When you put an interior designer, architect and builder on a project, what do you get? If you guessed a building, you would be right in most instances—just not last night. At the annual IIDA New England Chapter Fashion Show, teams of professionals that frequently join forces on structural designs, collaborated to assemble something far outside the scope of their daily work—fashion.
“You’re putting a team together to work on something way outside of what you would expect. This team may work together on a lot of different projects, but a fashion show is new territory,” says Matt Hyatt, principal at Bergmeyer Associates Inc. and board president of IIDA’s New England Chapter.
This year marked the 19th year of the event in which two dozen of the region’s best interior design firms and design schools team up with industry manufacturers to sew fashions created exclusively from the tools of their trade (Think: interior finishes, light fixtures, window shades and more!). Marvin at 7 Tide participated as an Industry Partner this year to Team Bergmeyer, a team of professionals from Bergmeyer Associates Inc., and as a Sponsor for Team Wentworth, a student team from Wentworth Institute of Technology.
“It’s just about pure creativity. There is no program. We are all just coming at it with—what is the most creative thing we can do with this choice of theme?” The theme for 2017 was Ritual and Bergmeyer happened to have a team member who studied that very topic in college. “It is always fun whenever we find someone on our team who has all these hidden skills that come out,” he says, such as finding out who can sew, or even more relevant this year, who wrote a senior thesis on—you guessed it—rituals.
Team Bergmeyer ran with the idea of bullfighting, interpreting ritual as a transformation for both the person and the audience. To really drive it home, they used E ink, paper-like display technology, which on stage morphed from black to white. To complete the matador look, they fashioned Halcyon Shades into pants, a jumpsuit, shorts and a bustier top. Team Bergmeyer took home the Best in Show Award.
Team Wentworth used materials from Marvin Windows and Doors and discovered just how useful rubber leather stripping can be when stitching together a dress. Who knew! Selecting coronation as their ritual, Wentworth student Jenna Minto and her team used window shades and screens, to construct a stunningly imaginative queen’s gown.
With over 1,700 tickets purchased, the sold out evening at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center was full of creative energy. The teams compete for cheers, awards and bragging rights, but the event’s overall goal is to promote camaraderie within the industry. “It is a great opportunity for our chapter to solve creative challenges together,” says Hyatt. “It allows people within the industry to work together in unusual circumstances, which builds bonds and establishes a good foundation for continuing collaboration through project work later on.”