Designing Couture Fashion at the 2017 Product Runway Fashion Show

Houston, TX - VLK Architects made their debut at the highly anticipated 9th Annual IIDA Product Runway fashion show, an avant-garde couture fashion design competition with a twist. Hundreds gathered to see the creative designs of local interior designers, architecture professionals, and interior design students who created handmade garments out of standard architectural finish materials such as glass, tile, carpet, and plastic laminate. The event, which took place at the Revention Music Center on April 28, benefits the Houston Furniture Bank and Texas Association for Interior Design (TAID).

"Being able to work with my team, while representing VLK Architects and helping raise money for those in need of furniture, was an amazing experience," stated VLK Interior Designer, Erin Rose.

The VLK Product Runway team, Erin Rose, Chris Lyner, Krista Thomas, Michelle Elbers, Scott Dailey, and Sydney Alford, put their time and energy into making this year's event special. Each competing team was assigned one hard material and one soft material which had to collectively make up 80% of the final garment. With this year's theme, 'Cover to Cover', competing teams randomly picked a variety of topics to base their costumes off of at the February kick-off meeting. VLK chose Ayn Rand's novel, The Fountainhead, using materials from Mohawk Carpet and Staron Solid Surface. The Fountainhead is a novel about a young architect's battle to practice modern architecture while facing opposition by an establishment that centered on tradition. The main character, Howard Roark, battled the pressure he felt to conform to society and his desire to be true to self. The basis of the design was inspired by several quotes within the book such as "I am a man who does not exist for others." The cage of the outfit was made out of Staron Solid Surface and required a special saw to cut the pieces, which had to be custom heated and molded at a manufacturing factory. In the end, the completed outfit was made up of more than 95% of the assigned material.

After three months and 70+ hours of designing and hand sewing, Erin Rose modeled the dress. As Erin walked down the runway in the ten-pound costume, vibrant red, silver, and gold colors popped with each step. The outfit's cape favored a 1920's overcoat that transformed into a train.

VLK Partner, Todd Lien, stated that "VLK was proud to take part in such a meaningful event that allowed us to express our creativity and design as well as give back to an incredible organization that helps the community." The Product Runway team executed their vision, and the event was nothing short of a success.