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PRODUCT RUNWAY: Seattle’s Fun, Fresh, Fierce Fashion Event Delivers

(From left: Dion Kuhlka, Gensler; Dante Wilkins and Emily Dewees, Bassetti; Annie Nam and Kari Thorsen, ZGF Architects)

Last Friday I attended my first Product Runway event and I have to say – it was the most fun I’ve had at an industry event, probably ever! Not only did the design competition bring 15 of Seattle’s top architecture firms into one room, but all set up to music, lights, cameras and, of course, for a great cause: the Interior Design Coalition of Washington (IDCW).

The Showbox in Seattle was transformed into a fashion runway worthy of New York or LA glamour, as evidenced by remarks from emcee and Girl Power Hour founder, Darnell Sue: “Are we in Seattle? ... I don’t see any woodsmen.” What I did see was the hard work and creativity of designers exhibited with panache by models who strutted their stuff on the catwalk.

It made me wonder, what inspires someone to put on this type of event?

Christina Stewart, an Interior Designer at Gensler and Product Runway Co-chair, said, “I thought this would make a great fundraiser event for IDCW and pushed for the board to take it on. We approached all the usual suspects and it became clear that I had the vision and the passion, so I decided to lead the event.” She then assembled an all-volunteer committee and succeeded in producing something bigger and more elaborate than anything the Seattle Design community had previously seen.

“It is a fantastic party that I get to help throw for everyone in the design and architecture community, where they in turn get to show off their artistic and creative skills,” said Stewart.

And show off they did, with the top honors going to Bassetti, whose Facilitec/Haworth & Carnegie dress impressed the judges with a “retro-futurism” theme that harkens back to the early 1950’s.

“Our design takes a glimpse through the lens of the dawn of the atomic era looking toward the modern day,” said Dante Wilkins, Bassetti’s Team Lead, in describing the inspiration behind their concept.

Second place went to Gensler, who designed an outfit with materials from Teknion and OM Workspace furniture. Their creation transformed a hard, black perforated leather and aluminum ensemble into a soft, white knit jersey dress and leather purse. This outfit also garnered Gensler the People’s Choice award.

When asked by one of the judges, “How difficult is it with those materials to maneuver up and down the runway?” Gensler’s model, Dion Kuhlka, responded: “Well, it takes four people to tie me up,” followed by applause and giggles, “and one person to take me down.”

ZGF Architects finished in third place with a dress made from Tandus Flooring/Masland Contract. The outfit, worn by Annie Nam, had monochromatic shades of gray in front with a burst of brightly colored layers in the back, which aligned perfectly with their concept ideas of shape-shift, organic, and fun.

Now in its third year, Product Runway is a fundraising event to help IDCW change legislation to better the industry, including allowing interior designers to self-stamp their own work. For more photos of the winners and all the fashion forward entries for Product Runway 2011, go online to http://productrunway.smugmug.com/Events.

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    Response: Chicfashionworld
    Discovering the world's inspiring USA fashion blogs! Right here on Miami and Lifestyle blogs on Street Style Inspiration on Fashion bloggers.
  • Response
    Response: Chicfashionworld
    Discovering the world's inspiring USA fashion blogs! Right here on Miami and Lifestyle blogs on Street Style Inspiration on Fashion bloggers.

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