Product Runway 2018: Meet Me at the Met - Gianni Versace

For the second year in a row, VLK competed in the IIDA Houston City Center’s fashion and architecture competition, Product Runway. Product Runway is an incredibly unique competition where A&D firms who enter the competition are paired with two furniture or material vendors to create a garment. At least 80% of the team’s creation must be made out of materials from the two vendors.

This amazing event is also the major charitable fundraiser for the Houston City Center within the Texas-Oklahoma Chapter of IIDA. All the profits go towards the Houston Furniture Bank and the Texas Association of Interior Designers. The Houston Furniture Bank is a great organization that helps families and individuals furnish their homes when they are not able. They have been a huge help to the Houston community after Hurricane Harvey. The Texas Association for Interior Design is an advocacy group representing business and legislative aspects of the interior design industry in Texas. TAID’s mission is to promote the common interest of the interior design industry, effectively communicate concerns to the state government, provide education to members, and protect the health, safety, and welfare of the general public. In addition to creating a fabulous garment, the VLK team was able to raise over $300 to donate to the cause.

This year was the 10th anniversary for the event, and the theme, “Meet Me at the Met,” really lived up the occasion!  Teams were tasked with creating garments based on past years’ themes of the famed Met Gala.

The VLK team, made up of Krista Thomas, Chris Lyner, Jennie Hall, Angel Rivera, and Monika Castillo was very excited when they were randomly assigned to Gianni Versace. With Versace as our inspiration, the possibilities were endless!


After some intensive research, we narrowed down some of Gianni Versace’s most famous looks that appeared at the Met Gala, including Elizabeth Hurley’s safety pin dress, Salma Hayek’s feminine black gown, Amber Valletta gold jumpsuit, and of course, the famous Medusa head logo.

Our vendors, Humanscale and Knoll/Debner, were incredibly helpful in getting the team everything we needed to make our piece. The overskirt was made out of Humanscale upholstery fabric and hand painted cobalt blue fabric made up the lining that was also used as a cape during the runway performance. The mini dress was created with upholstery chair vinyl and the back of the mini dress was created using cut up Knoll Generation chairs that were donated to the team by Debner. The fringe on the bottom of the dress was Knoll filing cabinet keys that were painted gold. The most unique part of the design, the headpiece, was constructed using wire conduit and Knoll chair back mesh. Overall, the entire process lasted about two months. The team worked incredibly hard on the dress and made sure no detail was missed. We faced some challenges throughout the process but in the end, everything came together. We can’t wait for next year!