VCUarts Qatar Final Year Collection Portrays Fashion With Roots

With a theme that evoked nostalgia and a deep link to the cultural heritage and strong family bonding, the fashion design students graduating from Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Qatar (VCUarts Qatar) this year presented their collections at a fashion show held at the University recently.

Seven senior students from the Qatar Foundation (QF) partner-university, the VCUarts Qatar. showcased their designs at the show titled “It’s history (non) repeating”, for an audience that included their families, and friends, in addition to the VCUarts Qatar community. The presentation was held as an in-person event after a two-year pandemic-induced hiatus and was streamed live to the public.

This year’s theme evoked the nostalgia of the designers’ personal links to their respective histories, heritage, cultures, and families, with the seven collections reflecting each designer’s interpretations on the theme.

“Swaying Motion” by Hira Nisar is a testimony of the influence of the designers’ Pakistani roots through the use of traditional Pakistani embroidery intercepted with modern techniques shown through rich interlays and embroidery patches on white silk. Her talent was recognised and Nisar was awarded the Harper’s Bazar’s Emerging Talent.

Model displays designs by Hira Nisar.

“I took references from Pakistani couture and combined them with modern tailoring creating a dynamic that preserves the past while discovering what lies ahead,” explains Nisar.

Christopher Fink, Chair, Fashion Design, VCUarts Qatar, said, “We were delighted when the students decided to develop collections that have close ties to family, heritage, memories, and identity, themes that we can all relate to. And it was wonderful that the public could view it as well, providing them, and Qatar’s fashion industry, a glimpse into the creativity of a group of emerging, young designers who are exploring what fashion design has evolved to be today, and its place in our future.”

Designer Reem Atout upcycles clothes used by her grandmother to create clothes that speak of a lifetime of memories.

Another talented designer Reem Atout upcycled her grandmother’s clothes to form her creation titled “Teta Chic” where the designer uses clothes to bring back memories of the lost bonding time with her grandmothers. DFI selected Atout for the Narrative by Design award.

The names of the collections, and the respective designers, who took part in the presentation were: “Teta Chic” by Reem Atout; “The Desert Rose” by Aisha Al-Fadala; “Balady” by Ayatallah Mohamad; “Reawakening” by Shaikha Al-Thani; “The Soul” by Farida Fathala; “Swaying Motion” by Hira Nisar, and “Confessions of a local” by Najla Al-Eida.

VCUarts Qatar’s department of Fashion Design presented the Golden Needle Award for Most Outstanding Senior 2022 to Reem Atout. The Buyer’s Choice Award went to Aisha Al-Fadala, and the award for Outstanding Academic Achievement from the graduating class to Ayatallah Mohamed.

All Images Courtesy VCUarts Qatar