For the first time in the history of Marymount University’s Fashion Design program, the fashion collections of three graduates are on display at the world-class shopping mall Fashion Centre at Pentagon City for an extensive showcase.
“It’s such an honor to be a part of something that means so much to me,” expressed Marymount graduate and designer Sarah Chaudery. “Having the public see all of my hard work makes it all worth it.”
In addition to Chaudery, the work of fellow graduates Lauren Anderson and Elfaz Biratu were selected for a window display next to signature storefronts like Macy’s and J. Crew.
The designers’ collections, totaling 11 garments displayed on mannequins, were originally featured in Marymount’s premiere fashion show, Portfolio in Motion. This year’s show, with the theme of “Metamorphosis,” launched as an innovative virtual film in May. The annual event is the culminating academic project for students within the Fashion Design and Fashion Merchandising programs, and the entire show is planned, produced and created by students.
“I was drawn to Marymount’s Fashion program after I saw one of the annual fashion shows, and it was so inspiring,” designer Lauren Anderson recalls. “My initial response to hearing that my designs would be on display at Fashion Centre was excitement and incredible honor for this opportunity. I was so proud when I saw my display!”
This opportunity arose after Julia Ravindran, Assistant Professor in Fashion Design, reached out to Todd Jerscheid, Director of Marketing and Business Development at Fashion Centre, in the hopes of borrowing mannequins for the Portfolio in Motion exhibition at Marymount’s Cody Gallery.
“He not only let us borrow them, but he was so supportive of us moving some of the designs to the mall to display beginning in June,” Ravindran explained. “Todd has been extremely supportive and we hope to continue collaborating with Fashion Centre in the future.”
“We are proud to establish a community partnership with Marymount University,” Jerscheid said. “We have received great feedback from retailers and shoppers commenting on the window display, and we look forward to seeing what Marymount students and graduates will create next.”
Dr. Irma Becerra, President of Marymount University, says she was blown away by the artistry and craftsmanship displayed by all students who played a role in the Portfolio in Motion event. She joined the three featured designers, along with Ravindran and Jerscheid, to see their collections on display for the first time.
“What these three young women have been able to conceptualize and create by hand is simply beautiful and shows immense talent,” Dr. Becerra said. “The quality of each garment is a testament to our Fashion programs, and it was a thrill to share in the designers’ joy at seeing their work showcased for hundreds of passersby to see.”
“I want the people who see our designs to say ‘wow,’ and be impressed that we only just graduated from Marymount and already have so much talent,” Birtatu added. “I’d like to own my own business one day, and this can be the start of getting more attention as a designer. This display means a lot to me.”
The collections will continue to be showcased on the first level of the Fashion Centre throughout the summer.