Interior design, architecture and fashion come together in the Third Annual Cosmo Couture Fashion & Design Show at the Artisphere Thursday.
“Participants design a garment from the material that their sponsor uses,” said Pedro Nunez, who is helping to organize the fashion show. “It could be yarn, carpet, wood carvings…the materials are all related to commercial renovation products.”
Twenty-one design teams have risen to the challenge to present their garments at a fashion show that has drawn 800 spectators in previous years. The event benefits My Sister’s Place, a domestic violence shelter in D.C., according to the Washington Metro City Center of the International Interior Design Association Mid-Atlantic Chapter (IIDA-MAC).
“It’s challenging because as interior designers we aren’t normally dealing with pieces of clothing,” said Nunez, who is a member of the IIDA-MAC and is co-chairing the event. “We are also working with materials made to be applied to the walls, the floor to the ceiling. The challenge is to use the material to a way that someone can wear.”
Local architecture and interior design firms, most of whom are members of the IIDA-MAC, make up the design teams. Each team can consist of up to five members. Eighty percent of materials used in each design must come from area manufacturers and the teams have about a month to complete their projects.
“We have quite a variety of materials this year. We have veneer, carpet, tile…In the past they’ve used parts of furniture worked into their garment,” Nunez said.
This year, IIDA-MAC has partnered with the Corcoran Gallery of Art for the event’s theme and inspiration. Designers will take inspiration from a contemporary piece in the gallery titled “Red Star” by Raymond Sanders.
The garments are just by local D.C. fashionistas including Jennifer Barger, the fashion editor at the Washington Post Express, and Karin Cadena, director of the Fashion Group International of Greater Washington D.C.
“It’s a big challenge and of course many of the designers have no clue about sowing so they have to figure out how to put it together,” Nunez said. “But while it’s challenging it turns into a fun team effort…. It’s always fun anticipating what we’ll see coming out on the runway.”
The event starts with a cocktail reception from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and the runway show from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Artisphere at 1101 Wilson Blvd. Tickets to the event range from $80 to $180 and more information is available at www.cosmocouture.org.