This unique show, which featured the collections of 22 sophomore, junior, and senior fashion students, was opened by Sandra Wilkins, VCUQatar’s Chair of Fashion Design, who thanked the audience for attending.
Wilkins explained that the title of this year’s fashion show was “Appliqué”, which depicts the building of talents and skillsets, while showcasing the ability of students to take a concept all the way through to completion. She also described how important the show is both for the students and for Qatar’s fashion design industry.
The students had to submit their designs to a jury of fashion experts who are strong supporters of VCUQatar’s fashion design program, and who would select the best designs for the show. “Only one garment was eliminated during this year’s jury selection, which speaks to the quality of the clothes,” said Professor Wilkins, explaining that such an occurrence was highly unusual. The fashion show allowed the students to be judged by experienced jury members who have a thorough knowledge of the fashion industry.
Also presenting their designs at “Appliqué” were several students from the fashion design program from the home campus from Richmond, Virginia.
Ahmed El Sayed, the co-founder of House of Nomad and VCUQatar alumnus, was the guest designer for the show, where his most recent collection was presented to great acclaim.
The emphasis throughout was one of turning creative concepts into ready-to-wear pieces for the runway, which not only had to be beautiful, but also wearable and above all marketable. Fashion professionals, especially retailers are regularly invited each year to review the collections and concepts, and give their expert advice to the students.
The Salam Fashion Award was presented to Radheya Visperas. The award includes mentoring in the development and design of two bespoke collections, which will be sold exclusively within a dedicated space in Salam Stores, Doha. Designs by the previous winner Mahnoor Ansari are currently on sale at Salam Stores at the Gate Mall.
The W Doha Award went to Sarah Al-Abdulghani, and the GLAM award went to Sarah Al-Abdulghani and Samyah Abou Rahma.
VCUQatar’s Golden Needle Award, which goes to the best Senior Collection, was awarded to Samyah Abou Rahma.
The award for Most Outstanding Junior Collection went to Fatima Al-Khulaifi. The award for Most Outstanding Sophomore Collection went to Heidi Rashad.
The award for Outstanding Senior with Highest GPA went to Radheya Visperas. The award for Outstanding Junior with Highest GPA went to Alia Al-Sowaidi. The award for Outstanding Junior with Highest GPA went to Sreehitha Saini. The award for Outstanding Sophomore with Highest GPA went to Heidi Rashad.
The Guest Designer Award went to Ahmed El Sayed from House of Nomad.
Awards were also given to Deborah Sedlacek, Joshua Bigelow, Skyler Crawford and Lydia Critchfield from Virginia Commonwealth University’s home campus in Richmond, Virginia for their Senior Collections which were shown at the event.
The fashion show counts not only on an extremely supportive audience, but was also supported by W Doha Hotel, GLAM magazine, Tajmeel Qatar International Beauty Academy, Makeup District, Bombay Silk Centre, Exclusive Events, Inglot, Tribal Gems & Jewellery, Apparel Qatar, Holika Holika, and Sara’s Secrets.
All photographs by Markus Elblaus.