VLK Emulates Artists Warhol and Pollock at the IIDA Product Runway

Photo courtesy of Andy Phan and Law Stewart

Houston, Texas­ - On Friday, April 26th, VLK Architects competed in the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) Product Runway show for the third year. This year, the theme of Product Runway was ‘HOU, I love you’ which allowed each team to design garments inspired by icons throughout Houston. The VLK team included model Mikhail Abad and garment designers Colette King, Krista Thomas, Michelle Gabriel, Luis Luna, Clarissa Quintana, and Chris Lyner. As prominent artists featured in The Menil Collection, the VLK team chose Jackson Pollock and Andy Warhol as their inspiration. These artists utilized unique uses of color in their work, and VLK represented that in their final garment.

Inspired by the Andy Warhol Pop Art piece Portrait of Dominique, named after the founder of the The Menil Collection, the VLK team used carpet yarn from manufacturer Bentley Mills to create the face of Dominique de Menil on the back of the coat. Hundreds of small triangles were cut from three luxury vinyl flooring planks to create an arm piece that replicates the medieval sculptures one would find at the Menil. Paying homage to the unique lighting provided by the louvers at the Menil, lighting from CW Lighting was used to add hidden LED lights throughout the garment. The garment itself was lined with electrical wire and the shoulder piece, carved and wrapped with Barrisol lighting provided by CW Lighting, was used to mimic the louvers. Finally, Jasper Furniture Group provided fabrics to create a sleek, modern suit.

“We took advantage of being given a lighting garment label as our ‘hard good’ by emulating the use of the iconic louvers of the Menil,” said Krista Thomas, Architectural Intern, VLK Architects. “Just as the louvers, we hid LED light sources throughout the garment for all the light to be seen but making the “source” unnoticeable. 

 Product Runway pairs teams consisting of Houston area designers, architects, students, and industry partners to create showcase garments made from standard architectural finish materials used every day in their fields. Products range from flooring to quartz, tile, lighting, and wood. Final designs are judged in a runway show on their design, craftsmanship, construction, and relevance to their assigned theme.