In a Virginia arts center last week, the scene looked like what you'd expect before a fashion show. People in cocktail attire fussed over people in costumes more complicated than their own. But these people were not clothing designers or models—they are architects and designers.
In its fifth year, the annual Cosmo Couture event challenges firms to design clothing using building materials. Think carpet, tile, and even the back of chair. The event is put on by the International Interior Design Association Mid-Atlantic Chapter's Washington Metro City Center, and was held this year at Artisphere in Arlington, Va. The event benefited local domestic violence shelter My Sister's Place.
This year, each firm picked a United States president as their inspiration. Most of the outfits—while neat to look at from the runway—were more fantasy than reality. But then again, so is the idea of wearing carpeting.
The details stood out. HOK associate and project manager Nita Tuvesson wore the firm's outfit inspired by George Washington, which included a 3D-printed collar and laser-cut back patterned after the dollar bill. D.C.-based Hickok Cole Architects molded laser-cut carpet backer pieces into a textural black and navy pencil skirt and top. WDG, based in D.C. and Dallas, rolled Patcraft yarn into 1,600 units for the skirt in their outfit, modeled by the firm's Heidi Wurstle.
Six awards were handed out at Thursday evening's event. Wingate Hughes won best performance, Interplan won most creative, VOA Associates won most unique material, Fox Architects won best interpretation of theme, CORE won haute couture, and WDG won audience favorite.