Under the instruction of Professor Enrica Guidato, SRISA students from a variety of different artistic backgrounds and with varying levels of experience in clothing design have worked together to produce Santa Reparata’s 18th fashion show.
This three-part runway show begins with works from Professor Guidato’s Fashion Illustration I & II courses. Part I featured a play on construction and deconstruction with the classic white shirt entitled: “Blank Canvas.” Part II consisted of a study of draping inspired by Italian sculpture entitled: “Sculpted Strands.”
The final presentation “Royal Portraits” exhibits the efforts of Fashion Design major Shelby Rider during a semester-long independent study.
"Blank Canvas" was an opportunity for each student to project their own sources of inspiration onto a classic and versatile wardrobe staple: the white button-up shirt. Truly a clean slate, the white shirt represented something different for each student. From hand-painted art, to graphic patterns and hand dyed color, from shape modification to actual destruction, each student acted on the shirt like an artist with a blank canvas, expressing their own vision of style.
“Sculpted Strands” began as a pile of scarves. From there, inspiration came from the myriad of Renaissance sculpture in Florence and the impossible lightness achieved through stone when fabric is draped over chiseled gods and goddesses. Woven scarves with varying opacity were draped to create diaphanous and ethereal designs, inspired in part by the Uma Wang Show attended by the students at Milan Fashion Week. This exercise is a testament to the organic nature that folded fabric can express, as well as a celebration of contemporary femininity.
“Royal Portraits” is the end result of VCU Fashion Design student Shelby Rider’s semester-long efforts in Florence. Shelby’s knowledge of draping, pattern drafting, and printmaking has allowed her to realize inspirations from Victorian and Rococo’ designs and filter them through her experiences in Tuscany to produce a colorful and cohesive collection. Every beaded appliqué was hand stitched and every print was created and screen printed by the designer, making each piece a true Shelby Rider original. “Royal Portraits” is the frills and fancies of Marie Antoinette holding court, lounging in manicured gardens and taking bites from macarons, but has an edge that her sweet facade belies upon first glance.