Fashion lands safely in nation’s capital

The gallery exhibition in Reagan National Airport

High-flying fashion landed at Reagan National Airport this fall.

The gallery exhibition, designed and developed by teams of Radford University students, is in the concourse that links terminals A, B and C.

The exhibition also contains work by the 2D art faculty shown at the Radford University faculty art show. New artwork at the Reagan National Airport gallery was done by Richard Bay, Eloise Philpot and Halide Salam.

The displays are at the epicenter of the airport – a location that represents a symbolic link between the past and the present, represented in the fashion chosen for display.

“Oftentimes, trends in fashion are associated with particular designers and we didn’t want our students to literally copy the designers,” said Department of Design Associate Professor John Jacob. “We just want the trends and representative images to be a point of departure – we wanted the students to abstract something from those trends and turn it into something unique.”

The conceptual garments were constructed under a tight deadline – the students and professors only had a few weeks to design, build and display the garments.

“It’s what the field is really like,” Jacob said. “It was very high pressure. We even had to put extra pressure on the students. We said they were going to have more time, but then found out the displays had to go up in two days.”  

Fifteen students participated in the project. Fashion design juniors led the teams, which were also comprised of sophomores.

“The students designed half-scale garments, which best fit in the gallery’s configuration,” said Department of Design Professor Kathy Mitchell. “These were designed to be conceptual garments – not something that someone could literally put on and wear.”

The students and faculty used their love of Radford as motivation for the project’s color scheme.

“We chose red for Radford and added white and silver,” Mitchell said. “The colors also show up well on the black background of the display case. It gives them a sense of pride and accomplishment in that they turned the project around so quickly under a lot of stress. It’s being seen by a lot of people.”

Installation of the gallery was done by Jacob, as well as Professor Farrell Doss and Department of Design Chair Holly Cline. The gallery exhibition will be on display until it takes off in January. 

Nov 21, 2016
Max Esterhuizen
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