By Peggah Navab
IIDA’s fashion event last Friday night didn’t update me on the trendiest looks for fall, but it was a great performance. The red-lit room at Aria at the Jeune Lune was packed with an amped up (and boozed up) crowd, cheering on an equally energetic group of models as they strutted their stuff and showed off some outrageous designs. Whether or not it was intentional, the black metal wire speckled in with an almost exclusive use of tangerine orange—not to mention a couple Alice in Wonderland inspired looks—seemed perfect for late October.
I squeezed my way to the front of the runway for a prime photographing view. There was no stalling . . . just a 5-minute wait time before host Natalie Kane made a few short and sweet introductory remarks. The show started promptly as the models steamrolled down the runway. They walked, stalked, thumped, and danced depending on the designs they wore, which ranged from high-fashion to contemporary arts to an all-out theatrical feel.
Based on the crescendoing noise levels I think that everyone in the audience agreed on the standout numbers. A gown made of newspaper, press negatives, and digital equipment by The Free Press, a white tulle dress by Dunwoody College of Technology, and a Black Bull head modeled by Tanner “Taurus” Patrick made out of textiles, wall covering, tile, and metal wire, were among the most memorable pieces, garnering the loudest screams. They also captured the essence of the show and gave a good sampling of the variety of looks you can create using only built environment materials. The tulle dress was fun, yet elegant and feminine, the newspaper dress modern and inventive, and the Black bull was downright scary.
With a project-runway type challenge, the event wouldn’t have been complete without a Project Runway panel of judges. After a brief interlude featuring several ballroom dancing numbers, Christopher Straub of Season 6, Carol Hannah Whitfield of season 6, Michael Costello of Season 1, and Raul Osorio of Season 10 announced the winners:
Most Wearable: Blue jacket with golden hardware decorations by BKV Group
Best use of Tangerine: Mermaid like, peacock feathered dress by STE Marie
Best Presentation: The media dress by The Free Press (Mankato, MN)
Zero Landfill: White tulle dress by Dunwoody College of Technology
Most Avant-Garde: Black bull head and blonde braided wig by RSP Architects