Cosmic Dreaming: Portfolio in Motion

This is my second time to experience the world of fashion at Marymount University, and while the scene was familiar, students brought new life to the annual tradition. Each year well-known designers in the fashion industry are honored for their outstanding professional achievement. Their work through the years has provided inspiration not only to Marymount students but also to an entire generation of fashion lovers. This year, Tadashi Shoji, founder and chief designer of Tadashi Shoji Collection was the guest of honor and spoke to students about chasing dreams and the true meaning of hard work.

Prior to the show, I had the privilege to sit down with Mr. Shoji and discuss his personal journey, as well as valuable words of advice for eager fashion students. He spoke to me about his life in Japan and his move to Los Angeles. Much like the students at Marymount University, Mr. Shoji attended school and discovered a deep love for fashion design – “When I was young and meeting with established designers or going to studios and workshops, I was always thinking, ‘Wow, someday I can be like this one.’ That dream was always a big motivator”. That motivator has propelled his career and today Mr. Shoji celebrates 30 years of success as a leader and pioneer in the industry. As for words of advice for Marymount’s graduating class: “When you get a job, work hard. Make even boring assignments interesting and enjoyable. Not only does it make even the most boring job creative, but it also makes time pass faster, benefiting you and the company you’re working for.”

After my interview, I attended the reception where I indulged on sushi and fancy green cocktails. During the hour I spotted countless ensembles I wanted to copy and found a company in others sharing my passion for fashion. Most of my time was spent bonding with two local fashion bloggers who started their blogs to remain connected to their love for everything chic. Sara Azani’s blog, High Fashion 4 Less, and Eden Raskin’s blog, Garden of Glam, both inspired me to maybe start my own.

As for the main event – Cosmic Dreaming: Portfolio in Motion – I was stunned by the skill and creativity of the student designers. The entire production was seamless and beyond impressive. The backdrop, music, and models added to the show without stealing focus from the moving works of art created by fashion’s next generation of leaders and trendsetters. After experiencing the show, I’m convinced this talented group of designers provided Mr. Shoji with the same inspiration he has unknowingly provided them through the years.

As our interview wrapped up, Mr. Shoji provided these last moving words: “Don’t lose your curiosity and open your eyes to all aspects of life. If you open your eyes, and if you have talent and curiosity, you can be a great designer.” Marymount students – take this advice and run. Life is waiting.

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