Glendale Native & Resident Debuts First Fashion Collection

LOS ANGELES–Valentina Vardanyan, Glendale, California native and a graduating student in Fashion Design at FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising recently presented her first fashion collection in Los Angeles. She was also invited to present a special Barbie doll design for Barbie’s celebration of five decades as a fashion icon. This was at a fashion show called “Debut 2009”, an annual Scholarship Benefit, presented each year by FIDM, Los Angeles.

The fashion gala is designed to highlight the work of FIDM students graduating in Advanced Fashion, Theatre Costume, Interior and Textile Design Programs. The evening also featured a special tribute to Barbie? doll’s five decades as a fashion icon. Pink decor, including an around-the-world celebration wardrobe, especially for Barbie, created by the 11 Debut Fashion Designers with a 12th Barbie? gown especially designed by their mentor; Project Runway Star, Nick Verreos (alum and instructor at FIDM). Barbie? doll’s international celebration wardrobe was life sized on the catwalk and in duplicate in a special collaborative exhibition of Barbie? dolls.
After receiving their Associate of Arts degrees, each year 10 to 12 FIDM students are chosen to participate in this 3rd year program of Advanced Fashion Design Studies. Participants are chosen based on overall grade point average, references, portfolio review, talent, skill level and formal interviews with Department Chairs from FIDM; a great honor since selection is made from hundreds of candidates.

Valentina Vardanyan was born in Armenia and grew up in Glendale, California. She is the daughter of Armine Agadzhanyan and Yourik Vartanian of Glendale, California. Ms. Vardanyan (one of the 11 debut Fashion students) was influenced by her mother’s creativity growing up. Her mother, a floral designer, also made all of her daughter’s special dresses. “It was natural for me to go in a creative direction,” says Ms. Vardanyan.

Her collection is in accordance to her typical aesthetic. She matched clean, modern architectural construction with delicate fabrics. Feminine vintage jewel tones make up the color palette. The inspiration for the collection flows from her favorite travels, movies, dreams and music.

Vardanyan’s goals after graduating from FIDM/ The Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising are to start designing for a contemporary design house, and to continue working toward a degree in art history. She would also like to one day be the creative director for a high end design company, or to have her own line of artistic garmen’s.

The annual FIDM Debut Fashion Show presented by FIDM/ Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising was held at Barker Hangar, in Santa Monica, California on Saturday, February 28 the event is a scholarship fundraiser for the college.

This year, the Saturday night event blended student work with a celebration of Barbie doll’s five decades as a fashion icon. More than 100 garmen’s and other design projects were on view in an exhibition and a four-part runway show. The production illustrated the work of FIDM students graduating in the Advanced Fashion, Theatre Costume Design, Interior and Textile Design programs. Only 11 students are selected to present their first-ever collections, hence the title, “Debut Show.” The designers-to-be, work for nearly eight months to create the eight to 10 looks that will be featured on the runway.

The evening featured a special tribute to Barbie doll’s five decades as a fashion icon. Pink decor extended to an around-the-world celebration wardrobe, especially for Barbie, created by the 11 Debut Fashion Designers with a 12th Barbie gown especially designed by their mentor, Project Runway Star, Nick Verreos (alum and instructor at FIDM). Barbie doll’s international celebration wardrobe will be life sized on the catwalk and in duplicate in a special collaborative exhibition of Barbie dolls. This creative collaboration was led by Mattel’s Director of Product Design, Peter Helenek and Principal Designer James Holmes.

FIDM/ Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising is a private college for specialized professional education, accredited by WASC and NASAD, granting Associate of Arts degrees. In 2005, FIDM initiated its first Baccalaureate Program, a Bachelor of Science in Business Management. Over the last 35 years, FIDM has graduated more than 35,000 students, preparing them for careers in Fashion, Graphics, Interior Design and Entertainment.

The college is headquartered in downtown Los Angeles, with other campus locations in Orange County, San Diego and San Francisco; 7,500 full-time students.

FIDM/Museum & Galleries has one of the nation’s finest costume collections dating from the 18th century and yearly presents major exhibitions.

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