Strutting down the runway in a dress made out of products you might use to remodel your home, WSU interior design students won the award for runway presence at Fashion Remix.
Fashion Remix, part of design week, is a statewide competition sponsored by the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) to showcase the local design community and raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
Spectators gathered at The Rail Event Center in Salt Lake City Thursday night to view the inventive runway show.
Students, interior design firms and architectural firms made up the 20 participating teams. Each team was randomly paired with a vendor, who supplied the materials used to create the ensemble.
Weber State students were paired with Teknion, a company that supplies high-end office furnishings.
The team’s dress featured a chrome chest piece made from a chair back, vinyl edge banding to create a tutu and architectural wall systems fabric for the underlay.
“Teknion is a really modern, contemporary furniture manufacturer, which played into our inspiration,” said Bri Conrad, interior design student and team member.
The group’s design was called Galactic Grace.
“We were kind of trying to do a futuristic ballerina with a feminine and edgy combination,” Conrad said.
For six months, the team worked on the concept and creation of the dress.
“It was so many painstaking hours spent working,” Conrad said. “Every spare second has been devoted to this dress.”
To come up with the initial design, the team said they began by working individually to come up with ideas. After that, the ideas were combined and molded to create a cohesive design.
“There’s a little piece of all of us in that dress,” said Rachel Malan, interior design student and team member. “It was really good to see all of our hard work pay off.”
This year’s Fashion Remix competition marked the first time a team was comprised of only students. In the past, students were teamed up with professionals.
“We had an amazing team, so it’s been a great experience,” said Sabrina Overman, interior design student and team chair. “It was all of our creative juices and talent that put this ensemble together.”
The four team members were initially selected from an application process that included concept sketches and resumes.
“It was such a good learning experience,” said Jacie Johnson, associate professor of interior design and team mentor. “It was tough to make a design out of chair parts and wall coverings. Every time we turned around, there was another thing they needed to handle and correct.”
Johnson said every type of design problem the students encountered could be related to real-world issues they might face in their prospective fields.
Three months into the competition, the team’s Teknion representative quit, leaving the students to deal with the lengthy process of ordering materials directly from corporate.
“I said ‘This is just like on a design job, where all of a sudden you and the home or the business is ready for occupancy and someone falls through,’” Johnson said. “But you still have to cover the bases.”
The team said that one of the best parts of the experience was seeing their work of art on the runway.
The team model, Ashley Badali, exhibited her runway presence by popping up on her pointe shoes and incorporating ballet into her walk.
“It really took my breath away,” Conrad said. “I got a little emotional just seeing the process come full circle.”
Johnson said she is proud of what her team accomplished.
“They really stretched themselves and invested so much time and effort,” she said. “They’re four really strong designers.”