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Portfolio in Motion Uncut: Cutting-edge Fashion and Jhane Barnes Honored

Tuesday, May 06, 2014
With Redskins apparel for women fans, evening and bridal wear, business attire, sportswear and swimwear, menswear and children’s clothing, Portfolio in Motion Uncut, Marymount University’s 2014 student fashion show, had it all! The lines of several fashion design alumni were also featured.

With a theme inspired by industrial art, the show premiered on May 1. Designer Jhane Barnes, was in attendance and received Marymount’s 2014 Designer of the Year Award in recognition of her innovative menswear, textiles, and creative use of mathematics in the design process.

Jummy Olabanji, emmy-award winning reporter and anchor at WJLA-TV served as Mistress of Ceremonies. She also has a prior connection with Marymount’s fashion programs, as she teaches a fashion research and communication course at the university. She noted, “So, it’s a special honor to be here today to welcome you to this fabulous event. I know how passionate the fashion design and fashion merchandising students are about their chosen field.”

The jury-selected garments 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 provided a clean, minimalist, cutting-edge environment to showcase the innovative fashions on the runway.

In addition to the senior lines, there were themed scenes that included fashion-forward Redskins fan wear and garments made from fabric donated by Eileen Fisher, Marymount’s 2012 Designer of the Year.

The alumni designers featured were Claudia Hosky ʼ09, with her Fearless brand; Vesna Kustudic ʼ08 with Mint Lola, a bridal accessory atelier; and Sylvie Cachay ʼ99, the well-known SYLA swimwear designer, who died tragically in 2010. SYLA was featured as a tribute to this talented young designer. The Sylvie Cachay Memorial Project combats violence against women, funds fashion design scholarships for Marymount students, and supports the Animal Lovers Initiative.

After the final runway walk, Janice Ellinwood, chair of the fashion programs, recognized outstanding fashion design student achievements:

The Portfolio in Motion Award and Best Line for Craftsmanship: Lisa Sanders
The NAMSBE Foundation Arthur H. Taylor Award for Excellence in Menswear Design and Best Line for a Target Market: Si-Jin Joo
Best Line for Innovation: Kieri Borg
Best Line for Draping: Eva Ramirez
Best Line for Fabrication: Charity Peart

To close the show, Marymount President Matthew D. Shank presented Jhane Barnes with the 2014 Marymount University Designer of the Year Award. Accepting the award, Barnes congratulated the students on “a professional show.” She told them, “You’re not just designing clothes and textiles, you’re designing your life. Go after what you want with no fear. You never know what’s just around the corner.”

On May 2, Jhane Barnes shared her vision and expertise with Marymount students. She first reviewed the senior design students’ portfolios – complimenting draping, illustrations, and flats, as well giving advice on fabric selection and interview and business strategies.

She also applauded how each designer had a clear focus and style. Charity Peart’s niche is high end. Breanne Lippy focuses on children’s wear and yoga clothing; she also is committed to having a service component in her business. Kieri Borg and Sarah Wheeler love women’s wear with organic, natural lines. And, Lisa Sanders wants to design for Comic-Con, saying, “Understructures are my thing.”

“Know your strengths and show them,” Jhane Barnes told the seniors. “The more creative your portfolio is, the better. Show that you can write in your portfolio, too.” She added, “Wear your own garments to interviews and take samples with you.”

On the business side, she advised them to diversify, saying, “Some designers make money on fragrances to support the fashion side of the business. I always had an interiors business.” Of, course, now Barnes is shifting her focus strictly to contract interiors after more than 35 years in fashion.

Jhane Barnes also gave a presentation on the use of math in art for the entire Marymount community. She pointed out, “There is no set way of doing business. If you have the passion, you can find a way.” With an interest in fractals, she sought the help of mathematicians to design software that enabled her to use math more easily to create beautiful patterns in repeat for her textiles.

Weaving business advice into her talk, she said, “Have a partner who brings something equally to the business – who has attributes you don’t have.” Barnes also acknowledged that she has learned from mistakes like designing a great product for the wrong company and designing what a company asked for even when it wasn’t what she liked.

Her advice: “Only do what you believe in.”

– Designs by senior Lisa Sanders, model Chelsea Connestro ʼ14, a fashion merchandising major (photo by Gasper Kay)

PHOTO 2 – Design by senior Sarah Wheeler, model Marianna Choong ʼ15, an interior design major (Photo by Gasper Kay)

PHOTO 3 – Design by senior Dona Adel Rajab, model Frank Cadle ʼ17, a graphic design major (Photo by Gasper Kay)

PHOTO 4 – Redskins fan apparel from a product development course. Design by Breanne Lippy, model Gabriela Skura ʼ14, a fashion merchandising major (Photo by Matt Dunham)

PHOTO 5 – Jhane Barnes (center) backstage with the senior fashion design students (Photo by Gasper Kay)