About VTU

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Voyage to Utopia is an annual Fashion Show produced by Marymount University's African Caribbean Student Association (ACSA), Black Student Alliance (BSA), and Latino Student Association (LSA). It's aim is to showcase both the modern and traditional fashions of Caribbean, African, and Latino cultures. The production is 100% student led and provides a platform to introduce designers within the university community and surrounding areas. This years show will take the audience from their seats into colorful stories yet to be told through fashion. What's your story?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

And the countdown begins...


Voyage to Utopia will be taking place Saturday, Feb. 26, 2011 at 7:30pm. 
There will also be a networking/cocktail event starting promptly at 6:00pm in the Rose Bente Lee Center on Marymount University's main campus in Arlington, Virginia.

ALL are welcome and trust me, this is a show you will NOT want to miss!
Tickets are $7.00 for Marymount Students and $10 for all General Admission.
Good NEWS designers: 
Do you want to be involved in a production showcasing your talent? 
Well, good news, Voyage to Utopia has few open spaces available. 
Hurry, because these spots won't stay open long.
If interested, email vtufashionshow@gmail.com

Calling all media: newspapers, magazines, bloggers, tweeters and fashionnistas, this is an EVENT you can't MISS and therefore must be in the front row to capture each tantalizing moment!

Interested in reserving tickets?
Email vtufashionshow@gmail.com with "RE: Ticket Reservation" in the subject line.
Be sure to provide your name and phone number.


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Model Spotlight: Stephanie Haas

left to right: Stephanie, Morgan

Stephanie Haas is a graduate student at Marymount University in the Doctorate of Physical Therapy program.

When asked about her personal style she had this to say:
"I'm more of a classic look girl but I admire adventurous people in fashion."

I also asked Stephanie how she felt about VTU and how she would handle butterflies the day of the show:
"I did a little modeling in high school for fun but that's it. Fashion is so much fun and I know I will be nervous the day of the show but I will have to turn it into nervous energy."

Haas tried out for VTU on the last day of model tryouts on a whim. She is a newbie to fashion and modeling having only participated in one or two shows during high school. Overall, Stephanie is looking forward to the show and strutting down the runway with the sass and poise taught by VTU model coordinators Justin Rice Moore and Courtney Kemp, both seniors.

Be sure to buy your tickets for VTU '11 to see Stephanie and the other beautiful and handsome models as they showcase some of the best work in the DMV area.

left to right: Mimi, Stephanie

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Model Spotlight: Kaiya Bazemore

To begin our bi-weekly model spotlights, we pulled aside Kaiya Bazemore during model practice. Our very own Nana Konadu and Tenesa Brown asked the current sophomore and Fashion Design major a few questions about the impact of fashion and Voyage to Utopia on her life.

Question: How does your sense of fashion explain who you are?

Kaiya: “My fashion sense is more…mood-driven.  I notice if I’m not as happy, I wear darker colors. If I’m happy, I’m brighter. If I feel extra sexy, [I’m going to] be sexier. But also I like to try new things, even though I’m scared sometimes […] At one point of time, I believe I was in elementary or middle school, all I wanted to wear was American Eagle or Gap. [Those] were my favorites.  Then I went from there, and I was more punk rock, and that was the first time I cut my hair. So, I like to try new looks and I like to try different things. I don’t have an exact style. That’s not me. The only time I have an exact style is when I’m going to the club… and that’s because I want to be sexy. Other than that, I don’t have one thing. Like I said, I’m mood driven.”

Question: What are you most excited about for the fashion show?

Kaiya: “Actually, [when] most people, before a show, are anxious or nervous, I like it. For me, that’s my adrenaline rush. When people [ride] roller coasters or bungee jumping… that feeling. For me, I like backstage. When on stage, I like to model, but at the same time, I like the rush in the background. I’m like… I don’t know how to explain it. It’s just something about it. You will never find another kind of rush like that… Behind the stage of a fashion show, you will never find a rush like that. I love it.

Question: In your own words, how does culture and ethnicity affect fashion?

Kaiya: “I feel as though [culture and ethnicity] affects fashion because everyone views it in their own way. You see [fashion], and you all maybe seeing the same thing, but everyone will have their own thought and opinion on it… Also, it depends on your background. What you were born with , what you were raised with, it all makes [your view on fashion] different.

Question: What have you learned about yourself so far [while] working with Voyage?

Kaiya: “What have I learned? [Laughs.] Actually, I thought I was going to be a horrible teacher. But it’s one of my passions. Because it’s modeling, I can show them… I learning that I can help people more than I thought I could. Also, my patience has grown. I love modeling!”

Question: So how has what you learned from Voyage affected other aspects of your life?

Kaiya: “Well before, when it came to having patience and trying, I would try. [After that] I would just say, ‘I’m not going to do this anymore.’ I relate teaching modeling to teaching my little siblings. I’m the oldest of 7, so I know how it is.”

Question: What will you take with you once Voyage is over?

Kaiya: “I’m meeting and talking to new people, so I’ll take away some friends. I’m glad to meet people as interested in modeling as I am. When working in groups, it’s always a learning experience. When I get to see them in their zone, it makes me happy. I like it!”

Friday, December 31, 2010

Acid Reign

I left Jordan last week to come to Panama to spend the holidays with my family that lives here.
Over the course of my stay I have eaten amazing food, met people who swear up and down they used to change my diaper, and explored this beautiful country that I am not an official citizen of (thanks to a few trips into the city and lots of paperwork).

But there is one thing in particular that I have noticed.

