A Peek into a Designer’s Studio Before the 20th Annual IIDA New England Fashion Show

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A Peek into a Designer’s Studio Before the 20th Annual IIDA New England Fashion Show

“Window screen is not fabric,” says Jenna Minto, an interior design student at Wentworth Institute of Technology. “It layers differently, bends differently. So it  takes a lot of time and trial to make it work.” Minto, a senior, is participating in her fourth IIDA New England Fashion Show this Thursday, and in addition to being one of a ten-person design team from her school, she will also be walking the runway in one of their creations.

“This is the second time I will be a model,” says Minto, who wore Wentworth fashion in her freshmen year as well.  She enjoys every aspect of the annual design challenge, which is celebrating its twentieth anniversary this year. The International Interior Design Association (IIDA) New England Chapter was formed in 1972 to support interior design and designers. Their popular Fashion Show invites New England’s top interior design firms and design schools to join leading industry manufacturers who provide the trade materials from which the unconventional fashions made.

Minto’s team is again partnered with Marvin Windows and Doors, and she is thrilled to have such passionate sponsors. “They are so excited and agreeable, we love working with them,” she says. “They let us experiment with their materials and support every decision we make.” Minto has visited Marvin’s showroom at 7 Tide (which is a Titanium sponsor of the show) many times and is very impressed with how uniquely they present their products. “They’re so creative and that’s why they can be creative with us.”

The student collaborators learned in May at the Reveal Party that this year’s theme would be Reflection, and once again were drawn to window screen. “With so many details and qualities we knew it could be manipulated in many ways,”  says Minto, who has been sewing since she was a child. Her team’s process included initial brainstorming and ideation and a division of labor according to everyone’s skills. “Some girls know how to construct, others are best at detail work,” she says, “We critique ourselves, meld ideas, and figure out how to collaborate. It’s a great process to learn.”

The result is two imaginative dresses that will be displayed to a sold-out crowd this week. “I love the surprise aspect of the show. People will say ‘this is so beautiful’ and then realize it’s made from the materials in their office.” says Minto, who after graduation next spring is looking to work in hospitality design. “It is so great to see that every year.”

The IIDA Fashion Show is sold out, but you can livestream the event beginning at 7:30 pm on October 18: Click here to create your profile and bookmark the link.