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Portfolio in Motion 2013: Inspired Fashions Showcased and Tadashi Shoji Honored

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

On May 2, Marymount University’s Portfolio in Motion 2013 fashion show was star-lit to showcase innovative student- and alumni-designed garments. The Cosmic Dreaming theme provided an awe-inspiring backdrop to highlight the imagination, artistry, and talents of Marymount’s fashion design students and recent alumni.

For more Portfolio in Motion 2013 photos, see the show collection on Flickr. For all Portfolio in Motion photos, see the tagged images or the slide show.

The jury-selected designs were modeled by Marymount students from across the university in the professional production created by the fashion merchandising students. Set design, lighting, music, and choreography all contributed to the other-worldly atmosphere of the show, which featured garments for every lifestyle and occasion from casual wear to bridesmaid gowns for destination weddings.One segment of the show featured garments made from jersey fabric generously donated by Eileen Fisher, Marymount's 2012 Designer of the Year.
The special guest of Portfolio in Motion was Tadashi Shoji, who was named Marymount University's 2013 Designer of the Year. This honor is presented annually to a fashion designer who has achieved excellence in the field and has captured the imagination of both the fashion industry and the public. Mr. Shoji was recognized for the originality, innovation, and elegance of his designs, and for creating garments that make every woman feel beautiful. Past recipients of the award, given annually at the show, include Carolina Herrera, Michael Kors, Oscar de la Renta, and Eileen Fisher.
Upon receiving the award, Tadashi Shoji told the audience that he is a “designer for all women.” Acknowledging that he “became a fashion designer by accident,” he said that he had a Eureka moment while draping fabric. “I found my passion,” he explained. “If my dresses give a woman confidence and happiness, I’ve accomplished my mission.”
The following fashion design students received awards at Portfolio in Motion 2013:
Rachel Seaman ʼ13 – The Portfolio in Motion Award
Kristin Lear ʼ13 – The NAMSB Foundation Arthur H. Taylor Award for Excellence in Menswear Design
Breanne Lippy ʼ14 – The Trailblazing Award

Best of 2013
Allo Peterkin – Best Senior Line for a Target Market
Zarlacht Osmanzoi – Best Senior Line for Draping
Soheila Samani – Best Senior Line for Workmanship

For the second year, fashion design alumni participated in the show. They were:
Celeste Gregoire ʼ96 – Two Patches (children’s wear) – www.twopatches.com
Kelly Morgan ʼ07 – Coquetta (versatile cover-ups)
Claudia Hosky ʼ09 – Fearless – www.etsy.com
Kendra McCullough ʼ12 – The Kendra McCullough Collection – www.kendramccullough.com
The next morning, Mr. Shoji reviewed the senior design students’ portfolios, giving both praise and practical advice. He told the students that fit matters and to keep the basics in mind, even in mass production.. “Tiny details are very important,” he explained. “The fit has to be comfortable. …The customer has to be able to move.” Tadashi Shoji sells in 40 countries to women from 17 to 70. He pointed out, “Keep your target market in mind. They might have different taste from you, but don’t lose your identity.” He said that he sold the same designs in various countries, but changed the color palette to suit each market.

Mr. Shoji also advised students to choose fabric carefully, and to “think of function, not just decoration. It has to have meaning, interest.” He encouraged them to work for other designers for a while before setting out on their own to gain a full understanding of all aspects of the industry. When interviewing, he said to research the company and add a segment to their portfolios that shows groups of garments that would fit into its collection.

To a student with a senior line of children’s wear, he remarked, “You have a future waiting for you.” He added that children’s wear is a niche market that is big business now and advised her to keep patterns small so as not to overwhelm. Mr. Shoji urged students to edit with a critical eye. “Narrowing down is so important in design and in business,” he explained. Define your niche.

In his parting words, Tadashi Shoji told them to keep in mind that “fashion is constantly changing.” He pointed out, “If you keep doing the same thing, there’s no joy. I still get a rush when I’m designing. It’s an exciting business, but the pressure is high. You have to keep it fun!”

– Deena Parker ʼ15 models a design by Yelena Vladimirskaya ʼ14
PHOTO 2 – Zarlacht Osmanzoi ʼ13 shows her portfolio to Tadashi Shoji.
PHOTO 3 – Eric Jefferson ʼ15 models an outfit by Kristin Lear ʼ13, who received an award for her menswear.
PHOTO 4 – Brelynn Knight ʼ14 models a Star Wars-themed dress by Sarah Wheeler ʼ14
PHOTO 5 ¬ Taija Johnson ʼ13 floats down the runway in a design by Charity Peart ʼ14