The jean design of choice seems to be Acid Wash!!!
Mind you I am not a strong fan of acid washed denim but here it seems to be necessary no matter what age.

I have seen just about every kind of acid wash jean that could possibly exist including but not limited so degrees of bleached intensity, various denim shades, patterns, capri, skinny, boot cut, everything!

I guess if your a acid jean fan Panama is the place for you these days. 

Monday, December 13, 2010

Designer Spotlight: Farai Simoyi

Born in London, England, the child of Zimbabwean parents. She lived in Harare, Zimbabwe, where she got her first taste of textiles and fashion, from her aunt’s lingerie company at age five.  Her aunt would give her scraps of fabric, which Farai would sew together by hand to make clothes for both her and her dolls.  And, thus, her passion for fashion was born.Farai has rocked many runways this year. 

In an interview with Ciaafrique Farai had this to say about the use of African fabrics in mainstream settings:

Ciaa:Within the last year the use of African fabric in international runways has triple if not quadruple . What is your take on that 

Farai: As African Designers we have always found the beauty in African prints & African fabrics, but apparently this is the year that international designers are now jumping on the bandwagon. They'll be on the bandwagon for a season or two and then they'll find another ethnic print to copy.  But at the end of the day art is here for everyone, so as long as it used or copied with positivity then by all means. 

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Voyage to Utopia's December Photo Shoot

On Saturday, December 4th, our brave print models gathered to get ready for VTU's epic photo shoot. The girls from diverse backgrounds were excited, nervous and anxious. There was no time to waste. Skirts, tops, pants and dresses flew in every direction as the Creative Team collectively made official selections of accessories and shoes to coordinate with planned outfits. DeLisa Patterson and Lily Yang were ready to transform our Marymount University students into Marymount University Divas with their lip sticks, make-up foundations and vibrant eye shadows. Jessica Drake added a touch of elegance with intricate braids, curls, and buns. After a quick bite to eat, we were ready to venture out into the cold to tackle the task of doing a photo shoot in 30 degree weather.
Andrea and Cory staying warm

Nia guiding Morgan's poses during the shoot 
Sacha hanging up her last outfit
Ashaunte helping Himadri dress for the next shoot
The models were prepared.  Stuffed in their small carrying bags were blankets, hoddies, and even fleece pajamas! Everyone made sure to wear their coats and scarves sometimes paired with Ugg Boots, flats and tennis shoes. Nia Witlow, VTU's Co-Coordinator, helped keep everyone a little warmer by picking up fresh coffee from Starbucks. As warm as possible we finally hit the bike trail!

Despite the cold, the scenery remained beautiful. Billowing trees covered with orange, yellow, golden brown and red leaves were perfect scenery for the photo shoot. Occasionally the sun came up and lit up the autumn background and gave the models a natural glow.

Between shoots the models made the best out of the 30 degree weather. Regardless of the cold the models laughed, talked, and changed into their next look while other models had their turn to pose. Fighting their shivers and numbness, the models did an excellent job at posing for the camera in early December as they danced to keep toes warm. Even my fingers became numb as I took pictures!

Morgan changing back into her warm boots
Tenesa was a blur most of the day...lol
Nia became excited and ran into the forrest looking for a different location for each model. We found the perfect scenery including a secluded wooden bridge and tangled bamboo. While venturing into the forest, we had to keep our eyes out for poison ivy and thick puddles of mud, while the models wore their hiking shoes into the deep woods and quickly changed into pumps for the pictures. Wearing clothing fit for July in December, the models worked it!

Finally! The shoot is done!

It was a big challenge moving from one place to the other to get ready for the next pose. We had to carry all the clothes and all of our belongings through the long trail. It was not easy, but with the entire team, we made it possible. It began to get colder and darker, and we knew we had to soon end the photo shoot.

After a long day, everyone was ready to thaw out in the protection of warm shelter. We walked back to the campus and flipped through the fruits of everyone's hard labor. A success! Everyone had fun and had great pictures to show for it! The model's left with an added level of confidence and unparalleled excitement for the next photo shoot.

I want to give a Warm Thanks to:

DeLisa Patterson (MU Alum)

Lily Yang (Current MU Interior Design Senior)

Jessica Drake (Current MU Fashion Design Senior)

Our AMAZING Print Models
In order by last names:
Andrea Flores
Sacha Kisner 
Himadri Patel 
Morgan Richardson

Our Excellent and Dedicated Creative Team Members
Cory Brooks 
Courtney Deal
Ashaunte Smith

...Last but not Least...
Nia Whitlow

Keep your eye out for pictures from the December photo shoot in soon to come in VTU publicity!

With VTU Love,

-Tenesa Brown
Creative Director
Voyage to Utopia 2011 Fashion Show

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Excuse me, you left your bullets

I recently returned from a trip to Israel/Palestine. That was intense to say the least. Between waiting hours between borders, interrogations, etc trust me when I say it was an adventure. But one moment I will not forget has to be when my friends and I were on a bus and I was sitting next to a soldier and his oversized machine gun. When his stop came he took his belongings and left the bus. Five seconds later he was running back to grab the bullets he left in the chair next to me. #EPICFAIL
Hence the topic of this post. 
Although the political scene there is one that we should all research and understand closely the fact that just about every teenager I saw had a machine gun, like some sort of accessory, made me think about the fashions here that depict some military inspiration.

Now, I'm not sure what it is that makes this look so popular. 
It could be anything from the use of natural down tones, to gold tassels and stout framework, or maybe the idea of an empowered look. 
Whichever the case I too have found myself mimicking the look of a soldier once or twice. And many designers are following suite.

Plus, its honestly a super easy look to put together!