‘Zenith,’ VCUarts 2020 fashion show, will feature many firsts

The show will include original music and garments for a variety of body types.

A model walks the runway at a fashion show.
“Zenith,” VCU's annual fashion show, will take place Friday, May 8, at 7:30 p.m. at the Science Museum of Virginia’s Dewey Gottwald Center. (File photo)

Virginia Commonwealth University will showcase the pinnacle of its student clothing designs at the School of the Arts’ annual juried fashion show this spring.

“Zenith” will take place Friday, May 8, at 7:30 p.m. at the Science Museum of Virginia’s Dewey Gottwald Center, 2301 W. Leigh St., Richmond, VA 23220. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. 

The annual event — juried by a mix of local and industry fashion industry experts — presents the finished work of fashion design students, as well as the strategic production talents of fashion merchandising students. “Zenith” will feature about 80 garments — comprising dresses, knits, tailoring and creatively traditional menswear. Clothing modeled on the runway will feature junior and senior class designs, the latter of which will include individual and sustainable designs, outerwear and a small amount of childrenswear and handknits. 

Additionally, students have been given the opportunity to expand their design skills to include a variety of body sizes. Models will include a wider range of ages and body types as the department embraces a more inclusive aesthetic for the runway. 

“This year, we are reaching upward and outward,” said Patricia Brown, chair and associate professor of the VCU Department of Fashion Design & Merchandising. “The name 'Zenith' denotes this expanding of creative individualization. At the same time as our students explore their own directions and artistic inclinations, they are also learning to predict, problem solve and become well-prepared for the ever-changing fashion industry landscape.”

“Zenith” will feature original music created by Filipe Leitão, an assistant professor of music, and his students in collaboration with fashion students.

The show is being organized by 11 junior and senior merchandising students enrolled in the fashion department’s Advanced Show Production class, in collaboration with design students, fashion faculty and sponsors. Students produce all aspects of the show, from model selection and training to lighting, music selection and backstage operations. 

Tickets for the general public will range from $50 to $100 and will go on sale in March.

About VCU School of the Arts

VCUarts is the top-ranked public art school in the U.S. and offers degree programs across the visual and performing arts and design. VCUarts is housed within a major urban research university that has been recognized for its community-engaged research. Encouraging intellectual inquiry in and through the creative fields, VCUarts fosters rich, interdisciplinary collaborations between artists, designers, health practitioners and more.

About VCU and VCU Health

Virginia Commonwealth University is a major, urban public research university with national and international rankings in sponsored research. Located in downtown Richmond, VCU enrolls more than 30,000 students in 233 degree and certificate programs in the arts, sciences and humanities. Twenty-two of the programs are unique in Virginia, many of them crossing the disciplines of VCU’s 11 schools and three colleges. The VCU Health brand represents the VCU health sciences academic programs, the VCU Massey Cancer Center and the VCU Health System, which comprises VCU Medical Center (the only academic medical center in the region), Community Memorial Hospital, Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU, MCV Physicians and Virginia Premier Health Plan. For more, please visit www.vcu.edu and vcuhealth.org.