Moore College of Art & Design hits the virtual runway

Design by Casey Quinn ‘21, art by Daniel Velasco.

Moore College of Art & Design has a few interesting updates, but one is definitely an occasion to celebrate. The college’s S/S 2021 Fashion Show is this weekend, and this not only marks a format for seniors to present their final designs, its also the first time in a year that they have been able to put on a show for their graduating class, even a digital one. 

Fashion Design seniors will present their original designs and unique looks during this free event in a virtual YouTube Premiere format, scheduled to launch online Friday, May 21, at 8 p.m. 

“Fashion is by far the most accessible design discipline, touching us all,” said Cecelia Fitzgibbon, president of Moore College of Art & Design in a statement. “The students’ work pushes the boundaries between utility and creativity, asking us to think of deeper questions than we usually do: What choices did the designer make? What part is social commentary and in what place and time can this design fit with external circumstance? Fashion as design helps us to see the world we live in, and often differently than we saw it before.”

Design by Yoyo Yue ‘21, photo by Naomieh Jovin

In 2020, the Moore still wanted to commemorate the year and celebrate the creative endeavors of its seniors, so they decided to launch a new website to honor the entire graduating Class of 2020 and their work. Titled ‘The Class of 2020,’ the exhibition provided a digital platform to promote the outstanding work of all BFA students graduating this year, as well as three graduating MFA/MA students in Moore’s Socially Engaged Art programs, to showcase their thesis projects to the world. All undergraduate majors were represented in the exhibition: Animation & Game Arts, Art Education, Art History, Curatorial Studies, Fashion Design, Fine Arts, Graphic Design, Illustration, Interior Design and Photography & Digital Arts. The new website was designed to not only showcase the unique and skillful accomplishments of the graduates, but to also offered a digital ‘calling card’ for each individual artist. 

Now, however, with the pandemic restrictions easing up, there have been more advancements made to show off the distinctive fashion collections that display their student’s individuality, style and artisanal skills. In the release, Nasheli Ortiz-González, chair of the Fashion Design department, said viewers will see fine details and use of texture, innovative use of laser-cut plexiglass, technical elements, and garments that explore everything from trauma to cultural heritage. 

“There is a lot of personality in these collections,” said Ortiz-González. “The students were able to take their themes and concepts and minimize them to make it very digestible for the viewer. That was very important to this group.” 

Moore’s S/S 2021 Fashion Show, sponsored by Century 21 Stores, is not the first time the college is honoring their 2021 seniors however. In addition to The Galleries at Moore being open to the public for the first time in more than a year, Moore also added something special for the 2021 Senior Show. The show opened in person on May 10 and went online on the 14, and already Philadelphians have been able to get a sneak peek of what they can expect this weekend. The online component of the exhibition includes a virtual tour of the artwork in the Galleries and individual artist pages for graduating seniors and graduating MFA and MA students in Moore’s Socially Engaged Art program. In addition, Moore’s Animation & Game Arts department also celebrated the creative accomplishments of seniors with the 2021 AGA Senior Showcase on Saturday, May 15 with a virtual screening and reception.

Design by Heather Cha ’21, photo by Naomieh Jovin

According to a release, a new feature of the online iteration of Moore’s Senior Show exhibition will be a virtual walkthrough tour of the Galleries, presented in a format often seen when viewing home tours on real estate sites. “If you can’t come in person, you can get an immersive experience from home,” said Gabrielle Lavin Suzenski, Rochelle F. Levy Director of The Galleries at Moore.

The in-person part of the exhibition is open to the public now through May 21 with a limited number of guests admitted each hour. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 12:30–4:30 p.m., with one-hour slots available. Reservations are required for entry, and visitors must wear masks and follow social distancing procedures. Groups are limited to four people or fewer.

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