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25 October, 2011

VCUQatar Presents Eric Gaskins: A life in design

As part of the Crossing Boundaries Lecture Series, Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar presents a lecture by Eric Gaskins entitled Eric Gaskins: A life in design on Tuesday, 25 October, 2011 at 6:00 PM at the Atrium at VCUQatar.

The lecture will discuss Gaskins’ journey from dreamer, to apprentice in Paris, to designer of his own house. “After 30 years in the business of fashion, I've witnessed the end of a golden age and the beginning of the new order,” says Gaskins.

New York-based fashion designer Eric Gaskins graduated from Kenyon College in Ohio and was awarded the Thomas J. Watson Fellowship which led to an interview with Hubert de Givenchy, which then led to an apprenticeship in Paris. That was the beginning of a love affair with fashion that is an even greater passion today.

Gaskins’ designs have been featured on the covers of Cosmopolitan, Spy, Bazaar, Glamour, Vanity Fair, and Palm Beach Illustrated. In 1987, he launched his own label in New York, releasing his couture collections - mainly focusing on dresses, suits, and gowns. Among his celebrity clients are Salma Hayek, Melanie Griffith, Vanessa Williams, Mariah Carey, Geena Davis, Maria Shriver, Jada Pinkett, Jennifer Lopez, Allison Janney, Kim Cattrall, Kathy Bates, Marcia Gay Harden and Goldie Hawn.

This however is not what is most important to Gaskins, the same passion and determination goes into designing for the ‘real woman’ filling the needs of an ever-increasing audience. It’s always been about the craft and discipline, for Gaskins, the whole school of perfect proportion. “What I love is the feedback from the client when she says that she’s worn a dress or suit over and over, the cut making her feel incredibly confident, sexy, the fit making her look better than she ever thought she could. For me that is really what it’s all about,” he says.

Gaskins is also known for his notoriously biting fashion blog The Emperor's Old Clothes, where he blogged under the identity Fluff Chance, a hairless Sphynx cat that uses designers as a clawing post.

VCUQatar’s Crossing Boundaries Lecture Series reflects the cross-disciplinary nature of the featured speakers who are representatives of excellence in design thinking. Each speaker will present a paradigm of design thinking that seeks to evolve solutions to problems in innovative, creative ways.

‘Eric Gaskins: A life in design’ is the second in the series of six lectures and will be presented on 25 October at 6:00 PM at the atrium at VCUQatar. The lecture is open to the public.

New York-based fashion designer Eric Gaskins

Iconic Image of Eric Gaskin’s ‘Woman in Red’ dress