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A Fashion Show that Honors Aboriginal Art & Culture
It all began with a pair of baby-blue shorts. Before I’d left clothes shopping to family. Everything was at least three sizes too big as I would “eventually grow into them.” I didn’t. However, in that changing room clad in the pastel shorts, I felt the power of fashion. Clothes convey how someone feels or hopes to feel. They can be a weapon, armor, or even a disguise. Someone with low self-esteem can be boosted by the persona of a confidently patterned shirt and sleek shoes. Another might mimic the office dress code to get the job. To spread fashion’s gospel truth, I joined a fashion club and learned how to sew so everyone could don their metaphorical baby-blue shorts. This form of expression culminated in the Culture Couture Fashion Show in which I was a fabricator, event planner, and designer (branding, fashion, and set).
The show was spearheaded by UVA’s drama department, the Kluge-Ruhe Museum, and a panel of students; its focus was the fabrics: aboriginal fabrics crafted by Australian natives. The natives celebrated the nature around them which reflected in the fabrics’ patterns. As such, my proposed designs celebrated the fabric and gave ample space to flaunt its vibrancy while balancing them with the form of the model.
Two of my designs were chosen to be fabricated for the show. I had to audition to be the one to craft the garments by demonstrating my sewing prowess. My given fabric was from Darnley Island Arts Centre. It features shells native to the northern part of Australia, and the fabric’s iridescence emulates the shell’s properties. I had the honor to interpret the pattern into a 3-dimensional form.