Turning Interiors Into Runway Gold

Last week I had the honor of judging the IIDA Fashion Show held at the Boston Convention Center. It’s a huge and fun event that is held annually and I was SO impressed with the level of creativity that the teams from some of Boston’s biggest interior and architectural design firms brought to the table, er, runway!  The rules are that each team has to create runway looks using interior materials- from fabrics to tile, lighting, furniture parts, rugs and on and on.  It’s a fascinating exploration of materials and innovative craftsmanship and I was in awe of what I saw! There is a theme every year and this year it was “coutourism”- blending couture design with the concept of tourism.  People took that idea and ran with it- from actual destinations to more heady concepts of time travel, space and dreaming.

I am sure you will be as amazed with these designs as I was.


This one KILLED ME.  It was so stunning and I think every woman in the joint thought “I’d kill to wear that!” Not to mention the “model” (all outfits were models by one the designer) looks a bit like Coco Rocha!



This one drew on African culture and design- I loved the top and arm bands!


The skirt on this one (the “destination”was the Northern Lights) was so intricately done!



There were a few design schools competing in their own separate competition too- this look was by the students at Boston Architectural College– and won!  I was like- can I have that blush coat with the jeweled buckle please?


And then BAM- girlfriend ROCKED it.


This was another college team which sued the architecture of Gaudi as inspiration. That stomach detail is part of an office chair!


I adored this whole team and all it’s looks- inspired by New York City in the 1930’s.



This kimono look was SO incredible in person- there was insane detail to the back.  And the interior of the umbrella lit up like the skyline of Manhattan.


This bow. DEAD. Made of laser cut upholstery leather as I recall. Also you can see it was not just women in on the action!


This bodysuit was covered in crystals (from I light fixture I believe) that sparkled like crazy on the runway. It was awesome.


This hat and top (made of tile) was so intricate and perfectly styled.



All the judges loved this one- the top is draped in glass crystals (also from a light, I believe)


The bodice on this look was so perfectly tailored and the pants decorated with tile.



I can’t remember much about the details of this one but DAMN.


This skirt was made of carpet fibers that the team unwove. Crazy!


This hair and makeup look was pretty amazing.


This dress was super cool- made of digitally printed fabric and floor covering cut into strips.


An adorable look from a team that was inspired by Nordic adventures (more rug fibers!)


I could see this look on an actual runway- sort of a Bottega Veneta vibe, no?


Another cool look comprised of tile, upholstery goods and who knows what else (honestly, I’ve forgotten the specifics but everything from mesh backing from a chair to flooring and power cables was used in many looks!)


**Photos by John  Werner and Chris Huff.


  1. holy crap- these are super cool! i actually love the top made with tiles- and her pants and makeup! people this kind of creative talent make me so jealous- how amazing to be able to make something like this!

    xoxo, britany
    i’ve got current faves for mama + babe on my blog today

  2. It was an honor to have you as a judge and I’m glad you liked the work! As president of IIDA New England, I’m always impressed at how this event brings people together, true collaboration! Thanks so much for blogging about the event!

  3. Love it! I am part of the IIDA OC chapter, and our fashion show this year was fairy tale themed. So cool to see what was done in other chapters. It is always so fun to see the amazing creativity in our industry!

  4. Wow! No wonder you stayed up late. Stunning. How on earth do you decide which one wins when they’re all so powerful in so many different ways?

  5. Like the others have said—-Wow! seems to be the most apt word to describe this collection. With my curves, I’d be drawn to anything kimono. This being said, I could see many a woman, looking more gorgeous than they ever have in all these designs (creative to the moon and back).

  6. We will CERTAINLY be seeing some (ALL!!) of those designs in magazine product advertisements (if they’re smart!) FAB!! franki

  7. Not only are the outfits fantastic. The fact that they used real women to model them rather than the coathanger wire thin girls they usually pick, makes you think yes coture fashion can work for every woman. Its easy to make skinny women look good but the challenge is to make all women look good and feel comfortable. I think these designers have nailed it!

  8. This show was AMAZING! Had the opportunity to watch it at our local Oregon IIDA chapter; such creativity blew me away! I’m so excited to see it on your blog; and I definitely voted for the 20’s inspired pieces.

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