West Windsor, N.J. -- Mercer County Community College (MCCC) Fashion Design student Verity Gordon first learned what it was like to be in the spotlight when she performed in several shows at McCarter Theater as a youngster. But more than being a presence on stage, Gordon says she was drawn to the costumes.
Gordon recently had the thrill of her young life as one of four finalists at the Jersey City Fashion Week (JCFW) Young Designers Contest. Open to college fashion students who plan to pursue careers in the industry, the competition gave Gordon an opportunity to display a four-outfit collection in late September as part of a show in Jersey City.
“I had a lot of fun at the JCFW competition. I wasn't sure what to expect since it was my first competition and show for my capsule collection. I had a great time networking and gaining experience,” she said.
Gordon has been studying fashion at MCCC for three semesters and says the program has helped her tremendously. “Through my art and fashion classes, Mercer is preparing me to succeed in a highly competitive business. I have improved my knowledge of the sewing and pattern-making aspects of design. My professors are tough, but fair. They are more than happy to help if I have a problem or don't quite understand a concept.”
Gordon, who has dyslexia, is gratified by the academic support she receives at Mercer. “The small classes are great because I get the personalized attention I need to be successful,” she said, adding that the facilities are top notch and accessible. “Whenever I need to work on a garment or need a sewing machine, the sewing lab is always open.”
One of her professors is Kate Pinner, Kelsey Theatre technical director and costume designer. Gordon assisted Pinner with costumes for last year's "A Man for All Seasons," which was staged by PinnWorth Productions at Kelsey Theatre in January. This semester Gordon has taken her interest in costume design to the next level and is currently serving as an intern for Pinner in the Kelsey Theatre costume shop.
"I feel like I'm learning from experts in the fashion industry," Gordon said.
MCCC’s 2015 recipient of a scholarship awarded by GAP Inc., Gordon plans to transfer to a fashion college in either New York or Philadelphia after completing her associate degree in Fashion Design in the spring. She is a graduate of West Windsor-Plainsboro High School North and attended summer programs at the Fashion Institute of Technology during high school. She currently works at David’s Bridal salon, where she is training to become a junior seamstress.
Through her studies in fashion and fashion merchandising, Gordon has come to understand that fashion is an international industry. “I'm learning that fashion isn't just pretty dresses and accessories. It is a business where hard work is appreciated and absolutely necessary,” she said.
One day Gordon would love to have a fashion line all her own, but says her current goal is to start out working for a fashion house. She is particularly passionate about wedding gowns and evening wear.
Gordon’s philosophy about fashion embraces all women. “Women should feel good about how they look whether they are a model size or not. I want to design clothing that will make everyone look and feel pretty,” she said.
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