 12 months. She said that Robinson will insert a new standpoint to the style marketplace. 

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

Hawa Stwodah, a VCU assistant professor of manner layout, has had Robinson as a university student for the past two yrs and describes them as a quite thoughtful and innovative designer. 

“At a personalized degree, I like a great deal of the factors he’s checking out, he likes to discover identities and he likes to extend a minor into the metaphysical,” Stwodah stated. “He enjoys pushing conventional tips.”

She reported Robinson is incredibly related to his operate and the layouts he creates, creating his parts substantially extra significant. She claimed he has a special eye for shapes and hues when putting alongside one another items that make his style and design capabilities unique.

Stwodah mentioned she appreciates how Robinson’s styles are mainly impressed by experience.

“Again, it has to do with that authenticity,” Stwodah stated. “I enjoy how he’s developing with a human in mind and he’s working with his have sort of vessel, his possess entire body, to be the one particular who’s demonstrating you, ‘This is what it seems to be like.’”

She claimed she thinks his involvement donning his have fashion items at the VMFA’s Wonderful Arts and Bouquets exhibit is just the initial action in his manner style occupation.

“There’s nothing actually keeping him back again, I imagine he’s heading to be jumping full drive into it,” Stwodah stated.